Category Archives: How To

How to get your car ready for your road trip

Spring has finally arrived, and for some, that means it's time to enjoy a much needed vacation. But before you head out on the road with your best friends, you need to make sure your car is ready for the long haul. Did you know that April is National Car Care Month? Now is the perfect opportunity to show your vehicle some love and give it the much-needed attention you've been putting off for far too long.

It makes sense, though, because why would you bother getting anything done during the winter? You're just going to keep rolling over potholes and road salt until the ice and snow is gone, so what's the point? Well, unfortunately, if you wait too long to fix the damage winter caused, it could result in an unexpected break down on the side of the road. You don't want to spend that hard-earned cash you were saving for your trip on a tow truck, do you?

Don't neglect your car and cross your fingers that it makes it to your spring break destination. Instead, head to the shop and request the following maintenance services to maximize your safety during your road trip.

1. Get rid of that salt
First and foremost, you need to make sure your car drives and looks smooth. That means giving it a good cleaning and making sure all of that leftover salt from the icy roads is completely removed. Nothing screams "I've been neglecting my car" quite like remnants of winter, so show your car some love and get rid of it! Salt doesn't only make your car look dirty, it can also cause your ride's undercarriage some serious damage, according to Angie's List. Consider asking your maintenance man to give the bottom of your car a good clean and polish to get rid of any rust or salt.

"You should get your oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles."

2. Change your oil and fluids
If your car hasn't had its oil changed in a while, now's the perfect time to take care of it. It's recommended that you get an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Your oil isn't the only thing that needs changed, though. Flushing your transmission fluid is important, too, and it could keep you from paying a pretty penny on a damaged transmission, according to the information auto repair shop owner Scott McClure shared with Angie's List.

"It's one of the most neglected services," he says. "It's a very costly repair – between $2,200 and $4,200 – if you have to rebuild or repair [a transmission]."

3. Service your cooling system
If you're heading to a southern state for your spring break road trip, the temperature is bound to raise during your route. You'll probably go from wearing a jacket, to opening the windows and then suddenly finding yourself turning up the air conditioning as high as it lets you. You're not going to be the only one warming up, though. You car needs to stay cool, too, so take the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's advice and get your coolant levels checked. This is a great step to take to make sure your system is running smoothly. You may even want to consider getting it flushed and refilled. This can up the chances that your system is running at its best during your road trip.

Who wants to sit in road trip traffic on a hot day with a broken cooling system? Who wants to sit and wait for a tow truck because the engine overheated?

4. Check your wipers and lighting
They say April showers bring May flowers, so your chances of driving through a rainstorm are more than likely. To maximize your safety while driving through precipitation, the Car Care Council suggested making sure your lighting and wipers are working properly. Worn wiper blades and broken head lights can make driving through rainfall extremely dangerous, so take precautionary measures to make certain everything will run smooth.

5. Inspect your brakes
Angie's List reported that getting your brakes inspected might be the most important maintenance service steps you can take before heading out on a long road trip. Ask your maintenance technician to check the brake pads and rotors for you to ensure your car is safe to drive. If you fail to get them checked, you could find yourself smashed into someone's bumper on your way down to the beach.

Your car needs to be just as ready for this trip as you are, so stop by NJ Auto Auction where our mechanics will make sure your ride is safe enough for your road trip.

Watch out for these common car loan mistakes

You want a car, and you want it now. But the fact of the matter is, it's worth spending a little time considering your car financing options. On paper, a loan may seem like it will solve all of your problems, but if you don't read the fine print or be realistic about the terms you'll have to stick with, an auto loan can cause you even more financial stress.

Studies show that many people across the country are optimistically biting off more than they can chew. According to credit bureau Experian, in June 2015 the average length of new auto loans reached a record 67 months, or a little more than 5.5 years, reported USA Today. Some 29.5 percent of loans had terms between 73 and 84 months, which is also a record high and a jump from 24.9 percent the year prior.

loanDon't be shackled to a loan you can't pay.

Don't get stuck in a loan that seems to never end and that you can't afford. Fortunately, knowledge is power, so here are a few common car loan mistakes that you should watch out for.

Consider comprehensive costs
The amount of the monthly payments isn't the only thing you should pay attention to during the loan-negotiating process – you also need to factor in other costs like interest, noted Money Talks News. Failing to see the whole picture and little hidden costs causes many buyers to sign up for a loan that they really can't afford. The source recommended following the 20/4/10 rule when considering a loan plan. Your down payment should be at least 20 percent, you should agree to finance the car for a maximum of four years and monthly vehicle expenses – these include interest, insurance and principle – shouldn't be more than 10 percent of your gross income. By approaching a loan with this strategy, you can make sure the plan is more comfortably within your means.

Think about cheaper alternatives
Don't run from cheaper vehicles because they don't have the glitz and glamour of fancier late models – the important thing is that you need a car to get around, not show off, and besides, there are many stylish options that can still fit in your price range. If the car you're drooling over is only affordable for you if you pay it off over six or seven years, then you should probably readjust your expectations and go down a level on the price range you're searching in, explained Time magazine. Go back to basics and think about the most important features you need in your vehicle – a cheaper car with four-wheel drive in a snowy climate should win out over a late-model SUV with a built-in DVD player and surround sound system.

new carA fancy late-model vehicle looks nice, but the financing plan might not be as pleasant.

Get your add-ons elsewhere
When your making a final agreement on a car loan, it can be tempting to just say yes to every little add-on that seemed to worm its way in there, like paint sealant or an extended warranty. However, think carefully before giving the green light to these extras, since they can disproportionately inflate your loan payments, according to Bankrate. The source notes that a National Automobile Dealers Association study found that 37 percent of the average gross profits made in new and used car sales came from the finance and insurance office by way of "aftermarket add-ons." While there are good deals to be had with these add-ons, it's worth taking the time to research what the out-of-market price would be for each item, since sometimes you can find items priced at a discount compared to what they would be worth as part of your financing plan.

4 sneaky things that will damage your car

April is National Car Care Month, so it's a great time to think about how you're treating your vehicle. You may love your car, feel like a boss driving it around and think it's the most gosh darn stylish thing in the world, but if you switch gears without braking or just pretending that "Check Engine" light doesn't exist, then you're actually doing some serious damage to that car you supposedly care for so much.

In every relationship, there's little things that each person does that irritate the other. Does it drive you mad when your wife chews with her mouth open? Well she probably hates how you leave the cap off the toothpaste. Likewise, there are little things you can do that can really tick off your car.

Read through this list to make sure you don't have any of these damaging habits – and if you do, consider it the perfect time to change your ways and renew your relationship with your ride on the right foot.

1. Slow jam 
As you roll down a steep hill you accelerate, so it's only natural that you feel inclined to keep you foot pressed down on the brake the whole time. However, Ridelust noted that this is a very common mistake that can damage your car in the long run. Every time you hit the brake, the brake pads heat up, and keeping the brake engaged for even the 30 seconds it takes to get down a big hill can make the pads sufficiently toasty and as a result wears them out faster. Instead, alternate between braking and coasting – your car will thank you.

2. What's an e-brake?
If you're asking yourself this, you don't even want to know the irreversible damage you've done to your car. If you've just been lazy about engaging the parking brake, it's time to shape up. Whenever you are parked on a slope – even the slightest of ones – use your emergency brake.

hillSure, whoever lives here definitely needs to use his e-brake, but you should actually be using it on all inclines, big or small. 

Look at your pinky finger. You couldn't possibly lift up your vehicle with your pinky – the results would be gruesome. But your essentially doing this when you don't use the e-brake. As YourMechanic explained, when you don't engage the parking brake, you put all the pressure on the transmission, specifically a little thing called the parking pawl. This parking pawl is just a little pin smaller than your pinky finger, so make sure you always hit that e-brake.

3. Un-brake-able
If you haven't noticed yet, a lot of these mistakes have to do with the brakes. If you reverse your vehicle and then switch into gears while you're still moving backward, you're really hurting your car. It's okay, everyone's been there, because sometimes you're just in a hurry and can't be bothered to fully brake before switching gears. But try to cut this habit, okay? Every time you switch without stopping, you strip the gears of your transmission, according to Odometer. This damage adds up, and eventually you won't be able to actually switch gears because the bands and gears have all been worn away.

denialJust because you pretend not to see that "Check Oil" light doesn't mean there's not a problem.

4. This light has a purpose
That little light that always seems to be lit up on your dash board? It's says "Check Oil," not "Ignore Me Indefinitely It's Fine," and is getting real tired of not being heard. You actually do have to change your oil from time to time, it's not just a way for auto manufacturers to bother you. RideLust recommended changing your oil every 5,000 miles at the most. The site also noted that by the time the light comes on, it's actually too late, and the oil in your engine has already gone to goop. So stay on top of things by taking your car to NJ Auto Auction, where our mechanics can change your oil and make sure your car is in top shape.

4 tips for protecting your car against rain damage

Spring showers bring May flowers, but they can also bring a whole lot of damage to your vehicle. Everyone knows the harm snow and ice can do to their cars, but many people don't consider the effects of rain. The excess moisture can degrade paint jobs and cause mold to grow if water leaks inside the vehicle, so it's a good idea to know what to do to keep your car in top shape, despite any showers.

Follow these tips to make sure your car is high and dry this season.

1. Rain, rinse, repeat
There's a new mantra you should adopt this season: When it rains, get a car wash. Now, it may not be economical to head to the car wash after every little shower, but if there's a big rainstorm it's vital to make your way over there as soon as possible. According to Auto Detail Doctor, one of the most important times to wash your car is immediately after it rains. Contrary to popular belief, rain is not giving you a free car wash by clearing away dirt and grime on your car – it's actually adding more pollutant-filled soot and sediment to your car's surface. The contaminants in this caked-on layer of yuck actually wear away at your paint job, and a professional scrub can help clear away all this nastiness. At the very least, give your car a rinse in the driveway.

rain"Shoot, did I leave the windows open in the limo?" is all this guy is thinking right now.

2. Close your windows
This one might seem obvious, but how many times have you walked out to your car after a rainstorm to realize you left the windows open the whole time? Everyone's been there. If water leaks into your car's interior, it can damage the fabric and cause a buildup of mold. This spring, make it a habit of always shutting your car windows, especially if rain is on the forecast. Don't forget about closing sunroofs and rear windows, too.

3. Target moisture
If the last tip failed to make an impression on you and you find yourself staring at an inch of water on the floorboards and spongy seats, it's time to get serious about drying out your vehicle. This is a multi-step process. If you've got an inch or more of standing water on the floor of your car, NAPA recommended using a wet/dry vac to suck out as much of it as you can, followed by using thick cloth towels to absorb any water that collected on seats or carpets.

Next, NAPA suggests using heavy airflow to dry out the interior of the vehicle. Open all doors and windows and then place a large fan on the ground near the car, setting it at an angle so that the air blows through the inside of the car. It's most effective to do this drying-out procedure inside your garage and letting the car sit for at least a day. If you're pressed for time or on the road, NAPA noted that you can also use your car's heater to dry out the vehicle, but it's less efficient and should only be used as a temporary solution. Finally, spot-dry any remaining damp areas with a blow dryer.

washGetting a car wash after a rainstorm helps remove harmful contaminants.

4. Out, dang spot
Getting a car wash immediately after a rainstorm will help prevent most waterspots and paint damage, but if you live in an area where the rain is more acidic, it could be a good idea to invest in a paint cleanser. The product will decontaminate the surface of the car's exterior to prevent damage from the rain, explained Dr. Beasley's. Use the paint cleanser after getting a car wash for best results – it removes extra grime and helps protect your car against the next downpour.

5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Vehicle

Take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Now exhale. Ahhhh. What do you smell? The scent of just-bloomed flowers? Of lush green grass? Of air so fresh and pure you could be at the top of the Alps? No, you don't smell any of these things? Well, lucky for you, the first day of spring is right around the corner and that means it's time for some spring cleaning.

Your car goes through a lot during the winter, and has probably accumulated a little junk on the inside and grime on the outside. And who knows, maybe your vehicle was associated with a poor decision or regret or two during the cold season – but let's not get too personal. Regardless, now's a great time to refresh your vehicle for the warm weather ahead. Read on for some tips for spring cleaning your car.

airYour car should be so clean that you should feel like this girl when you're inside it.

1. Wash the right way
Pay attention to which type of cleaner you're using to wash the exterior of your car. You may be tempted to cut costs or save a trip to the store by cleaning your car with dishwashing liquid – it's designed to cut through grime and grease, right? – however, The Family Handyman warned that this is a bad idea, despite the logic. The formula can actually by sucking out important oils from your car's finish, so steer clear of the sudsy stuff. Instead, opt for a cleaner specially made for cars, which you can find at auto parts stores or conveniently online. It's worth the effort to preserve the appearance of your vehicle.

2. Take care of your cleaning mats 
The floor mats in your car are probably one of the dirtiest parts of the vehicle. Take the mats out and shake them, then get to work going through them with a sturdy brush followed by a vacuum to pick up the loosened debris, recommended professional detailer Greg Yoke in a guide for Car Talk. But be careful with your brushing – Yoke noted that many mats and carpets are poorly made, even in higher-end cars, so be sure to brush through the material gently. 

3. Get crafty with the details
The interior of your car has so many tiny grooves that you may be tempted to just let the grime build up for all of eternity. Cleaning these small, hard-to-reach spots is a pinch, though, with some clever tools like paintbrushes and toothbrushes, explained Yoke. 

smelly"Is that smell me?" "No, honey, it's my car."

4. Refresh effectively
Fast food trash, cigarettes, a moldy old coffee cup – cars get smelly fast. What's worse, you might be nose-blind to the, well, unique smell of your car, meaning you don't notice it, but you can be sure everyone else does. Give your car a refresh and get rid of the stench by buying a can of "non-smoke" spray, suggested The Family Handyman. Mist the spray around the inside of your car – with a light hand, and holding it about a foot away from surfaces and fabrics – and then switch the fan on to high and set it to recirculate mode, or max A/C, advised the site. Let it run as is for a little while – you can spray a little of the product into the intake opening of the vent for better scent circulation. Soon your car will smell as good as new. 

5. Rain, rain, go away
Got rain stains on your windows? One Crazy House has a genius idea for getting rid of the spots. WD-40 or hair conditioner that contains lanolin helps erase the marks, and if the conditioner contains silicone as well, wiping a little across your windows will create a barrier to help prevent future rain stains. Who knew?

The service department at NJ State Auto Auction will help you keep your car in tip-top shape this season, whether you need new tires, an oil change or a replacement part. Schedule a consultation with one of its auto service experts today. 

Helpful tips for first-time car buyers

Purchasing a car is certainly exciting, but going through the process for the first time can definitely be intimidating. Once you start considering how many brands, models and dealerships there are to choose from, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and purchase a bus pass instead. If you're currently exploring the car buying landscape for the first time, don't give up just yet – use these handy tips to make the perfect choice.

1. Create a practical budget
Often, one of the most difficult parts of purchasing your first car is figuring out a solid budget. While you want to end up with a high quality vehicle that fulfills all your wants and needs, you don't want to commit to a model you really can't afford. If you're planning to pay cash, come up with a figure you feel comfortable with and start saving. If, like many first-time buyers, you're planning to finance your vehicle through monthly payments, create a budget by looking at all your other monthly expenses and seeing how much income you have left to put towards your new ride. Remember to factor in supplementary costs like gas, insurance, tolls and maintenance fees.

2. Consider looking at used cars
Used cars are excellent options for first-time buyers. Often, you can score great deals on reputable brands that you wouldn't be able to afford brand new – purchasing a previously owned Audi with a few miles on it will be a lot more affordable than buying the brand's most recent model. If you only earned your license recently or are not an experienced driver, you may also feel more comfortable committing to a car that has proven to be reliable to another owner.

While the selection process can be difficult, owning a car is a liberating experience. While the selection process can be difficult, owning a car is a liberating experience.

3. Think about your needs
That SUV may look cool on the lot, but chances are it won't seem so great when you're trying to find parking on a busy city street. Conversely, the tiny compact car you have your eye on won't fare well when you try to bring it to the mountains for your biweekly camping adventures. Before you pick your future ride, it's important to think about what you'll be using it for. Do you plan to take it on long trips? Are you going to need something kid-friendly? Will it have to squeeze into parking garages? Make sure you consider your lifestyle and transportation desires during the buying process.

4. Do some research
Once you have a general sense of what you want, it's time to hop online and do some homework. Take a look at what dealerships and lots are in your area, and decide which ones you'll visit. Be sure to check out the New Jersey State Auto Auction for all your used car needs. 

5. Take some test drives
Of course, looking at cars online isn't quite the same as actually driving them. Even vehicles that receive rave reviews on the Internet might not be great fits for you and your needs. So once you've identified potential models, get out and do some test runs. After getting behind the wheel you'll be able to make the right choice.

Interior detailing

Used Car Owners Can Shine Their Car for Their Next NYC Drive

What’s better than a brand new car? How about a car that feels brand new, but costs substantially less? That’s what we can offer you at our used car dealership near NYC, and you can keep the magic alive by taking these inexpensive measures to keep your car looking and feeling like new. And with spring coming up, there’s never been a better time to get your car ready for an open-window cruise!

Use the Clean Slate Approach

  • The deep clean: It may seem obvious, but nothing provides a clean slate quite like a good detailing job. Get your car deep-cleaned (or take care of it yourself). Throw away any trash, organize everything in that chaotic glove box, and enjoy the sight of a clean car interior.
  • Mind Your Surroundings: Are you in the habit of bringing your trash with you when you leave your car? If you’re not, it’s a good habit to develop, made easier once you’ve had your car detailed- it may cause you physical pain to see food wrappers or tissues in your car after putting so much effort into cleaning it.
  • Clean the windows: Pets and kids: the two most lovable sources of inexplicable prints on your car windows. Use a special glass cleaner to get any particularly stubborn stuff off of the inside and out, and then use a regular window cleaner to really get them to shine.

Car wash

  • “Less beat-up mats will look nice and also keep your floor protected.”

    Replace the floor mats: The NYC area can be subjected to brutal winters and unpleasant weather. There’s a good chance your original floor mats are caked in road salt and mud- so it’s advisable to replace them every once in awhile with weather-appropriate ones. Less beat-up mats will look nice and also keep your floor protected.

  • Get rid of dents and scratches: Has your car been battered around a little bit? Little dents and scratches here and there happen to everyone. There are a number of quick fixes for issues like that and it may pay off in the long run if you have an older car that may rust.

 

Drivers, start your engines…and then head over to your local car wash for a detail. You’re on the path to a car makeover that will transform every ride! Pay us a visit to find the next car, truck, van or SUV that you’ll tend to lovingly so it feels like-new every drive!

Used cars near NYC

9 Valentine’s Day car gifts for your loved one

February is officially here, which means it's time to start brainstorming the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your significant other. Whether you adore the holiday or simply wish it would disappear, there's a chance your loved one is probably hoping you got them a gift either way. Instead of settling for the usual box of chocolates or cute greeting card, why not opt for a present that will last? This year, consider gifting your Valentine a car-related present. Not only will it make him extremely happy, but it'll give his car the much needed TLC after driving through the harsh winter weather.

Here are nine great Valentine's Day car gift ideas for your significant other.

1. Car washing kit
Who doesn't love a clean, spotless ride? Sometimes, taking your car to the auto or detail shop for a good wash can end up costing more than you bargained for. Instead of making your loved one choose between an expensive carwash and a muddy car, Autobytel suggested gifting your Valentine a car wash kit so he can handle the mess without paying the price. Offer to take care of the first wash to make the gift even better.

2. A car cover
Shouldn't there be a way for your loved one to protect his ride after all of the hard work and detailing that's been put into it? Consider buying him a car cover to protect his vehicle from Mother Nature's elements. Showing him you care about his hard work and dedication can get you a few bonus points in the relationship, don't you think?

"Consider giving your Valentine a jump starter."

3. A jump starter
Nothing ruins a night out like realizing you accidently left your lights on, only to stumble back to a car with a dead battery. Having jumper cables in your ride is great, but what if there's no one around to give you the jump start? Don't let your significant other wait around all night for someone to show up, instead, gift him a jump starter. Not only will it keep him from hoping a friendly, helpful stranger comes to the rescue, but it'll get him home to you much quicker, too.

4. A backup camera
What better way to soup up your loved one's car than by giving him a backup camera for Valentine's Day? Not only will it add a new touch of technology to his ride, but it'll provide safety and accident-free reverse driving.

5. Dent or scratch removal
If you're really trying to think outside the box for a Valentine's Day gift, The Car Connection recommended surprising your significant other by paying for dent or scratch removal for those pesky flaws in his car. You might not think the scratches or dents are even noticeable, but it's safe to say your car-loving spouse thinks otherwise. Simply schedule an appointment for him at the closest removal shop and let him know you'll take care of the bill.

Get rid of that pesky dent in your lover's car. Get rid of that pesky dent in your lover's car.

5. Custom seat covers
If your lover's car interior is in need of a little TLC, consider gifting him some custom seat covers. Not only will it add a new, stylish touch to his ride, but it's a lot cheaper than stripping the old interior and replacing it with new leather upholstery. Pay close attention to his style to help you decide which material would suit his car best.

6. A portable hand vacuum
There's nothing worse than dragging your vacuum cleaner out to the garage, searching for a long extension cord and then hoping it's powerful enough to suck up every last pebble in the floor mats. Instead of watching your significant other struggle to keep his ride clean, gift him a portable handheld vacuum. It'll help him keep his car spotless without the hassle of a huge, awkward vacuum cleaner.

7. New tires
If you're looking to take a huge weight off your loved one's shoulders, consider buying him a new set of tires. The winter weather is always unpredictable, so it might be safer to wait until the snow storms are finished for the season. Regardless, letting your lover know you'll pay for the fresh rubber when the time comes will be enough of a gift.

Let your loved one know you'll pay for a new set of tires for him.Let your loved one know you'll pay for a new set of tires for him.

8. A gas gift card
While the National average gas price is currently only $1.79, according to AAA, no one really enjoys paying for gas, regardless of the low prices. Buying a prepaid gas gift card is a great present for anyone, whether your significant other spends tons of time on the road or not. This is a thoughtful gift that can go a long way, especially if gas prices keep dropping.

9. The little things
Want to play it on the safe side? Give your loved one a variety of car gifts that he'll make good use of, regardless of his style or taste. Boston.com suggested filling a basket with de-icer spray, car cleansing wipes, a pair of sunglasses and a sunglasses clip for the visor of his ride. He'll appreciate the effort you made to provide him with the little things that can help make the most of his commute.

If your Valentine is searching for a high-quality car this month, tell him to check out NJ State Auto Auction. There, he'll find a lot full of Car-fax certified vehicles to choose from, offering plenty of different car options to fit his needs and desires.

5 winter must-have items for your car

Winter can be an intimidating time of the year for drivers. Instead of worrying about the next big blizzard, take steps to ensure you'll be safe in your car. It's always important to prepare for the worst road conditions to ensure top safety during your commute. Take the stress off yourself during the remaining days of the snow season and equip your car with these winter must-have items.

1. A full tank of gas
To be on the safe side, Carchex blog suggested always having a full tank of gas during the winter. Sometimes, the frigid temperatures can cause your fuel tank to freeze, which can keep your car from starting. Keeping a full tank of gas at all times can help prevent this from happening.

2. A phone charger
Nothing is more stressful than worrying about what you'll do if your phone dies during a harsh winter blizzard. Avoid having anxiety and invest in a car phone charger. This is a simple way to keep you calm during a snow storm and ensure your phone will be good to go in a time of need.

Invest in a car phone charger to keep your phone from dying in a crucial time of need. Invest in a car phone charger to keep your phone from dying in a time of need.

3. Winter tires
Winter tires might cost you a pretty penny, but Bankrate said they're worth it when driving in harsh weather conditions – especially if you live somewhere that sees a ton of snow. Investing in winter tires can save you time and money in the long run, which would've most likely been spent waiting on and paying for a tow truck.

"Sprinkling kitty litter under your tires can improve traction."

4. Sand or kitty litter
Kitty litter might sound like a strange item to keep in your car, but it works just as well as sand does in an icy situation, according to the Farmer's Almanac. If your car get lodged in snow or stuck on an icy road way, sprinkling sand or kitty litter under your tires can help improve traction. The extra weight of keeping the bag in your trunk can also add pressure to the back tires, which can help you out of a sticky situation.

5. A first-aid kit
Keeping a first-aid kit in your car is extremely important during the winter in case of an accident. It's hard to say when help will arrive during a snow storm, so being able to clean up and bandage any minors cuts until someone arrives can make you feel more comfortable in the situation.

If you're looking for a new ride to get you through the rest of the snow season, check out NJ Auto Junction for a variety of great quality pre-owned cars.

How to clean your car without washing it

There's nothing better than driving around in a freshly washed and detailed car. Unfortunately, sometimes Mother Nature doesn't care that you just spent your time and hard-earned cash giving your car a bath. Instead, she throws mud in your path or even introduces a bird to your windshield. Regardless of the fight you put up with the environment over having a clean car, it's just not practical to give your ride a thorough wash multiple times in the month. For those who still want a shiny, clean car no matter what the circumstances may be, there are plenty of other water-free options.

Here are a few ways to clean your car without washing it.

Clean your windshield
Cleaning your windshield alone can make such a huge difference, especially if it's visibly hazy. Not only is keeping your windshield clear a huge safety factor, but it also makes your car sparkle, which allows you to feel a lot better about its appearance. Taking your car to the gas station to clean your windows is extremely easy, but you can make it even simpler on yourself by keeping glass cleaner in your car. Also, leave a roll of paper towels or a microfiber towel in the trunk for convenience. Edmunds suggested investing in a squeegee for cleaning purposes as well as removing dew from your windshield in the morning.

Consider investing in a squeegee for streak-free windshield washing.Consider investing in a squeegee for streak-free windshield washing.

Use a car-cleansing product
If your car's looking spotty but it's not worth giving it a thorough wash, consider trying a car surface cleaner. Bankrate said using a waterless car-wash product is a great way to get your car spotless with minimal time and effort. Liberally spray the cleaner all over your car and use a microfiber towel to wipe away the grime and dirt. Start at the top so the dirt works its way down and falls off the car. Once you have finished the cleanse, wipe the car with a dry towel to get rid of any leftover moisture. Your car will sparkle and shine, casting the illusion that you just came from the car wash.

"Shake up the floor mats for a quick and easy improvement."

Clean up your floor mats
It doesn't matter what season it is – dirt, leaves, gravel and everything in between always seem to find a way onto the floors of your car. If you don't have the time to vacuum out the interior of your vehicle, simply shake out the floor mats into the grass. This is an easy and effective way to make a huge difference in your floor's appearance.

Remove all of the trash
When it comes to keeping your car clean, the interior's look makes an impression, too. Empty out the trash you may be hoarding in your car and leave a small bin or bag in the backseat for future use. This can help minimize how much garbage you leave in your car and can help make space for useful precious cargo. After you've de-cluttered the cabin of your car, Edmunds suggested buying a deodorizer to eliminate any odors left over from the trash. This will also help maximize the feeling of cleanliness.

If you're looking for a high-quality used car to keep clean this season, check out NJ State Auto Auction. There, you'll find a lot full of Carfax-certified vehicles to choose from, giving you plenty of options for finding the perfect car for you.