Category Archives: General Auto News

What Are The Best Used Cars for Less Than $25K on the Market?

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So you’re in the market for a great pre-owned vehicle. And if you’re smart, you’ve set a budget. After all, it’s so easy to get distracted by all the bright and shiny vehicles on a lot and be tempted to buy something that’s beyond your bank account. If you’ve set a budget of $25,000 or less, there are some great vehicles that fit your budget, according to  Let’s take a look at some of theme:

  1. 2013 Buick Encore–this is actually considered a new category, the super-compact premium crossover SUV. It gets great gas mileage and has a super quiet interior.
  2. 2013 Camaro—This packs a lot of fun into your budget. The Camaro V6 Coupe is one hot looking car, plus it delivers 300 horsepower. With the automatic transmission, you’ll get 30 mph while having fun on the road.
  3. 2013 Dodge Dart—Yes, it’s a subcompact, but the backseat can handle two adults comfortably. And with an Alfa Romeo-derived suspension, it’s bellissima at less than $16K.
  4. 2013 Fiat 500—You’ll get mucho fun for about $16K, plus 31 mph city/40 mph hwy with the manual. You also get a peppy standard 1.4-liter MultiAir engine.
  5. 2013 Ford Focus—for under $16,500, you get a true entry-level luxury ride with terrific fuel economy. Worth checking out.
  6. 2013 Honda Accord— For under $22k, you get an upscale looking sedan with lots of character—and great mileage, too.

While we can’t guarantee these exact models are on our lot at New Jersey State Auto this week, if they’re not, we can find one for you. You’ll find a tremendous variety of pre-owned trucks, sedans, crossovers, SUVs and more here, and there’s one to fit your budget.





New Jersey State Auto Auction

406 Sip Avenue

Jersey City, New Jersey 07306

Phone: 201.355.4138


Buying a Pre-Owned Vehicle with Peace of Mind

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Does the idea of buying a pre-owned vehicle sound good to you? After all, you don’t end up with that instant depreciation that you do when you buy a new car. And, with so many Americans leasing vehicles, there are more quality pre-owned vehicles on the market than ever.

But how can you be sure you’re buying a great pre-owned vehicle?  Actually, there are several ways you can be sure.

  1. Buy from a reputable dealer, instead of an individual. Let’s face it.  With social media sites like Yelp out there, if a business isn’t reputable, it’s easy to find out about it. Look for a dealer who has been in business for a long time. Common sense tells you, a business can’t be around for long, if they don’t treat customers right.
  2. Make sure you get a warranty–and one that lasts longer than a week. At New Jersey State Auto, we provide a three month/5,000 mile warranty with every vehicle–plus you get Roadside Assistance, too.
  3. Check out the CarFax report. This report will tell you how many owners the vehicle has had, and if there is clear title.  In addition, you’ll know what kinds of accident the vehicle has been involved in, and you can see if the appropriate repairs have been performed. Plus, all vehicles checked with carFax have the CarFax BuyBack Guarantee at New Jersey State Auto.
  4. Pay for a Mechanic Inspection before you buy. While it will cost you a little money, it will provide you with great peace of mind. With a mechanic inspection, you’ll learn if the right kinds of replacement parts have been used, and if major repairs will be needed in the near future.
  5. Look beyond the exterior. Sure, it might look like new on the outside, but look under the hood, too.  If you see rust, it probably hasn’t been maintained well.

At New Jersey State Auto, we’re here to help you find the right vehicle at the right price.  We’ll answer all of your questions, so you feel confident with your purchase.

If you’re in the market to purchase a pre-owned vehicle, visit New Jersey State Auto Auction.





New Jersey State Auto Auction

406 Sip Avenue

Jersey City, New Jersey 07306

Phone: 201.355.4138


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.

Show your car some love before fall with these maintenance services.

How to prepare your car for fall

Summer's almost over and your car made it through the extreme temperatures. While it's going to get a break from the heat, that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep taking care of maintenance, especially before fall's arrival. After all, the cooler temperature and inclement weather will be on its way before you know it.

It's important to weatherize your car before every change in season. Here are 10 tips on how to get your ride ready for autumn:

1. Check the brakes
As the temperatures get colder, you'll want to make sure your brakes are working well to prepare for slick roads. To ensure your safety, the Car Connection suggested taking your car in to get your brakes checked. Most auto shops will inspect them for no charge, so the precautionary step is worth it.

2. Monitor the tire pressure
Much like your brakes, your tires need to be ready for inclement weather. That means frequently checking on the air pressure either manually or by paying attention if your vehicle has a dashboard alert for tire pressure. According to the Car Care Council, air pressure in a tire decreases one to two pounds for every 10-degree change in temperature. Look at your owner's manual for suggested pressure levels.

3. Check your spare, too
When monitoring the pressure of your tires, be sure to check out your spare. Typically, the inflation pressure for it will be listed on its side, according to Bankrate. If you can't find it, check the owner's manual or seek advice from a mechanic.

Check your tire pressure this summer to prepare for fall.Check your tire pressure this summer to prepare for fall.

4. Top off windshield washer fluid
Keeping your windshield washer fluid topped off is an important safety precaution, especially when preparing for inclement weather. But don't just refill it with the same solution you've been using all summer, according to what Tony Molla, spokesman for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence told Bankrate.

"Topping off your windshield-washer fluid is an important safety precaution."

"In fall, windshield-washer fluid needs to be replaced with a solvent that is suited for use in cold weather," he said.

This special fluid only costs about $2 to $4 per gallon, so it won't set you back much.

5. Replace the wiper blades
Fall is the best time to replace your wiper blades. Molla told Bankrate he suggests taking care of this maintenance service before winter for many reasons.

"You generally use your wipers more frequently in the fall and winter," he said. "They'll also be taking a lot more abuse from road grime and windshield-washer solvent, so it's best to have a fresh set."

Replacing the blades is a simple service and will only cost you about $10 to $20.

6. Fix broken lights
The days are going to get shorter, which means you'll be driving in the dark more often in the fall than you were in the summer. To prepare, make sure all of your lights are working properly. That includes headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights and emergency flashers.

7. Make sure your heater works
If you neglect to make sure your heater is working before fall, you might find yourself shivering in your seat on a cold day. To keep this from occurring, just monitor it frequently or take it to the shop for a thorough inspection.

8. Get the battery checked
The older your battery is, the less likely it will hold a charge if it dies. Nobody wants to sit on the side of the road on a cold fall day waiting for a tow truck. Take your car in to the mechanic and ask for a battery inspection. If the technician finds corrosion on the terminals or a loose connection in the cables, it's likely time for a replacement.

Take your car to the autoshop to see if the battery needs replaced before fall.Take your car to the auto shop to see if the battery needs to be replaced before fall.

9. Replace the air filter
Bankrate reported to replace your engine air filters twice per year, so take care of it this fall if you haven't since the beginning of the year. A dirty filter restricts airflow and fuel economy, which can ultimately worsen your car's overall performance. This is a simple task that will take a maintenance worker a few minutes to take care of, just call in to schedule an appointment. 

10. Change the oil
This is something you should keep up with year-round, but if your car is due for an oil change, take it to the shop before fall's arrival. Dirty oil can hurt the engine and lead to permanent damage if it's not changed.

Preparing your car for fall doesn't have to be a hassle. Just bring it in to New Jersey Auto Auction and let our mechanics take care of all of your maintenance needs.

5 tips for first-time car buyers

Buying your first car is an important milestone. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with this event. However, there can also be feelings of fear and hesitation. After all, you can't return a car a few days after you purchase it if it no longer pleases you. For that reason, first-time car buyers should keep the following tips in mind to assist them through the process:

1. Research is important  
Just like you wouldn't walk into the SATs without studying, you shouldn't walk onto a car lot without doing research. Fortunately for you, the internet has made vehicle research easier than ever. There are plenty of websites dedicated to helping you compare different models, and there are even sites that will help you determine your budget. 

2. Weigh your financing options 
With the exception of a very select group, few people have the amount of cash needed to buy a car outright. If you aren't one of these people, you'll need to decide how to finance your purchase. Keep in mind that if you don't have an established line of credit, it could be difficult to obtain a car loan. A co-signer can make this more feasible. Good dealerships will have a financing department to help you, as well.

3. Consider insurance rates 
While you might have a burning desire to buy that Porsche or BMW, the insurance rates on higher-end vehicles can be pricey. Make sure that you choose a car that will fit in your budget even after it's insured. Your financial advisor or an online budgeting tool will help you plan for this.  

Buying your first car is an exciting experience, especially when you make an informed purchase.Buying your first car is an exciting experience, especially when you make an informed purchase.

4. Don't skip the test drive 
No reputable dealer should ever ask you to make a car purchase without taking a test drive. This is your opportunity to make sure there is nothing obviously wrong with the car while driving. More importantly, a test drive will tell you if the vehicle is one that you will enjoy driving for years to come. 

5. Work with a reputable dealer 
Unfortunately, there are some car dealers who will try to take advantage of first-time car buyers. When choosing which dealership you want to work with, look for two qualities: transparency and reputation. In terms of transparency, the dealership should offer clear, concise contracts and helpful salespeople. The dealership you select should also have a proven track record of excellence. Read online reviews and talk to previous patrons to make sure they have impressed their other customers.

Get excited! You're thinking about buying your first car. While it's normal to feel some nervousness, hopefully this article made you feel more prepared. If you follow the advice above and do your research, you should find that the process is relatively smooth. 

For more car-buying advice or to shop for excellent used cars, visit the New Jersey State Auto Auction website today.

The most valuable features in cars

Cars truly are an investment. If you make smart decisions when purchasing, take good care of them when they are in your possession and work with a reputable dealer, you could receive a decent amount for your trade-in value when you re-sell the vehicle. How do you take care of it while you own it? Simple. Avoid driving like you're in a Fast and Furious movie and get your car serviced regularly. Now, how do you know you're dealing a reputable car trader? Again, it's easy. Do you research and trust your instincts.

But where does it all begin? With the purchase obviously. One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a car is how valuable it will be when you decide to sell it again. Major factors in value are the features included with the vehicle. Check out some of the most valuable features in cars:

Keyless entry and startup
Have you ever glanced outside your window in the morning only to be greeted by the blinding light from a fresh snowfall? The last thing you want is to fumble around with your keys to unlock your car. You probably don't want to run outside in the cold to start your car either. That's why so many car buyers are interested in keyless entry and startup capabilities. It's a simple, inexpensive luxury that makes cars more desirable than vehicles without these features.

On-board navigation systems 
If you've ever wasted a few precious hours on a road trip or missed an appointment because you were lost, you understand the importance of a navigation system. Many newer car models include this feature, and it's a good idea to look for this amenity when considering a car. It can greatly increase the resale value of your vehicle. In fact, Forbes reported that 61 percent of car buyers stated that a built-in navigation system was one of the most important features they wanted in their cars.

Auxiliary port 
This feature is most popular with the younger generations. The auxiliary port allows them to connect their phones to the audio system and play their favorite music. Getting control of the aux cord has even become a badge of honor to millennials , since it means that their taste in music is respected by their peers. Cars with these features tend to have a higher resale value because they cater to the needs of many prospective buyers. 

When buying a car, be sure to consider the future value.When buying a car, be sure to consider its future value.

Rear view camera 
Perhaps the safest of the desired features on this list is the rear view camera. Not only does it make it easier to back into tight spaces, it makes it a lot safer. Rear view cameras were designed to help drivers see things they wouldn't have previously been able to when the vehicle is in reverse. Many  be equipped with a guiding grid to make difficult navigation even simpler, while others come with infrared night vision capabilities, meaning you can back up safely even in the dark. 

Heated seats 
Though they may seem like an unnecessary luxury, Forbes reported that heated seats were the second most requested feature in cars. Drivers who live in colder climates may be even more appreciative of heated seats. They add a level of comfort and can even help with back pain on long drives. 

USB port 
This is another feature that is preferred by younger drivers. Technology is central to their lives, and therefore, they expect all aspects of their lives to accommodate this. As more of these tech-driven individuals come of driving age, cars with USB ports for charging cell phones and other electronics will become more popular than cars without. Car owners with the foresight to purchase vehicles with this feature may get more money upon resale than those without it. 

When buying a new car, it can be easy to forget about the future resale value. However, drivers who pay attention to market trends, such as the most preferred features, could get a better deal when they choose to sell their vehicle. It's important to remember that trends change, and if you are unsure of how to plan for the best future value, you can consult a car-buying expert like New Jersey State Auto Auction.

Questions to ask when buying a used car

Buying a car is serious business, and it can be an intimidating process. If you're considering purchasing a used car, things can get even trickier. Not all dealers have reputable sales methods. For this reason, it's important to understand the used car-buying process and ask the right questions. 

Is this car in my budget? 
The first step for any potential car buyer is to determine how much they can afford to spend. It's a smart idea to compile a list of cars you are interested in to get insurance quotes, check tax rates and compare payments. This will help you narrow down your list to vehicles that will fit comfortably in your predetermined budget. Remember that selecting a car you can't afford can lead to poor credit and other negative consequences. Consult with a financial advisor if you need help establishing a budget. 

Does it have a vehicle history report? 
Before you purchase a car, you should run a vehicle history report. All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number to determine if the purchase you are about to make it a good one. These reports will outline the vehicle's past ownership. The Department of Motor Vehicles also reports that these will also tell you if the car has ever had maintenance done, if there have ever been problems with the title, if there are any liens on the vehicle, if the car was ever involved in an accident and whether the car has ever been classified as a "lemon." A vehicle history report will ensure that the used vehicle you select will operate as you expect it to.

Asking these questions will help you get the best used car in your budget.Asking these questions will help you get the best used car in your budget.

Did I notice anything unusual in the test drive? 
The test drive is another important part of the car-buying process. It allows you to get behind the wheel of your desired car and see how it handles. A test drive will also alert potential buyers to any issues before a sale. During a test drive, you should be vigilant for any problems with performance. Your test drive doesn't end once you return to the car lot, though. You should open and close all doors, windows, the trunk and the hood to make sure that they operate properly. 

Am I getting this car for the best price? 
Everyone wants to make sure they are getting the best price when buying a car, but to guarantee this, you must do a little research. Online price guides will tell you how much the model year is worth, but it's up to you to negotiate the true value. If the car has had significant work done, it is usually smart to talk the price down. 

Buying your first used car may seem like an overwhelming experience. However, if you educate yourself and ask the right questions, you will find yourself in a much better position to purchase the used car of your dreams. 

To find used cars that are reliable and affordable, click here.

The pre-road trip car checklist

As the weather warms up and schools close down, road trip season approaches. Summer brings with it those few months out of the year when families are able to pack up the car and hit the open road. Yet, before you and your loved ones make the journey to your favorite destination, you need to make sure your car is as prepared as you are. Take a look at the checklist below to ensure your vehicle is ready or your road trip.

Familiarize yourself with your vehicle
Taking the time to learn about your car can save you trouble and confusion down the road. If you are able to identify important features and know how to perform basic maintenance, you will be more prepared to handle a breakdown or other issues during your trip. You should also know what type of oil your car takes and on which terrain it drives best. This information will make your trip much less stressful.

Get a checkup 
Taking your car to a professional for a checkup is one of the best things you can do before going on a long journey. A mechanic's trained eye will be able to spot leaks, cracks and other issues that could cause problems on the road. At your checkup, be sure the mechanic checks the levels of all fluids, tests the breaks and examines the engine for any irregularities. He or she should also replace headlights and air filters as needed.

Getting an inspection by a professional will ensure your vehicle is safe for the road.Getting an inspection by a professional will ensure your vehicle is safe for the road.

Take a look at your tires 
Nobody wants a vacation spoiled by tire trouble. Before you begin your trip, examine all the tires on your car for signs of damage. If the treading is worn down or the rubber has begun to split, it is a smart idea to replace your tires before you begin your journey. You should also check the tire pressure and alignment. When your primary tires are set, inspect your spare. It should also be properly pressured and free of damage.

Pack an emergency kit 
Anything can happen on the open road. For this reason, an emergency kit is a vital part of preparing your car for a road trip. The Department of Motor Vehicles recommend that your kit include road flares, a tire jack, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a blanket, a flashlight and bottled water. Click here for the full list. 

Consider GPS 
If your vehicle does not have built-in navigation capabilities, you should think about purchasing a GPS system. This ensures that, even if you have no cell phone service or map, you will be able to navigate your route with confidence. 

A road trip is a great way to spend the summer, but don't let car problems get in the way of a good time. By following the checklist above, you can help ensure that your vehicle is prepared for whatever journey lies ahead. 

Visit the New Jersey State Auto Auction for more car tips.