2914 Wilmington Rd. New Castle, PA 16105 724-657-1551 matt@castlecarcompany.com

Why August is the Perfect Month to Buy A Car

As a savvy consumer, you know that there’s better or worse circumstances to make big purchases, like a car or a house. Larger overall factors like interest rates are important to consider, as well as personal factors including your own budget. No matter the circumstances, you're more than likely looking to get the best deal you possibly can, so it’s in your interest to make sure you make the purchase at a time that works for your budget and schedule, but you may not have considered how timing affects the dealership you’re buying from. Dealers go through ups and downs like any other business does, and it’s fairly common knowledge that dealers are willing to sell for slightly less towards the end of the month. However, that’s nowhere near the end of factors that can influence how much you end up paying, and as an informed consumer, you’d probably like to know what else to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy a car. When is the best time to buy a car? Let us enlighten you! Read on to find out more.

What’s the best month to buy a car? This is the first key question to ask, as weather and climate play a significant role in how willing people are to purchase a vehicle, and by proxy, how much a dealership NEEDS to make a sale. On a traditional lot, a majority of the initial selling experience happens outside, so a continued string of bad weather can be devastating for a car dealer's bottom line. In addition, new model year vehicles release in September, so dealerships of both used and new cars are likely to make room on their lots for newer vehicles, as new vehicles replace used vehicles, and those vehicles get sent to lots that specialize in selling off those used vehicles. This domino effect can save you money, as car lots may be more ready to take a deal on a car simply to get it off their lot, making room for a newer model year to replace it. If you're buying from a strictly used car dealer, you're still likely to feel the savings as an after-effect, since the new cars coming out will often either be sold back relatively quickly, or people buying the new vehicles sell their used cars to a used car dealership instead of trading it to the place they're buying their new car. No matter where you go, this time of year will have a significant effect on buying a car.

This makes the best time to buy a car during the month of August, as this is when dealers are anticipating the new model year approaching. That being said, the chip shortage that has taken over news of the auto industry means that vehicles may be released at a different frequency and pattern as time goes on, especially if the chip shortage will continue for the foreseeable future. Not all vehicles are being affected to the same degree, with some makes and models being hit particularly hard by the chip shortage, so your mileage may vary when it comes to the perfect time to buy a car. That being said, in general, August is a solid pick for the best time to buy a car.

However, this raises another question: If the month in which you buy doesn’t necessarily always get you a better deal, is there a better day of the week or time of day that you can buy a car to save money? Given conditions this year, if you find a car you really like and need, it’s best to just buy it, as inventory is lower across the board than average by quite a bit, but assuming you have the time to wait, think, and negotiate, studies show that Tuesdays and Sundays are generally your best days to buy a vehicle. Thursdays are generally the worst day of the week to buy, though this is commonly associated with the trend of offering promotions and deals on a Friday, meaning you miss these specials by a day. If you have no reason to believe that the dealer you're purchasing from will be offering a special or a discount on Friday, there's functionally no difference between these last two days of the week when it comes to car purchasing.

However, we find it necessary to point out a common misconception that’s come up in our research on the topic. Less scrupulous buyers might intuitively understand that buying towards the end of the day might be profitable, the idea being that the dealer will not want to spend the extra time at the end of the day negotiating. Having heard from many people that have tried this technique, the vast majority of car dealers will simply put up their “Closed” sign and continue negotiating. Their entire business rides on the ability to make a profitable deal, most dealers will not hesitate to negotiate for as long as it takes to make the sale, anything short of sleeping at the dealership and starting the negotiation again in the morning is fair game for a car dealer. If you’re looking to buy a car, you’re best off starting the buying process near when the dealership opens, so you’ll have enough time to be out the door before closing and actually get to enjoy your vehicle on that first day of ownership. In fact, you may actually get a better deal this way, as it commonly takes a car salesman an entire day, or the majority of a day, to make a sale. If you can be in and out before the end of the afternoon, a dealer may even offer a little bit of a lower price given that they know you're planning on making the purchase now without wasting the dealer's time or your own.

Another great time to buy a vehicle, one you might not have thought of, is three-day weekends. Any Federal holiday weekend is a great time to make your purchase, as dealers expect to be making a lot of deals given that people have the extra time, and most will offer some sort of special to celebrate. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Labor Day, and Indigenous People's Day are all times where dealers are likely to offer specials, incentives, or special promotions that can save you a lot of money. If you can wait until an event like this, it's most optimal for your car-buying experience, but otherwise, the end of the month is generally a good time to buy. However, not all dealers are held to the same principles of timing, so you can't expect a guaranteed lower price on the vehicle just because it's the end of the month, especially if the dealership has had a good month in sales up until that point.

To summarize, your best time to buy is late in the month, with August being the best month, early in the day. If you're in need of a vehicle now, it's probably not in your best interest to wait until August, but given that this is being written during August, time is certainly on your side if you're looking to buy a vehicle this month.

Overall, time of day and time of month can both factor in significantly to the final ending price of a vehicle. You can't necessarily expect huge savings off of either or both, but keeping these timeframes in mind may lead to your car-buying experience being faster, more efficient, and most importantly, the cheapest it can be. Don't forget to ask about financing through the dealership, as they may be able to get you approved for a deal faster than other methods, given that they're also incentivized to help you get approved so the deal can go through. You can apply for financing through us here! To see our whole inventory, click here!

What You Need to Know About Driving in Heavy Rain

With torrential rain on the forecast for the near future here on the east coast, it's important to know how best to navigate the situations that can arise due to bad weather. Rain in particular can be severely dangerous, as it obstructs your visibility, reduces the friction your tires have with the road's surface, makes it harder to hear what's going on outside of the car, and more. It's important that both you and your vehicle are equipped to handle the situation, as weather conditions are one of the top reasons that car accidents happen, especially to those who are inexperienced with handling the particular weather that accompanies any climate. For example, if you'd recently moved here from Arizona, you'd simply have less familiarity with handling road conditions that arise here in Pennsylvania, as the climate is simply entirely different. At Castle Car Company, we want to make sure you get the most out of your vehicle, so in light of the incipient rain, we've decided to write a guide on how to handle driving in a few situations that Pennsylvania drivers are all too familiar with. Make sure to read to the end, as a lot of this information may be things that you already know, we aim to provide some tips and tricks that even the most experienced driver will be able to apply next time things get bad outside.

1. Windshield wipers are critical!

Rain, snow, sleet and hail can occur quickly, with very little warning. When this happens, your windshield wipers may be the only thing keeping you safe. When windshield wipers start to degrade, it's best to get them replaced immediately. On the plus side, windshield wipers are generally quite cheap to replace, generally the entire cost of the repair will be less than $40, with between 8 and 15 of that going towards labor. If you do it yourself, you can save those few extra dollars, though be warned that windshield wipers can be SURPRISINGLY hard to replace. It really depends on the specific setup that your vehicle uses, and while it shouldn't require the use of any tools you don't have, they're often finicky to install at best. Leaving it up to a professional isn't a bad idea, but your own mechanical skills will play a role in how well they stay attached to the arm that holds them. Windshield wipers that have gone too long without replacement can leave streaks, making visibility even worse given how much precipitation can obstruct your vision to begin with, making bad weather driving much worse. In addition, wipers that have been left on for MUCH too long can start to lose the rubber along the surface that actually cleans the windshield, leaving scratches and creating pools of water where normal wipers would simply clear the area. Old windshield wipers can also make chattering and squeaking noises, which are annoying on their own, but indicate a deeper need to replace the parts. Simply put, if they're not 100% effective, it's time to replace them.

2. Maintain speed control!

While everyone is aware of the present danger snow can present on the road, rain can be every bit as dangerous, and the apex of this danger isn't when you'd intuitively think it would be. Hydroplaning is something to keep in mind, for which speed control is essential, but the most dangerous part of a rainstorm when it comes to driving is actually when the rain first starts to fall. The first 10-20 minutes of driving on newly wet roads is the most dangerous, the explanation for which is that the vehicles passing over the road drip oil and other car fluids onto the roadway. Usually, they'll simply dry up and remain on the surface of the road for as long as conditions remain dry. When the rain starts, however, oil and other substances rise to the top of the water, meaning that this oily slick is the first thing your tire is touching when it rolls over that portion of road. This means that those first few minutes of a rainstorm can create areas of roadway that are entirely oily, and as you can imagine, your tires' friction against these surfaces drops exponentially. This doesn't mean that you should slow your vehicle to a crawl, however, as this makes you a danger to other drivers who are maintaining a higher speed. As always, your best bet is to try to keep with the flow of traffic, but if it feels like you're losing traction, it's best to lower your speed incrementally so as not to alert other drivers, giving them time to adjust to your new speed. While you're more responsible as a person for slowing down, this will not help you if you get hit by a car that wasn't paying attention, so be sure that you're paying attention to the speed of other drivers around you.

3. Bad weather? Headlights on.

Even if it was bright and sunny moments ago, be sure that you turn your headlights on when the rain starts. Gray and white cars are more common and popular than ever before, and given the lighting conditions in your average rainstorm, your car can pretty easily blend in with the roadway if a driver is glancing your direction. Nothing else looks like a set of headlights, and while they're also for improving your vision, a key feature of the headlights is that other drivers are more easily able to see you. Many, many accidents could have been prevented if a driver had their headlights on, so make sure to keep yourself off that list by doing what those drivers didn't.

4. Make sure your tires are the best they can be.

We've talked a lot about how road conditions can affect your tires, but it's equally important to know how the tread of your tires affects your time on the road. There's no replacement for having good tires, and while this can be a surprisingly costly expense, the safety and ride quality that new tires can provide definitely justify the expense. Besides the fact that you can receive a ticket for your tires not having enough tread on them, even a little bit of moisture on the road can be devastating for vehicles with no tread. If your tires are well worn enough, your tires can even spin on entirely dry roads, meaning you have a lot less control even under ideal conditions. Rain and snow only make this worse, and while experienced, careful driving techniques can counteract this to a point, simply put, you need good tires with good tread. Tires can be made for a wide variety of different focuses, whether it be grip, noise reduction, ride comfort, speed or cornering, all of those have significant advantages over a tire without tread. If your tires are worn enough, even an extremely cheap set of new tires will be better than your current ones, so be sure to get those changed out before the season with the most severe road conditions.

5. Understanding hydroplaning.

We mentioned it earlier in this guide, but hydroplaning deserves some explanation. Under normal circumstances, when you encounter a puddle on the road, your tire will push most of the water out of the way as your treads make contact with the road. However, if the water is deeper than 1/10th of an inch, and you're going too fast, generally above 35mph, your tires will instead skid across the top of the water, the surface tension of the water keeping your vehicle "afloat" for a moment as you maintain speed. This is extremely dangerous for a number of reasons, the most significant of which being that you lose the ability to turn during this time. When your tire passes over the puddle, the most dangerous part of the process is actually when you regain traction. While you're hydroplaning, turning the wheel can be dangerous, as you won't actually readjust the direction of the vehicle, just the wheels. When you regain traction, your car will suddenly shift in the direction the tires are pointing. If you've turned too far, this can lead to sliding, drifting, or even a rollover. When you start to hydroplane, which you'll definitely be able to feel, make sure that you take your foot off the gas, but don't hit the brakes. Braking will only complicate the situation without slowing you down. Keep your wheels as straight as you can, and if you must turn, turn the wheel only about halfway as far as you normally would. Assuming it's not a huge puddle, the jolt of regaining traction won't throw your car off too far, meaning you'll be able to bring it back under control before any issues arise.

6. Some final tips.

When the elements have taken over the roadway, it's important to ensure you have enough distance between yourself and the next driver. As things get worse, it's advisable to double or triple the distance you'd normally put between yourself and the next driver in front of you and behind you. Keep in mind that even if your driving is textbook perfection, it only takes one other driver making one mistake to cause an accident, and the closer you are to that other driver, the more likely your insurance company is going to have to hear about it. When merging, take extra steps to ensure that you're clear before you merge, as other drivers may not have their lights on, and given visibility, it may be more difficult to see them. Turn signals are also a huge help, so make sure you're using them during bad weather, though you should be using them at all times anyways. Finally, if conditions get too bad for your driving experience level or your vehicle itself, it can be advisable to simply pull over. You may be late for something, but late is always better than dead or injured, and nature does not adhere to your timetable. Take the time you need, wait for conditions to get better, then get back on the road. If you are going to pull over, make sure you get entirely out of the roadway, and turn off all lights. Many accidents have occurred due to one car pulling over to wait out conditions but leaving their lights on, so another driver with bad visibility simply follows the red lights of the car in front of them, leading to a car that's entirely off the roadway being hit by a well-meaning driver. If you're going to pull over, pull the whole way over and make it clear that you're no longer driving.

With all these in mind, you should be much better prepared to take on the elements, no matter what they may be for your area and climate. If you're looking for something that's a bit better suited to bad weather, we've got quite the variety of off-road and reliable vehicles on our lot, and would be happy to put you in any of them! Check out our inventory and give us a call at 724-657-1551 if you'd like more information about any of them!

What You Need to Know About Hybrid Cars

The automotive world is always changing, and here at Castle Car Company, we aim to keep you informed of as much of it as we can. Given that hybrid and full-electric vehicles have been experiencing a surge of popularity in the past few years, we find it fit to give you an in-depth look at the history of electric vehicles, their current state in the market and in the world, as well as the future of hybrid and electric vehicles. Hybrid cars have gained a small, but viable, share of the market, and industry trends predict that they will become more and more common as time goes on.

History

While internal combustion engines, or ICEs, have been around since 1886, and have primarily held the massive majority of market share in the automobile market, electric vehicles have been around almost as long! The first electric vehicle was built and produced in 1832, but was expensive and not particularly viable as a means of daily or long-distance transportation. They weren’t refined to the point that they could be marketed to the masses until the 1880’s, just a few years before the rise of ICEs. Gasoline was accepted as a viable fuel in 1892, so a world of electric vehicles isn’t necessarily that far out of the question, given that it was almost the case from the very beginning of the car industry. As a brief historic note, diesel first gained acceptance and popularity in 1893, so most common fuel sources on today’s vehicles emerged in the same general time period.

While electric vehicles did experience an initial surge of popularity, the low cost of fossil fuels meant that ICEs ultimately became the industry standard for vehicles of all types. In recent years, the hybrid vehicle has also become an industry standard, starting with the Toyota Prius in 1997 in Japan, being released to the rest of the world in 1999. They’ve garnered a strong response from people all over the world, though they’re generally seen as less powerful than a standard gasoline engine.

Current Market

While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s a few indisputable good traits about hybrid cars at large. They are environmentally friendly, and reduce your emissions overall. They burn less gas than a standard gasoline engine, though you’ll still have to stop for fuel every now and then. Given the price of gas, saving money on fuel is going to be a concern for anyone that’s in the market for a different vehicle. Hybrid vehicles tend to be quieter than others, as electric motors and batteries both make less noise than their gas-powered counterparts.

They often require less maintenance than their gas or diesel, given that the ICE part of the powertrain is in use less often due to the battery providing power when needed.

Though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to hybrid cars. Though you might be paying less in fuel and maintenance in the long run, the upfront cost of purchasing the car is likely to be higher. When maintenance is needed, it’s likely to be more expensive, and you may need a specialty mechanic, as the garages in your area may not have the tools or experience needed to work on a hybrid. They still do create fossil fuel emissions, just less so than a regular engine. It also varies quite a bit by make and model, but hybrids tend to be slower than standard ICE powered engines. Your average American ICE vehicle will go from 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds, whereas your average American hybrid vehicle will do the same in approximately 10 seconds. Toyota Prius in particular has a bit of a reputation for being slow, but when you're saving a ton on fuel costs, a little extra time spent on the commute can be well worth it.

Future

As industry trends grow and develop, it's hard to predict where the market will take things. As the market share for hybrids and electrics grows each year, it's easy to assume that this trend will continue, but many different factors could change the rate of development. Gasoline powered engines tend to get more efficient with each passing model year, and new forms of hybrid technology grow and improve at the same rate. We're seeing more electric cars on the road than ever before, due primarily to Tesla, but bolstered by industry standards like Ford and Chevrolet. It would be reasonable to assume that both will continue for the foreseeable future, and beyond that, but there's always the chance of a new idea rising. Before the rise of the motor-powered car, it would've been hard to predict exactly how much impact it would have on the way we live and do business, and that same problem remains to this day. Concept vehicles have been produced that run on ethanol, solar power, wind power, grain alcohol, kitchen grease and more, and while they may seem to be outlandish changes from the standard model, revolutionary technology tends to look that way before it takes over.

We feel that the current paradigm will continue for at least another 10 years or so, but in the meantime, you're going to need a vehicle of your own, so check out our inventory! We generally carry a few hybrid models at any given time, and would be happy to give you any information you need on any of the vehicles on our lot.

What's the best used Jeep for sale in 2022

If you're looking for a Jeep, you're in the right place! Castle Car Company specializes in Jeep products, including the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Grand Cherokee and more, and our history with Jeep vehicles gives us insight into which Jeep would be best for you. Jeep has an impressive selection of vehicles to choose from, and at this point, there's so many trim levels and packages that it's enough to make your head spin! To keep things a bit clearer for our customers and the community at large, we've written this guide into Jeep models and trim levels, so you can be better informed when it's time to buy a Jeep.

We'll start with the various models of Jeep available, and discuss how they can be discerned from one another. When it comes to Jeep, all of their vehicles have distinctive body outlines, so you should easily be able to tell the difference between them at a distance. The trim level entails features and functions of the vehicle, and while most auto manufacturers give the trim levels names that indicate their trim level with intuitive names, like "Sport" vs. "Premium," Jeep's distinctive trim levels are a bit more in-depth than that. However, they'll almost universally come with a badge or decal that indicates what trim level it is.

Starting off with the most popular model of Jeep on the market, the Jeep Wrangler has a distinctive, boxy body design. It's got the iconic round headlamps, a rectangular cab, squared off wheel wells, and a look that screams "off-road potential." It's long been a favorite of campers, outdoorsmen, people with jobs that take them into the backcountry, farmers, ranchers, families and more. It offers a surprising amount of cargo space given its size, there's two rows of seating for anyone you'd like to bring with you, it's an solid all-around pick for anything that calls for you going off-road. More than likely, the Jeep Wrangler is exactly what you're looking for!

The Jeep Gladiator is a newer Jeep offering that serves the role of a pickup truck. It essentially looks like someone attached a truck bed to the back of a Jeep Wrangler, and while it is its own distinct vehicle, it's an easy way to distinguish the two. It's the only convertible truck available on the market, no other manufacturer offers a convertible pickup as of the time of writing this. There's nothing else like it! The bed is spacious and useful, especially with a bedliner, which improves the durability of the bed greatly, as well as making the bed easier to wash when it's dirty from a long day of work. It's a respectable off-road vehicle in its own right, but some trim packages make it even more off-road ready! We'll cover which ones that entails when we get to trim levels.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most traditional-looking among Jeep vehicles. While it does have distinct styling that Jeep is known for, with a boxy frame overall, it's more rounded than other Jeep offerings. They're commonly used as police cruisers, which says a lot about their durability, as police cars are expected to last 200,000 miles before being retired. The headlamps are more box-shaped, generally with driving lights underneath to provide additional contouring to its frame under nighttime conditions. It's just as off-road capable, but it has the appearance of a daily driver, with additional interior cargo space that can be expanded by folding the seats down. Some Grand Cherokees even offer a 3rd row of seating! They're often confused with the Jeep Compass, which has a similar shape and size.

There's also the Jeep Renegade, which is far easier to distinguish, as its brake lights have a distinct X shape in the middle. It's also an SUV, though it's more fit for road-based traveling than off-roading. It's a very nice SUV, just not built to be taken off-road. You can modify them to do that, of course, but it's not the primary focus of the vehicle. It stands out in any parking lot, so if you want to spend less time hunting down your vehicle in crowded lots, here's your pick!

Now that we've covered the vast majority of Jeep's models, it's time to discuss trim packages. We'll start from the most basic, and work our way up to the most well-fitted trim levels.

Sport is the base model for Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators, it comes with the fewest features that Jeep offers. It still comes with a good engine, suspension, backup camera and more. Basic isn't a bad thing, especially when it comes to Jeep, but if you're looking for something you won't have to modify to take off-road, you might have to go up a level or two.

Sport S is the next package up, which is mostly identical to the Sport, except for the direct-injection Turbo engine. This brings about a significant savings when it comes to fuel efficiency, as well as power.

Altitude is the next package in line, which boasts a few cosmetic details including fender badges and headlamp inserts. It also comes with the hardtop convertible top, which allows you to go topless on hot days.

Sahara, above Altitude, offers Selec-Trac 4X4 capability, and an upgraded touchscreen infotainment system.

This is where it starts getting a little confusing. The Sahara Altitude, not to be confused with the Sahara or the Altitude, combines the best features of both the Sahara and Altitude, all cosmetic and off-road features from both are included, as well as a few small extras.

If you want to be able to buy the vehicle and drive it straight down a trail, you're going to want to get a Rubicon or better. The Rubicon comes with an even better 4X4 setup, the Rock-Trac 4X4, plus a powered convertible top that operates at the push of a button. It also comes with an electronic differential, which means that the vehicle will be able to sense where wheels are getting traction and send power there accordingly. It's the perfect vehicle for low-speed rock crawling, as it can get up and over just about anything!

Above that, there's the MOAB, which combines the off-road capability of the Rubicon with the styling and creature comforts from the Sahara. It's arguably the best Wrangler on the market for all purposes.

However, with all this in mind, Jeeps are a very commonly modified vehicle, so it's not like you can't buy a lower trim level and upgrade it for whichever purposes best suit your needs, but here at Castle Car Company, we work to make the car buying process the easiest it can be. Stop in today, tell us all about what you're looking for, and we'll put you in the perfect vehicle! Click here to check out our inventory!

Beat The Heat! 7 Tips for Summer Car Maintenance

When it comes to your car, it’s impossible to overstate how much the weather can impact it. While everyone is familiar with the pitfalls of winter driving, ensuring you have adequate tread on your tires to handle slippery conditions and starting your car early to defrost, summer car maintenance has a slightly different rulebook when prioritizing what to take care of and what can wait.

Let us guide you through some of the key points you should focus on when you’re looking to keep your car nice during the summer. Take care of these 7 things, and you should have no problems at all until winter rolls around!

1. Test the AC!

You know just what a relief it can be to get into a properly cooled-off car after some work out in the sun, so before the really hot days come around, make sure to test your air conditioning! If your car is older, or you’re simply a heavy user of the air conditioning, there’s a chance you’ll need to refill the refrigerant in the AC system. You can purchase a can of this refrigerant for between $30 and $50, and this is more than likely going to fix the problem, or at very least, make sure that the AC you’re getting is as cool as it can be. Further AC problems may need a mechanic’s touch to diagnose and repair, but taking this step early means that you’ll have the necessary knowledge to make sure you get that cool breeze flowing through your car at all times. Car maintenance isn't always fun, but it's always rewarding!

2. Check your tires’ air pressure.

The shift from cool air to hot air and vice versa can have a surprisingly large impact on your ride quality, gas mileage, and alignment of your steering. Make sure to check all 4 of your tires, ensuring they’re filled to the optimal level without being overfilled. Don’t forget to check your emergency spare tire as well, as you’ll never know when you might need it! Keeping a car nice requires work from time to time, but at least this one is free at most gas stations, and only takes a minute! As far as how to keep a car nice, this is one of the easiest, fastest ways to improve ride quality.

3. Check your antifreeze/coolant level.

Keeping your car’s engine cool in the summer is every bit as important as keeping it warm in the winter. Overheating can lead to a wide variety of engine problems, none of which you’ll be excited about. Engine repairs can be expensive and lengthy procedures, whereas antifreeze generally only costs a few dollars a bottle. Save yourself the headache down the line, top off the coolant and make sure you don’t have any leaks, drive it around a little bit after filling it to make sure you’re not losing any fluid from the engine’s standard operation. To keep a car nice, you have to make sure the car itself works, and a lack of coolant is one of the fastest ways to ruin a car.

4. Replace your windshield wipers.

Visibility is key when it comes to driving, as you can only take action in response to what you see. Not seeing deer, for example, has lead to the deaths of many deer and the infuriation of many a driver. Winter conditions are particularly harsh on windshield wipers, due to ice buildup on both the windshield itself and the wipers, which are usually kept dormant at the bottom of the windshield when not in use. The worst way to find out your wiper blades aren’t cutting it is when you’re about to hit something, get them changed if you’ve had the same set since winter.

5. Rotate your tires!

While making sure you have the correct amount of air in your tires is critical, tires don’t wear at the same rate. Whether you have 4WD, RWD, FWD or AWD, it will affect the rate at which your tires’ tread wears away, in addition to all your regular driving habits. If the wheels’ alignment is off, this can also lead to one side of the tire wearing down much faster than the other. Regular rotation of tires can help to balance this out, most mechanics recommend rotating the tires every 3 to 5 thousand miles. Improper tire tread wear can lead to more fuel spent per mile, a lot more road noise, the steering of the vehicle pulling to one side, there’s a lot of issues that can arise from it. Make sure to get them rotated, your car will thank you!

6. Clean/replace air filters.

There’s two critical air filters to keep in mind when it comes to your vehicle. The main one in regards to your vehicle itself is the engine air filter, which purifies air before it processes through the engine itself. How often to change it is dependent on the type of vehicle, as well as the conditions in which you drive. If you’re in dusty conditions, for example, you’ll need to change it out more often. Failing to change it as needed can lead to poor ride quality, the engine might start to chug more often, as it’s essentially suffocating. Engine air filters are generally fairly cheap to change, and it can also improve your fuel efficiency, so don’t put it off. The cabin air filter is part of your heating/cooling system, and as you might imagine, it filters the air that flows into the cabin itself. It only needs to be changed every 15 to 45 thousand miles, but if you’ve never done it before, you’ll definitely notice the difference once you do.

7. Test your brakes.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check those brakes! Salt, ice, and a lot of other winter factors can cause your brakes to be less effective, though brakes need to be changed out approximately every 10 to 20 thousand miles regardless. If your brakes are feeling a little bit squishy, or are making a grinding/rubbing noise when you brake, you almost certainly need new brake pads. As long as you have a jack, it’s possible to do it yourself, though if you have a warranty you might as well have a garage do it. It should be a fairly cheap job, regardless, but without good brakes, even a really nice vehicle could be dangerous. Between tires and brakes, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and we want to make sure you don’t risk your life or your ride over something you can take care of at relatively low cost.

With all these in mind, you should be free and clear to drive all summer! Make sure to get out there and enjoy the driving weather while it lasts! If you're in the market for a car, don't forget to check out our inventory here!

5 Important Things to Know When Buying a Truck

Trucks can be a large investment, especially with the combined price of vehicles and fuel these days, so it's all the more important that you know you're picking the correct truck when it's time to make a purchase. If you find yourself asking, "which truck should I buy?" it's critical to have your criteria upfront. Maybe you'll be doing a lot of hauling with it, maybe it's more for off-roading purposes, but no matter what you're purchasing it for, there's a few key details that you definitely shouldn't overlook. To help you decide on which truck would be best for you, we've compiled this guide to ensure the truck you buy matches the capabilities you need to be satisfied with the vehicle. No two trucks are exactly the same, and the differences in engineering, pricing, fuel economy and more can all factor in to sway your final decision on your purchase. Based on the needs of most truck owners, we've decided what the most important criteria are, to better help you make your decision.

1. Fuel economy.

With gas prices at record highs, it's more important than ever to ensure that you're getting adequate mileage for the fuel you put in. Without fuel, a truck is simply an expensive ornament for your driveway, so make sure you have the budget to sustainably fuel up your truck. Don't overlook diesel engines, however. Even though the fuel is more expensive per gallon, it's more efficient overall, as diesel fuel simply packs more energy per gallon than gasoline. To contrast this, however, diesel is more expensive per gallon, and there are fewer mechanics available for diesel vehicles compared to the traditional gasoline-powered engine. Your mileage may vary, of course, due to a number of factors, including the type of driving you're doing, how much weight the truck is carrying/pulling, weather conditions, and more, but EPA estimates are still a fairly reliable starting point. Even two trucks of the same make, model and year were put up against one another, the owner's treatment of the truck and maintenance regularity can create a severe impact in how the truck performs, both overall and from the standpoint of fuel economy. Driving conditions factor in as well, both extreme heat and extreme cold can impact gas mileage, with cold weather imparting a negative value on fuel economy. If you live in a particularly cold region, or when winter hits in your area, you can expect a slight downshift in fuel mileage. When you search, "what's the best truck for sale," fuel should certainly be a factor that affects your decision. As far as trucks go, the Ford Maverick and the Jeep Gladiator are two of our top picks, both getting respectable gas mileage for the cost.

2. Towing/hauling capacity.

One of the primary reasons to own a truck is for the cargo space that no other style of vehicle allows you to have. With an open bed, vertical space is less of a concern, and a hitch on the back opens up a world of possibilities for the utility of your truck. Trailers of all kinds, in addition to heavy equipment, can be towed behind the truck to take your goods wherever they might need to go. If you're looking to do some really heavy hauling, getting up into thousands of pounds of weight, you need to make sure the truck you buy is equipped for the job. If you have a fairly light trailer, and don't plan on hauling a literal ton of stuff with it, most trucks will do the job, but it's important to know where your limits lie when it comes to weight. The Jeep Gladiator is another great pick for this category, with a surprisingly high 7000lbs of towing capacity on the Rubicon edition, meaning that it can tow 3.5 tons. This means it should be more than equipped to haul even most campers, which usually range between 1 and 4.5 tons, or most trailers, depending on what you're loaded with. If you're getting up into the really heavy stuff, 15,000lbs or more, we'd strongly recommend the GMC Sierra, which is rated for 20,000lbs, as well as the Ford F-250 and the Ram 2500, both of which have similar towing capacities. If you're searching, "What's the best truck to buy," and you've got something particularly heavy in mind, it's time to go for the big trucks!

3. Additional features.

More than ever, trucks have followed the trends that cars and SUV's have been on for years, improving the ride experience and available features for trucks even beyond the degree which it has affected cars. Newer model year trucks come with a ton of features that wouldn't have even been considered 10 years ago, including tailgates that are wildly more useful than previous years, with remote opening/closing, adjustable steps and further features that enhance the utility and ergonomics of using the truck's bed. The GMC Sierra in particular is known for this style of tailgate, with extras that even allow you to flip part of the tailgate upright to be a sort of shelf while still allowing some space for cargo to stick out the back of the bed. On top of that, the size of truck cabs has also been steadily increasing, with more trucks than ever being produced with two rows of actual seating. Older readers may remember the days of jump seats in the back of older Chevrolet and Ford trucks, but these have been phased out in favor of adding another row of bench or bucket seats.

Some trucks also offer blind spot monitoring that also applies to your towing space, which requires you to input details about the trailer you're pulling so the cameras and sensors can adjust to compensate. Most truck manufacturers also offer some version of sway control for the trailer, and if you've ever driven a tall/bulky trailer in high winds, you know exactly how useful that can be. Knowing how to buy a truck based on features can help you out quite a bit, just make sure you don't end up spending extra money on a feature if you know you're not going to need it.

4. Price.

Price can't be overlooked as a factor in your purchase, as this will obviously create some limitations in what you'll be able to buy. As a general rule, the newer and bigger the truck is, the more it's going to cost, but that doesn't mean you can't find some great deals out there! This RAM 2500 is a steal at the price, and if you're looking to get your work started without breaking the bank, it would be a great choice for you. Prices can fluctuate on trucks in particular, due to changes in supply and demand, so we'd recommend shopping for one now if the need for a truck is arising soon in your future. It's not all about how to buy a truck, it's also about how much truck you can afford at the price point.

With all these in mind, you should have an idea of what make and model of truck you'd like to get your hands on. At Castle Car Company, we carry quite the variety of trucks, all of which would be great for your driveway if you've got big plans for what to do with this summer.

Castle Car Company: Top of the line vehicles at below the line prices!

Safe Start What's the best car for a new driver

If you've got a family member who just crossed the threshold to get a driver's license, there's a lot more factors that go into picking that first vehicle that they drive. Safety, reliability, fuel costs and more should all be considered to make sure that the new driver is satisfied with their first vehicle. However, the description of almost every vehicle will tout these traits as a good reason to buy them, so it's important to make sure that the reviews aren't all just marketing and hype. If you're looking for the best car for a new driver, you're in the right place, as we've assembled a list of vehicles we'd recommend for when your child is finally ready to hit the road. Most people in your shoes will end up choosing an SUV, as they tend to have more safety features, but we'll cover a few picks for any category you might be considering. Read on to find out more about the best cars for new drivers!

Must have features:

Anti-lock brakes are one of the most critical features to have. Most cars made in the past 20 years come with this as a standard option, so it shouldn't create any issues. This simply stops the brakes from locking when a lot of pressure is applied, which prevents unintentional slipping and drifting when coming to a stop, especially under wet/snowy conditions.

Traction control helps regular the spinning of tires in accordance with how slippery the road conditions are, generally cutting power to the wheels when it detects that wheels are spinning without the car itself moving.

Stability control also has to do with the rotation of the tires, but it's focused on making sure steering isn't being counterproductive when coming to a stop under less-than-ideal conditions..

Forward-collision warning is exactly what you'd expect, it detects obstacles and objects in front of the vehicle and warns/stops you when it detects a high chance of colliding with whatever object happens to be in front of the vehicle.

Blind-spot monitoring is quite similar to the previously mentioned forward-collision warning, but is instead focused on the blind spots near the rear passenger door on either side of the vehicle.

If you find a vehicle that has all these features, it should be more than safe for the new driver in your life, but that still leaves the consideration points of price, reliability, fuel costs, insurance and more. Consider the mentioned safety features to be sort of a checklist; if all of those features are on a vehicle, that doesn't mean you should immediately purchase it, but it does mean that it passes the standard for safety.

Cars:

Ford Fiesta

Honda Civic

Honda Accord

Toyota Corolla

Kia Optima

SUVs/Crossovers:

Acura RDX

Volvo XC60

Subaru Outback

Audi Q8

Dodge Durango

Ford Bronco

Ford Escape

Honda CR-V

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep Wrangler

Trucks:

Ford F-150

GMC Sierra

Chevrolet Silverado

Jeep Gladiator

RAM

Toyota Tundra

We'd strongly recommend anything off of this list as a first vehicle for the new driver in your life. What makes them the best cars for teens? Each of these vehicles has the safety features recommended, as the top of this article indicates, but beyond that, they offer a suite of benefits that are suited to new drivers. Generally, they're not the fastest or most powerful vehicles, but the safest, with good fuel economy and an overall reliability that means you won't have to spend too much time with your excited new driver's vehicle in the garage. Pick anything on this list, then give us a call to get your appointment set up! We offer a wide range of vehicles for new and experienced drivers alike, and our expert sales staff would be happy to help you find the vehicle you're looking for. We also offer a vehicle location service, so even if we don't have the vehicle you're looking for, we can certainly get it for you! All vehicles listed above that we currently have on our lot are linked, click on their name to see the product page for the vehicle in question.

We hope this list helps you decide on the best car for your teen, or rather, the best car for any new driver in your life. At Castle Car Company, we offer you top of the line vehicles at below the line prices!

Common Jeep Wrangler Problems and How to Fix Them

When it comes to Jeep, it's important to keep up with maintenance, as one problem can spiral into several problems much more quickly than you'd normally think. Jeep Wranglers are the king of the off-road, but this doesn't mean that they're maintenance free. If you're looking to buy a Jeep Wrangler near me, or if you already have one, it's best to make sure the vehicle is well-maintained to avoid most of the following problems. No vehicle is without its faults, but given how much stress you're likely to put a Jeep under when you're offroading, it's important to ensure that the vehicle lasts as long as possible. Why buy a Jeep Wrangler? The answer is in the fun of the drive, the ability to drive over just about anything, and the freedom to go off-road whenever you'd like. Jeep Wrangler maintenance is critical, just like it is in any other used vehicle, but this list of common problems should help you diagnose and repair the majority of issues in your Jeep Wrangler.

1. Wobbling/shaking at high speeds.

Due to the naturally higher suspension of Jeeps, making sure the steering system remains in optimal shape is of the utmost important, as the top-heavy nature of SUVs as a whole means they're more likely to roll over at high speed. The problem has gotten much less significant in recent years, as Jeep has prioritized safety and security in recent model years, but owners of older Jeeps are quite likely to know about what's frequently called the "death wobble." Generally, this can be solved with a relatively simple and inexpensive fix: replace the steering stabilizer, and replace the tie rods and ball joints. This should resolve the problem in its entirety, meaning your vehicle will be safe to drive at high speeds once again. If you ever feel that little bit of instability start, it's crucial that you get this repair done as quickly as possible. You never know where your day is going to take you, and if you should need to take the highway while this system is in disrepair, your safety may be on the line. Make sure you get it resolved as quickly as possible.

2. Key fob fails to unlock/start the vehicle.

While keyless entry systems are nice to have, especially if you're the type to always carry your keys, it can create quite the problem should that key fob cease to do its job. That being said, should the key fob not work, it's more likely to be an internal component on the Jeep than the key fob itself. The wireless control module is relatively cheap and easy to replace, however, so you should be back up and on the road in no time at all. Once you source the part itself, we'd recommend following this guide to get the part itself replaced!

3. Vehicle has complete loss of power.

If it seems like your Jeep Wrangler has lost all electrical power, you can imagine how important that repair could be to the functionality of the vehicle overall. Some Jeep owners report experiencing this total power loss, which is almost always resolved the same way. You most likely need to replace your TIPM, or Totally Integrated Power Module. The air conditioning system, radio, lights, and windshield wipers are all controlled by the TIPM, meaning that the TIPM's failure can completely disable the Jeep. On the plus side, this means that you're almost certain of what repair you need to make to fix this electrical problem, and when it comes to vehicle electrical problems, mechanics often spend far more time diagnosing the issue than it takes to actually fix it. This one is a bit more pricy, but once it's taken care of, your Jeep will feel like it's just about brand new again!

4. Bucking/Jerking/Sudden change of speed while driving.

If it seems like your Jeep suddenly changes speeds, or makes a jerking motion while driving, this is most likely due to the Throttle Position Sensor, or TPS for short. This communicates with the Jeep's onboard computer in regards to how "open" the throttle is. In an automatic transmission, this means that shifting will happen at inappropriate times due to the engine misinterpreting this information, since the TPS is sending the engine faulty information. On the plus side, this is generally an inexpensive fix, only costing around $150 total between the part itself and the labor involved in fixing the part. This should significantly improve the quality of your drive as soon as the repair is complete, meaning your engine will be running smooth and clean once again.

With all these tips in mind, you now know the bulk of issues that could happen to your Jeep Wrangler. Make sure you properly handle all Jeep Wrangler maintenance by bringing it to a dealership who knows a lot about Jeep Wranglers, as not all garages specialize in taking care of the needs of these vehicles in particular. If you haven't bought one yet, make sure to give it a test drive before you buy, as most of these problems will be immediately obvious on the test drive if the problem is present. If you want to make sure you get a reliable Jeep Wrangler, take a look at our inventory, we only sell the best!

If you're experiencing any of these problems in your own vehicle, give us a call at 724-657-1551 to schedule your maintenance appointment!

Road Trip 5 Things to Do Before You Leave

Road trip season is here, and if you're anything like us here at Castle Car Company, you've been thinking about it since last summer ended! Before you go on that big road trip, we've got a list of things to keep in mind to take care of before you depart. The last thing anyone wants to go through is a vacation disaster story, so let us help you avoid being at the center of one. No matter where you're planning a road trip to, let us give you a little list of tips for long road trips that should keep you safe, comfortable, and excited for the next stop of the journey.

Here in Pennsylvania, there's a ton of good road trip destinations, but before you get out on the road, make sure you're ready by doing the following:

1. Clean your car out!

As Americans, we spend more time in our vehicles than almost anyone else in the world, on average. Garbage is bound to accumulate if you ever eat in the car, not to mention the little bits of dust and dirt that come with the regular use of a car. It will make both yourself and your passengers more comfortable in the long run if you make sure that you get all the dirt and junk out, plus it means that any mess that occurs during the course of the road trip will be a lot more manageable at your next stop, or whenever you return home. Don't be afraid of getting in there and really scrubbing it out, if it's been to long since your last cleaning, the sense of accomplishment from just getting things clean again can be a great incentive to do so. Your passengers will thank you for it! Grab a new air freshener while you're at it, let the whole road trip smell fresh and clean!

2. Take a look over your entire vehicle!

Given that, more than likely, you use your vehicle every day to get to work or school, it's easy to miss little details about your car. Noises can develop slowly, you can lose acceleration power over the course of weeks to months, brakes and tires wear down, there's lots of little things that need to be managed. It's bad enough when you have to leave your vehicle at the shop for a day or two when you're in your home neighborhood, but when you're a few hundred miles from everyone you could call for a ride, the situation can be a lot worse. Give your entire car a look-over, check the brakes, tires, make sure your car isn't making any strange noises, and if you find any of these things out of order, go ahead and take your car to your local mechanic. Take a look at your windshield wipers as well, you don't want to get caught in the rain with no visibility if it can be prevented. If you do need repairs before you leave, at least you'll get to be home while your car gets fixed, and you've still got a road trip to look forward to!

3. Plan ahead!

While we're sure you've got a destination and some friends/family in mind, it makes things go smoother when you've got the whole trip planned out. There's a lot more to the trip than just point A and point B. Where are you going to stop for gas and snacks? Are you going to have to pay for tolls, and do you have the cash available to do so? Make sure you have all the details sorted out in advance to avoid further headaches. Detours aren't that big of a deal, but make sure you have an itinerary and an ETA of when you'll be arriving at the places you're expected to be.

4. Have an emergency kit!

There's a couple things to keep on hand in your car, road trip or not, but on a road trip they can be particularly important! A first aid kit and a basic car repair kit, even just a handful of tools like screwdrivers and a socket set with a ratchet, can do wonders when push comes to shove, and if one of you gets hurt or if something happens to the car, you can significantly change the course of a disaster just by having the right supplies on hand. Make sure you know how to jack up the car to change a tire, should the need arise, and the know-how to change the tire itself. It's not a bad idea to keep a full spare gas can in the car, but make sure to keep it in the trunk/bed/cargo bay, keeping gas in the cabin of the car itself can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons, plus even a dropped of spilled gasoline can stink up the entire car for a lot longer than you might think.

5. Make sure your paperwork is in order!

The United States, as a whole, requires your vehicle to be registered, plus you need car insurance and a driver's license. While it's unlikely that any of these things will expire while you're on your trip, the worst way to find out is by a police officer who's going to cite you with a ticket for forgetting. Most states also require your vehicle to be inspected, and even if you're in a state that doesn't have insurance, officers are often allowed to cite you based on the laws of the state your license is registered to, not the state you're currently driving in. Nothing puts a damper on a good time like a sudden large expense like that, so be sure to get all your paperwork squared away before you leave.

6. Get ready the day before!

Any supplies you need, including clothes, snacks, phone chargers, flashlight, blankets, extra sheets, pillows, toiletries, hair supplies, etc. should be packed into the car the night before you leave, or at the very least, before you go to sleep prior to leaving. The last thing you want to do is wake up late and realize you're not ready to go! Stress is the enemy of a good road trip, so when you're planning a road trip, make sure that all you have to do to get started is getting in the car and driving away.

With all these in mind, you should be done planning a road trip, and be on the way to your destination in no time! If you're fantasizing about planning a road trip but don't have a car available, check out our inventory and see if any of them is what you picture yourself and your friends headed off to the perfect road trip destination in! We offer financing, and we pay top-dollar for trade-ins, bring your old car and drive off in something far more reliable!

Is Ford Escape the best family SUV

This week, we’re choosing to highlight a particular vehicle that we’d like to talk about. There’s a lot of factors to be considered when buying a vehicle, and having a family makes that decision even more complicated, between budget, needs, wants, features, financing, and the storage capacity for yourself, the kids, and all the things you need to bring along.

SUV’s tend to be a great middle ground for a lot of families, given that SUV’s tend to have a lot more storage and passenger space without adding a whole lot of additional fuel cost, plus the fact that SUV’s usually come equipped with four-wheel drive, making it a safer and more winter-friendly choice than your average sedan. Naturally, you’re quite likely to see SUV’s as the choice of vehicle when it comes to families.

This begs a question: What’s the best family SUV? You might as well get the best one possible for yourself and your family, but which family SUV would that be? If you’re looking for the best large SUV for families, we have a recommendation!

The Ford Escape changes in popularity every year, but it’s been a top competitor ever since the Escape line came out. They tend to be a very good choice for families, as the price point is always competitive, there’s a lot more legroom than a comparable sedan, and it’s a capable hauler, without having to splurge on a truck.

In addition, some models of the Escape even come with a third row of seating, which can be a boon for larger families. It’s an affordable vehicle, with several different trim packages that can help you get the exact features you need in the vehicle. From the base model, the Ford Escape S, to the most premium trim level, the Ford Escape Titanium, there’s a lot of room for both features and negotiation in relation to them when it’s time to talk to a car dealer. Most Ford Escape models come with the same mechanical components, so the details generally boil down to creature comforts like temperature control, infotainment systems, parking assist, and similar drive-assist features.

Here at Castle Car Company, we’ve had and sold a lot of these vehicles over the years, and Ford Escapes always tend to sell quickly. Come see why for yourself! The best family SUV is one that a family can comfortably and affordably drive, and to that end, we’d strongly recommend the Ford Escape as a family vehicle. Even if it’s not the biggest of the best large SUV’s for families, it’s one that gives you a wonderful value on the money you spend towards getting your next car.

And when it’s time to get that next car, check out our inventory to see what we have available! We almost always have at least one of these on the lot, and if not, our expert salespeople would be happy to point you in the direction of another vehicle that should perfectly suit your needs!

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