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

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!

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!

No Dirt Here! How to Clean Your Trade-In

If you’ve been thinking about trading in your vehicle towards a new one, it goes without saying that you’re looking for the best deal in auto sales. Any dealership that’s willing to pay more for your vehicle is naturally going to warrant a longer look from you when you start to wander the lot. 

However, you may be wondering, “How do I prepare a car for trade-in?” There’s been a lot of misinformation in this topic as of late, as some dealerships specifically say not to bother cleaning it when the customer brings it in. However, in our experience, as both dealers and consumers, a dirty car is naturally going to look just a little bit cheaper than one that’s in relatively clean shape. According to this AutoTrader article, (https://www.autotrader.com/car-tips/clean-car-before-trading-selling#:~:text=An%20old%20saying%20proclaims%20that,trading%20or%20selling%20their%20ride) sellers/traders can expect up to 200% extra profit from just cleaning the car itself before selling it! Make sure you get the best deal when it comes to auto sales! A fresh, clean smell, no signs of visible dirtiness, and a thorough sweeping of the car can have a major impact on the aesthetic value of the car, in addition to the financial value that will be added on by the dealership. If you’re ready to head to a used car dealer near me, there’s no better place to start!

However, if you’re really looking to make your car shine, it’s going to take a bit more than that! Read on to find out our method of making sure you get the maximum dollar for your trade-in! 


If it’s been a while since your car has been cleaned, this can also just make a good guide on at-home car detailing! 

  1. Gather your supplies.

You probably already know the inside of your car fairly well, but be sure you get the correct materials for cleaning. Vinyl, leather, cloth, carpets, and any other upholstery materials on the interior will require different cleaning agents, so be sure to gather those first. Your local big-box store probably has the majority of car cleaning supplies you’ll need, but if there’s any that aren’t there, car parts stores also tend to carry car supplies, so make those stops and we’ll get back to the detailing! For additional quality, try using microfiber cloth, as it tends to get more dust than any other material, plus it feels nice on your hands while you’re cleaning. It also may be worth your time to rent/buy an upholstery cleaner, as it does take the work out of several steps listed later in this article.


  1. Dust it!

Start with dust and debris. Any trash in the car should be taken out first, as well as loose change, belongings, any travel supplies, any anything else that doesn’t necessarily need to be in the car. The less stuff in the car, the better, it’ll make things easier for your cleaning purposes. Don’t forget to get the air vents, use a Q-tip or other long cleaning tool to get all the deep-set dust out.


  1. Vacuum it!

If your car has removable floor mats, make sure they get vacuumed as well, if applicable. If they’re made of a less porous material, use a power washer or other water source to clean the mats, make sure that they’re fully dry before you put them back in the car, but if you’re doing this in sequence, they’ll have time to dry while you work on the rest of the car. Get the seats, the floors, the spaces between the door and the seat, and as far under the seats as your vacuum will allow. You may need a dedicated carpet cleaner for any stains that you find, let them soak in before you scrub the stain out.

  1. Wipe down the interior. 

Start with the dashboard, make sure to get the center console, door handles and panels, steering wheel and column. Choose a pleasant scent of cleaner for this, as smell has a surprising amount of influence in how nicely a car is perceived. 


  1. Clean the seats.

Use that upholstery cleaner, or, if you’re working by hand, mix two cups cups water, one cup of vinegar and approximately a tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle to create a safe but effective solution to stains on the seats. You’ll have to scrub upholstery to get these out, but after a few minutes of soaking plus a few minutes of scrubbing, they should be looking far superior to how they did previously. Make sure you get all areas of the seats, front and back.


  1. Get the tires clean!

Tire cleaner and wheel cleaner are supplies are also strongly recommended for a little extra boost on the exterior of the vehicle. Use a soft-bristled brush to make sure you don’t scratch anything, but ensure that all dirt and grime are gone.


  1. Wash the exterior!

You can simply take your car to a car wash for this step, but if you’d like to do this by hand, get car wash soap and a car washing mitt, which will help ensure that you don’t leave scratches or streaks while cleaning the exterior.


  1. Don’t skip details!

If your car has any sort of metallic external features, make sure they’re wiped down with an appropriate cleaner. Any other features made of a different material, including the muffler, a hood scoop, running boards, etc. should be taken care of as well during this step.


  1. Apply car wax!

Make sure your car is every bit as shiny and new-looking as it can be before you take your car to a used car dealer near me. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavy on the wax, and make sure to wipe off any additional wax that didn’t set in with a microfiber cloth to ensure that the effect isn’t ruined. 

After you’ve completed all these steps, your car should be looking many orders of magnitude better than it did previously. Assuming there’s no outstanding issues with the vehicle itself, you should expect to receive significantly more for your trade-in than you would have otherwise. 


Now that your vehicle is all ready to be sold, go ahead and tell us all about it here! (https://www.castlecarcompany.com/trade)  We give top dollar for your trade, and we offer quite the selection of vehicles for your consideration, take a look at our inventory as well! (https://www.castlecarcompany.com/newandusedcars?clearall=1)


What are the best PA used cars available to buy

What are the best PA used cars available to buy?

If your vehicle is starting to show its age, you might be interested in finding something in a bit better shape than your current ride. If you live in PA, where we do, you might also be wondering what the best vehicle to buy would be for Pennsylvania conditions. Here at Castle Car Company, we’re all about making sure you get the absolute perfect vehicle for you, so in the interest of making sure you get that information as soon as possible, we’ve made a little list of some of the best used cars for sale in Pittsburgh. If you’ve been searching, “used cars Pittsburgh” recently, look no further! We’ve got the information you need, and more than likely, the vehicle you’re looking for as well! Read on to find out more!


Ford Escape

When it comes to the Pennsylvania backroads, SUV’s and trucks tend to reign supreme, and given weather conditions, it’s no surprise! SUV’s in particular generally offer more 4WD/AWD options, and their greater weight than a car means more traction in the snow. According to US News, the Ford Escape is the most reliable budget SUV you can buy. Quite simply, if you just need a vehicle that can go wherever you need it to, the Ford Escape is a wonderful pick. It’s generally one of the top-selling vehicles when it comes to PA autosales overall, and with how selective the PA autosales market is, that’s certainly a sign of quality! We happen to have one of these on-hand for sale, which you can view here! https://www.castlecarcompany.com/vdp/18351244/Used-2017-Ford-Escape-Titanium-4WD-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15222


Lexus LS

Maybe you’re looking for something a bit more…. Posh. A bit more comfortable, more luxurious than the competition. We’d strongly recommend the Lexus LS as an option, as the standard list of available features just seems to get better every year! The Lexus LS is AWD, making it comfortable and controllable when you’re on slick winter roads, and the infotainment system will make sure you’re always in the know about what’s happening under the hood and under your wheels. It’s sporty in the right ways, giving you the speed you need to get out of hazardous traffic situations without being so peppy you’re afraid to step on the gas when the time comes. We’d recommend this one, as we’ve had the chance to test this one out, and we’ve been loving it! https://www.castlecarcompany.com/vdp/18715082/Used-2020-Lexus-LS-LS-500-AWD-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15222

Honda CR-V

Another strong pick, if you’re looking for an SUV, would be the Honda CR-V! It’s been a long-running favorite of the American market overall, as it provides all the utilities of an SUV without being too brutal to your wallet when it comes to the gas pump. The styling is also a key feature, as it stands out without causing a scene. Stylish, but not over-the-top. Most sources indicate it as a high-reliability vehicle, meaning you’ll also be forced to spend less at the garage whenever an issue does arise. Reliability simply gets better the newer you buy, so we’d recommend you take a look at this model! https://www.castlecarcompany.com/vdp/18413170/Used-2021-Honda-CRV-Touring-AWD-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15222 Statistically, if you’re searching “used cars near me” anywhere in the US, you’re likely to end up in a CR-V, though it’s even more likely if you’re living in Pennsylvania! 

Volvo XC60

With a fun, sporty engine, surprisingly spacious interior, and a long list of driver assistance features, the Volvo XC60 is another good pick for your next used car near Pittsburgh! It’s one of the most well-reviewed luxury SUV’s, but it doesn’t have that same “museum-quality” that makes you afraid to touch anything on the inside. It’s luxury, but accessible. The fuel economy is good, as is the ride quality, and reviews indicate that it’s quite reliable long-term as well! Volvo has long been responsible for sleeper hit vehicles, and the XC60 is no exception! It might not be the vehicle you’ve been dreaming of, but once you take it for a test drive, that will certainly change! It even keeps track of how drowsy you are and takes measures to prevent accidents from happening. They really thought of everything, and the effects of that will be sure to leave an impression on you! https://www.castlecarcompany.com/vdp/18389088/Used-2020-Volvo-XC60-T5-FWD-Inscription-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15222


Porsche Macan

Let’s get into something even more luxurious! If you’re going to be handling the backroads of PA, do it in style with the Porsche Macan. It’s in the same neighborhood as the aforementioned XC60, but faster, sportier, and more powerful. The ride quality is incredible, and from our experience in the car market, it’s also a long-term competitor when it comes to reliability! The fuel economy does leave a little bit to be desired, but if costs are what you’re concerned about, the Porsche Macan isn’t really what you’re looking for. If you’re still on board, though, you can expect an amazing ride quality, high-end cabin materials, including seating, all wheel drive and an impressive array of safety features. This SUV will have you smiling from the time it starts until you arrive, no matter where you’re going. The only downside we can see is the relatively cramped back seat, but when you’re the one driving, you won’t mind one bit. https://www.castlecarcompany.com/vdp/18510767/Used-2018-Porsche-Macan-S-AWD-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-PA-15222

Now that you’ve seen a few of our favorite picks for used cars for sale in PA, we’d like to hear your thoughts as well! Follow us on Facebook and let us know some of your favorite vehicles out on the road right now! If you’re looking to buy something in particular, do check out our vehicle locator service, as we can find you just about anything as long as you provide the information we need on the vehicle! When it comes to “used cars near me,” Castle Car Company won’t be beat! 

Car Search 5 Tips to Simplify Your Search Process

If there’s one thing that people dislike about the process of finding a used car near me, it’s the complexity of the process! Between several dealers offering you similar vehicles at wildly different prices, the confusion about which vehicle to start with in the first place, and the different trim packages and features, anything to simplify the process for you is welcome. That's not even factoring in the condition of each specific vehicle, and how much that affects the overall cost of the vehicle.

Searching for used cars is a lot more complicated than it used to be, so we’ve assembled a little guide to teach you how to find a car! Everyone wants to give you the perfect deal, but whether or not they can deliver that deal is the point of contention. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be much better off in the search for pre owned cars near you. Searching for “how to find a car?” Look no further!

1. Keep an eye on reviews and reputation.

If anything can give you an idea of how a dealership operates, it’s the reviews left by previous customers. Dealers can see their reviews and respond, but customers are far more likely to be honest about the condition and experience of the dealership than anyone employed by said dealership. Most search engines will tend to push you towards the higher ranked dealerships, but make sure to do your due diligence if a vehicle catches your eye. Sketchy sales practices can make what appears to be a good deal far more expensive in the long run, but paying attention to the dealer’s reputation can ensure that you don’t get caught up in that sort of practice. On the plus side, the advent of social media and reputation-tracking platforms mean that those practices are far less common than they used to be.

2. Geographic changes can affect pricing!

While it would be most convenient to buy from a dealership right down the street from where you live, it’s not a bad idea to consider expanding your search area just a little bit! You’d be amazed how much demand and pricing can change just a zip code or two in any direction, with pricing changes also being affected by time of year, market demand, condition of the vehicle in question, and a lot more, so don’t be afraid to look further away than you’d expect. Sometimes the price difference can justify a trip that’s more like a few hours drive, and while most consumers tend to shirk at the thought, with some CarTalk Forum users reporting traveling hundreds of miles to pick up a vehicle! Think of it like a little vacation, pre owned cars can be well worth the trip if they’re in good condition!

3. Keep the vehicle type in mind!

You’ve almost certainly got a make and model in mind, but keep in mind that different types of vehicles and engines can vary quite a bit month to month. Electric and hybrid cars are getting more and more popular as time goes on, but if you live in a rural area, it may not be worth switching over to electric quite yet, as charging could be a problem, depending on the number of chargers in your area. On the flip side, buying a diesel vehicle could get you excellent mileage, but the fuel itself is a lot more expensive on average, so be sure you can handle the cost shifting no matter which type of vehicle you decide to go with. Fuel-efficiency is definitely something to consider, though there’s some limitation to that, as you can really only get so much fuel mileage out of a truck, no matter what fuel type it uses. Make sure the used car near you is exactly what you’re looking for before you commit to anything.

4. Don’t be afraid to negotiate!

If a price is simply too high for you to work with, there’s no reason not to negotiate. Do keep in mind that a dealership lives and breathes negotiation, so you may be coming into the deal a little bit shorthanded, but if it can save you money, there’s no reason to avoid it. Check a few online sources to see if there’s a market average price to keep in mind, and if the price is above that, ask what justifies the higher price. See if you can have any features you don’t need removed, if you don’t need something, there’s no reason to pay for it.

5. Don't get upsold!

With almost all dealerships advertising pre owned cars on the internet, there’s a lot of chance for miscommunications, if only due to the fact that listings can stay online after the vehicle has already been sold. Even discounting the occasional dishonest dealership that purposely advertises a vehicle that’s no longer for sale, sometimes mistakes simply get made, and if you’re traveling a good distance to take a look at a vehicle, it can be tempting to simply buy a different vehicle since you’re already there. Don’t fall for the bait and switch, make sure you call the dealership and have them verify that the vehicle is still there before you make your journey. As with any financial transaction, the more you know in advance, the better off you’ll be.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to finding yourself in the perfect used car. If you’re in the market for a Jeep, truck, or luxury used car, check out our inventory as we just might have the perfect vehicle for you! If you have something a bit more specific in mind, and it’s not already in our inventory, try our vehicle locator service and we’ll put the car of your dreams right in your driveway!

Jeeps for Sale Which Jeep is right for you

If you’ve noticed yourself eyeing up Jeeps in traffic, it might be time to look into getting one for yourself! The off-road capabilities combined with a comfortable ride make for an appealing package for everyone, but which style and model should you opt for?

We’ve compiled a little comparison list for your consideration, so you can get the exact Jeep you want without breaking the bank!

Jeep Wrangler

With iconic styling, off-road capabilities like no other stock vehicle on the market, and customization options above and beyond almost everything else on the road, a Jeep Wrangler is more than likely what brought your attention to Jeep to begin with!

From the moment you drive off the lot, it’s more than ready for the off-road, but this is just the beginning of the adventure. When it comes to Jeep, there’s an element of fun that’s hard to find in other vehicles, and that’s what the appeal is all about!

Skid plates line the bottom of the vehicle to ensure that you don’t have to worry about the mechanics of the undercarriage when climbing over obstacles or driving over hills and humps, responsive suspension makes sure that the vehicle doesn’t bounce all that much over uneven terrain, and the overall height of the vehicle allows small bodies of water to be crossed.

Beyond that, the aftermarket for Jeep accessories is unmatched by the majority of vehicle makes and manufacturers, so if any of the specs of the vehicle don’t measure up for you, there’s aftermarket parts built to fill the gap for you! This list is a good starting ground, and the more you add, the more personalized it is for your needs.

If you’re about ready to search “jeep dealership near me,” take a look at our inventory and see if we have the one you’ve been thinking about! Any Jeep Wrangler for sale is likely to get the price being asked for it, as Jeep Wranglers are a hot commodity right now!

Jeep Cherokee / Jeep Grand Cherokee

Despite its more traditional SUV-style appearance, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Cherokee offer a lot of off-road potential, though it’s built more for the family than the trail. The ride height is comfortably high, so you'll easily be able to see over obstacles on your commute, and the towing capacity means you'll be able to take your big toys out on the weekend! Most Grand Cherokees also offer a backup camera, meaning you'll be able to keep an eye on whatever you're towing while you're bringing it with you!

With three rows of comfortable seating, significantly less interior noise than the Wrangler, and a surprising number of trim options to customize to your heart’s content. In addition, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee come with the creature comforts that modern vehicles tend to offer, including built-in Bluetooth and navigation capability, with a driver-safe infotainment center to handle all the little details of driving. Here’s a prime example of one we have in our inventory!

Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator isn’t a vehicle built for everyone… but it might be just perfect for you! It’s the only truck with the off-road capability that Jeep can give you, with 4WD coming standard and a list of customization options almost as long as the Wrangler. If the thing holding you back from getting a Jeep is the lack of a truck bed, the Jeep Gladiator is the perfect solution to your question!

It’s backed by a lot of the same features and comforts that the other Jeep models listed here have, with the addition of a truck bed.

While it’s not a full-length bed, it’s perfect for hauling camping supplies, tools, gas cans and more, making the Jeep Gladiator a top-tier pick for your off-road adventures! Gas cans in particular are something you might need while out on the trail, and for safety reasons, it’s always best to avoid bringing them into the passenger area of the vehicle.

The towing and hauling capacity should leave little, if anything, to be desired, but should you find yourself wanting more, there’s no end to the ways you can customize it!

Conclusion

And if there’s a specific model you find yourself wanting, use our locator service to find the exact one you’ve been looking for! At Castle Car Company, we offer above the line vehicles at below the line prices, take a look at our inventory as well and see how much you could save in comparison to other dealerships!

4 Tips Used Truck Dealers Don't Want You to Know!

If you’re in the market for trucks, used or otherwise, it’s important to know how different it can be from buying a car. While the overall transaction is the same, there are several key differences that affect the way you should approach the buying process. If you’ve found yourself searching “for sale used trucks” recently, we think it’s best if you take a look at our guide on making sure you drive away happy with your new truck, and just as happy with the payments that come with it!

This is a bit more focused on the specifications of the truck, as your needs can vary as much as what you haul with it. In the sale of trucks, size, towing capacity, seating room and more can all factor into the final product you need to get your hands on, but beyond that, what can you do as an informed consumer to make the process easier, smarter, and more cost-effective for yourself? Read on to find out!

1. Look for the truck online first, don't walk the lot and look for one.

Once you’re in a dealership, they tend to have more control, and you’re more likely to walk away with SOME kind of vehicle regardless. While not all salespeople are pushy, they do have a vested interest in making sure that you leave with a vehicle, or at least come back to purchase one you’ve had your heart set on once you saw it.

When it comes to the sale of trucks in particular, the right one can really grab your attention, so it’s critical to keep composed, level-headed, and focused on your budget.

While everyone imagines themselves coolly shooting down any overpriced deal, the reality is that you’re only engaging in a vehicle sale once every now and then, whereas the salesperson spends each and every day refining their craft. If you’re looking for Pittsburgh trucks for sale, take a look at our inventory!

2. Focus on the total price of the truck.

One trick that a lot of dealerships try to pull is getting you focused on the monthly payment instead of the overall cost of the truck. While it might be nice to get a nice, low monthly payment, you could be paying on the vehicle for far longer because of it.

This is why it’s crucial to make sure you’re focusing on the total cost, as the only way to lower the monthly payment besides lowering the overall price is to extend the length of time that you’re paying for it. Our dealership tries to simplify the process as much as possible, so if one of our vehicles caught your eye, you can look at our loan calculator to find out what you'd be paying overall, and apply for financing through us as well!

3. Look over the documentation before you sign it.

A lot of the money a dealership can make on a transaction comes down to the extra services you may not have even known were part of the deal. Things like paint protection, extra insurance/warranty policies, In addition, if making a trade, make sure that the value of your vehicle isn’t simply being added in some way to what you’ll be paying for the truck.

If your trade is only worth 1,000, but the dealership is offering you 3,000, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they added that extra 2,000 onto the cost of the vehicle, making the higher trade-in value effectively worthless. In fact, it’s recommended to confirm the final price of the vehicle you’re buying before you address the trade-in value, so the final price isn’t another variable to consider by the time you address what you can get from your current vehicle.

4. Be assertive.

While salespeople are more likely to be friendly and jovial than pushy, questions are often phrased in such a way that there’s never an option to say no. Instead of, “Do you want an extended cab,” it may be phrased as “Are you looking for a shorter or longer cab?” There’s two options, which means you’re more likely to pick one over the other, but there’s not a chance for the idea of negativity to enter.

If you’re leaning away from a deal, a salesperson is a lot more likely to double down or try to negotiate further. There’s nothing wrong with this, as this is their job as well, but it’s important to never feel like you’re obligated to go through with the sale. You’re both occupying each other’s times, and the outcome of the sale will end up affecting you far more than it will for the salesperson.

Conclusion

With these in mind, you should be much more ready and capable of finding the Pittsburgh trucks for sale you’ve been looking for! Do your research, find one that you really like, and make sure you’re not getting overcharged for it. Our other blog posts discuss what to look for, what to know in advance, and far more about the car buying process, which you can read here! At Castle Car Company, we focus on above the line vehicles for below the line prices, and if you live within the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, we also deliver within 300 miles of our New Castle, PA location!

5 Signs of A Quality Used Car Dealership

While there’s certainly some merits to buying cars online from private sellers, most buyers tend to find a dealership to be the easiest, most convenient option to buy a car. However, not all dealerships are the same. In addition to different brands and types of dealerships, the personalities of the people who work at the dealership can factor in, including the sales and finance staff. Not all dealerships have your best interests in mind, so it behooves you to make sure the dealership you pick is willing to give you the fairest deal possible. More than ever, prospective customers have the ability to gather information on a car before they ever reach the vehicle itself, so there's no excuse to not know what you're getting yourself into before you sign the contract. A dealer's used car might be better or worse than the market average, both as far as quality and price, but with this information at your fingertips, it's much better to have this information on hand before you contact the dealership to begin with.

Buying cars online is also a common method of retrieving a new vehicle, though the difficulty in this is that you may have unforeseen issues with the quality of the vehicle overall. When looking at a dealer’s used car, it’s important to know the reputation of the dealership as well. While most dealerships are honest, respectable establishments, it’s important to know the place you’re visiting is willing to give you a good deal. In the age of the internet, there’s no reason to go in blind when you can come into the transaction knowing the majority of important information. With enough research and communication, you can walk in, read the contract to make sure everything is in order, sign the papers and be driving off in no time at all! This convenience is a double-edged sword though, in that you can get lost in your own excitement and end up signing up for something that ends up being a bad deal in the long run. Patience and rationality are important, as getting too wrapped up in a vehicle that's too high priced or too low quality can end up leaving you regret your choices in the long run. With all that in mind, here are 5 signs to look for so you know that your experience buying cars online will be a positive one!

Inventory - Used cars inherently come with a little more variety than new cars. They can have quite the array of quality, but a dealership is more likely to put their newest and nicest cars towards the front of the lot, or wherever you’re most likely to see them passing by. They can often function as advertising for the dealership as well, representing the inventory as a whole as well as the upper end of what the dealership offers. If the very first few cars you see leave a lot to be desired, that can be a major red flag for the dealership as a whole. However, this does not necessarily mean that the quality of the dealership itself is lacking, rather their inventory is, and this may give them further motivation to try to give you a good deal, as they'd like to be rid of cars that they can't make a ton of profit from.

Reviews - In the age of the internet, a lot of people who have purchased a vehicle from the dealership in question will be likely to have left a review of the experience. Even if the dealer’s used car that you’re looking at online is nice, a review indicating that they use high-pressure sales tactics could be a good reason to look elsewhere for that vehicle. A bit of negotiation online before you go in can negate that, which is another good facet of buying cars online, or at the very least, looking them over before you indicate that you're interested in the vehicle in question. Look for reviews that mention any specific staff you'll likely have to deal with, any tactics that the dealership uses to clinch a sale, notes about pricing across their inventory, or anything else that gives you a sense of pause. If you don't think you'll be comfortable making the purchase given what you see in the reviews, it's okay to reconsider and look elsewhere. Car sales online mean that you're never that far away from finding that same vehicle elsewhere.

Warranty/Benefits - While it can be a headache to get a vehicle repaired, it’s far worse if you have to pay all the expenses for it out of pocket. Buying cars online does make this a bit easier, as a dealer’s used cars will generally have this information listed with the vehicle. If not, it may be listed on the website itself, or you can call the dealership yourself and ask about it! More often than not, a dealership will offer a warranty upfront, or at the other end, they may offer a car as-is, meaning that they can’t be held liable for the reliability or quality of the vehicle. These are the cheapest option, but are also usually the least reliable. If you're pretty familiar with the make and model of car that you're buying, and you have the tools and space to work on the vehicle, it may not be that big of a deal to handle the repairs yourself, but given that this isn't an option that everyone can do, keep your own circumstances in mind as you think about how you'll get the car fixed when it inevitably has an issue of some kind.

Clear, concise wording - All contracts inherently have a little bit of “legalese” to them, but it’s crucial to read over what you’re actually signing. A more unscrupulous dealer may be prone to making “mistakes” in the contract that benefit the dealership. Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing, what it’s going to cost in the short and long term, and the agreed upon method of resolving the issue should you not be able to pay the car note. Even if it’s unlikely, it’s always possible for financial misfortune to arise, so always be sure you know what the worst possible outcome is in regards to your vehicle. Being prepared is very rarely a bad thing, and knowing exactly what the contract says could benefit you in innumerable ways. Keep your credit score and finances in mind as well, as they can have a lot of sway over the final price of the car, as well as the monthly amount you'll be paying for it. That monthly price is important, but the overall price is far more important in the long run.

Pricing  - While everyone wants to get a vehicle for cheap, a suspiciously cheap vehicle can be indicative of some much bigger issues. If your first thought is, “It can’t possibly be that cheap,” it almost certainly isn't, for one reason or another. The vehicle could be stolen or have other title related issues, there could be major mechanical issues, or a wide litany of other issues that you could be on the hook for if you aren’t careful. The car price used should be far under that of a brand new car, but beyond that, you should have a reasonable expectation of what the car should cost, especially if you’ve looked into resources like AutoTrader or Kelly Blue Book. Your down payment will also have a significant impact on the length of the loan, as well as the overall price,

Now that you know what to look for when buying cars online, any dealer’s used cars should give you an idea of what to expect from the dealership itself. Take a look at our inventory and see for yourself! We also offer financing, so you can take care of your whole transaction at our dealership and leave in a car you love!

Read Before You Search For Used Cars Near Me

When the time comes to buy a used car, it’s important to not be too hasty! Research up front makes all the difference. If it’s time for you to buy one, we’ve got a few tips to make sure you get what you need! Read on to find the most critical information you need before searching for “used dealers near me!” 

Whether you’re buying cars online or taking a stroll towards used dealers near you, it’s critical to know your part in the transaction. While warranties and other extended protection plans exist, once you leave the dealership with the vehicle, it's your responsibility, so make sure that your decision is one you'll be happy with! Before you get your heart set on a vehicle, you should keep a few pieces of information in mind, including:

Your budget limits - Think of it as two separate limits, a hard and soft limit. Your hard limit is the absolute most you can afford, your soft limit is your ideal price for the vehicle you're looking for. If you buy a used car, you’ll probably have a bit more budget to work with, since the overall price is likely to be lower than a new vehicle. For more information on budgeting for a vehicle, click here!  If there’s something in our inventory that catches your eye, we’d be happy to offer financing, which you can apply for through us as well at this link!  If you already have a vehicle that you're looking to replace, go ahead and check out our trade-in page to see how much closer you can be to the car you want. Cars for sale will always have a price attached, though this price is always negotiable.

Your needs - If you’re looking for a family vehicle, make sure you’ve got the seating capacity to haul the whole family, even if that sports car looks really appealing, it can lead to a lot more headaches down the line when you’ve spent a lot of money on a vehicle that isn’t really fulfilling the need you bought it for. Two doors makes a car look sportier, but it makes getting car seats in and out a lot trickier. On the other hand, if that’s not a concern, something smaller may fit your needs more comfortably. Weather and road conditions in your area can also make an SUV the most practical choice, in addition to many of the same benefits that a truck can bring, given their shared larger size profile than a standard car.

If you’re buying a truck, make sure it’s the right size of truck, with enough towing capacity to handle the work you’re planning on doing with it, that the fuel economy is an expense you can afford, and that parking won't be made significantly more difficult given its larger size. It's important to be honest with yourself about needs versus wants, because it can save you a lot of money in the process of buying cars online. Keep the trim level in mind as well, as there will generally be a few different versions of each model year available, with more or less luxury features depending on the package. While they'll most likely push you towards the most expensive, luxurious package, don't be afraid to look at something a little less fancy. You may not need all of the features available, so if it's possible to buy a model without them, don't hesitate to ask to see a different trim level.

Your style - While there’s a place for practicality, it’s important to make sure you like the vehicle you’re buying. Not everything comes down to your needs and budget, it’s important to make sure you’re going to be driving off in a vehicle you’re happy to be seen in! Balance what you like against what you need, and go from there. Sometimes you know from the test drive itself whether or not the vehicle creates the impression you want, and that sense of satisfaction is something that can’t be ruled out. More than likely, you'll be driving your new purchase most days, if not all, so satisfaction is an important consideration going into the process. There's a lot less tangible things to look for when it comes to style, but as a rule of thumb, you'll know what you like when you see it!

Keeping your options open - Whether buying cars online, looking at a car for sale on a lot near you, or consulting other sources to buy a used car, never forget that other options are out there. It’s okay to walk away from a deal. You can always search "used dealers near me" another day and find another deal. It's good to fall in love with a car, but make sure that it doesn't end up costing you a lot more than what you need. If a car is suspiciously low in price given its year and mileage, it might be a good idea to look at other cars for sale. Brand loyalty is generally well-earned, so if there is a brand you're most comfortable and familiar with, that would be a great place to start, but with that being said, don't limit yourself down to just that brand when other options might be even better for your needs. Even if you're 100% set on buying a particular make and model, it's more than likely that you'll be able to find that same vehicle elsewhere at a better deal, or a more convenient location.

Look over the vehicle itself - When looking at a car for sale, make sure to do a once-over of the whole vehicle. Look for rust spots, scratches, dents, any sort of cosmetic issue. These could be indicative of deeper problems. This one is less commonly known, but also make sure to deeply breathe in the scent of the car’s interior.

Rot, dampness, and other unpleasant smells can also be indicative of hidden problems as well. Even if you’re excited about the car, it’s important to stay rational and cautious about it. Make sure all the doors and latches work, that all windows operate without issue, feel the acceleration and braking, look over the tires to make sure the tread and sidewalls are satisfactory. If there's an infotainment system, make sure it's in working order, that all presented features are available. You're paying for the entire car, don't settle for broken/inoperable features unless you can get a significant discount. Mention anything you notice to the salesperson, to establish that you're aware of it, and that the salesperson should be aware of it as well. When buying cars online, it can be far more difficult to thoroughly assess the car, though most dealerships do offer a lot more information online than was the case in previous years.

Ask Questions - If there’s anything you’re not sure about, make sure to ask! Whether the question is about the vehicle’s history, any of its specifications, or anything about the process of buying the car from that particular seller, don’t feel pressured into taking a deal if you’re not comfortable with it! It's always better to have more information than not, and there's no downside to being more perceptive and investigative about your big purchase. When you buy a used car, knowledge is power, so make sure you're powerful coming into the transaction. A salesperson might be mildly irritated by an onslaught of questions, but they're going to be focused enough on the potential transaction that they'll be more than happy to answer whatever you have to ask.

With all these in mind, you should be much better equipped to go out and buy a vehicle you really love! For a good place to start, we’d recommend checking out our inventory and going from there! If you’re in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region, we happen to deliver within 300 miles, with only a small fee for deliveries beyond that! Contact us for more information!

7 Tips to Find the Perfect Pre Owned Car

7 Tips to Find the Perfect Pre Owned Car

When it comes to buying a pre owned vehicle, it’s important to make sure you find the vehicle you want, and that you’ve considered all nearby dealerships. If you haven’t purchased a vehicle in the past few years, you may be unaware of a new distinction of pre owned vehicle available for purchase!

Certified pre owned vehicles, or CPO for short, are a class of vehicle available that have been thoroughly inspected to ensure quality and safety for the next person to purchase the vehicle. The manufacturer of the vehicle creates a checklist of inspection points on a vehicle, and a vehicle has to meet these criteria to be considered a CPO vehicle.

In addition, the car has to be under a certain age and mileage, for example, Volvo will only certify a vehicle under 5 years old, and under 80,000 miles. The manufacturer will extend the warranty, and include benefits that may be usually only available with new vehicles, like roadside assistance.

However, there's no guarantees that these will be worth what you pay for them, relatively speaking given the price of the car, so these benefits should be examined with scrutiny to make sure it's not simply a sales gimmick as opposed to a guarantee.

The price may be a bit higher than a used car would normally be, which should be taken into account. If you’re looking for a CPO, we’ve compiled a little list that should make your next car-buying venture a bit more safe and secure, and help you decide which buying process will work best for you.

1. Know what type of vehicle you’d like to purchase.

While this is not universal, most people have a general idea of what type of vehicle they’d like to have. (Car, truck, SUV, etc.) Furthermore, people tend to have a brand they prefer, or at least have a familiarity with. Most dealerships will have a bit of variety where this is concerned, even a dealership that specializes in trucks may have a few cars, and vice versa. Don't be afraid to take a look at the inventory of dealerships that don't seem to be in your wheelhouse, necessarily.

If you already have this information in mind, you’re further there than you might think! Your needs will usually determine what you get, so know what you need from a vehicle, what you’d like to have, and what you can ignore entirely. If you specify what you're looking for to a dealer, whether they have the exact vehicle you're looking for or not, they'd happily point you to the closest thing they have on their lot. Pre owned dealerships will tend to have a lot more variety than a manufacturer-associated dealership, as a manufacturer-associated dealership will obviously have more of one particular brand than anything else.

At Castle Car Company, we focus on higher-end pre owned cars, Jeeps in particular being one of our hottest-selling vehicles. Our selection of Jeeps should certainly offer something that matches your needs, but we also carry trucks by Chevrolet and Dodge, Ford, GMC and more!

2. Find a vehicle that matches your needs!

Most online car buying resources, like AutoTrader, have a search section that allows you to select by any parameters you might want. Whether it be the brand, type of vehicle, year, mileage, or specific features you might be looking for, resources like this can point you in the direction of the vehicle you’d like to be driving.

Scrolling through and seeing if anything catches your attention can also be a good starting point, as the perfect vehicle for you might be one that you've not even heard of until you stumble across it. Keep an open mind, and you'll more than likely end up with a vehicle that you're happy to drive. We also have a wide inventory of vehicles for your consideration, and we offer delivery!

3. Make sure the vehicle is available pre owned!

While this shouldn’t be an issue assuming the car is more than a year old, don’t feel the need to buy a new car when a used one is just as reliable, and may be available for far less money. Since a new car loses a significant portion of its value from the moment it leaves the dealership's lot, you can take advantage of this price drop by purchasing a vehicle that's within the past few model years, gaining the majority of the vehicle's original value without that drop in price affecting your wallet directly.

A certified pre owned vehicle generally fills the price gap between a new car and a used car, without adding all of the extra cost that a new car would create. However, not all dealerships offer this, nor do all quality used vehicles have this certification. It’s not a necessary layer of security, but it can bring some extra peace of mind. That being said, experts are divided about whether CPO's are worth it, so a lack of certification is no reason to overlook a vehicle that otherwise catches your attention.

4. Shop around to find the best price for what you want!

It can be extremely helpful to know both the market value of what you’re asking for, but what’s even more critical is knowing what it’s costing in your area in particular. Some vehicles have a fairly universal value, while others can vary by scarcity and usefulness in your region. The MSRP should not vary, but the rules of supply and demand are always in play, and looking to find a particularly scarce vehicle for your area can drive the price up. Given that more and more dealerships offer delivery at this point, it's not unreasonable to expand your search area further than you'd normally consider.

Dealerships in your area may vary quite a bit from the information you’re seeing online, try to ensure that any information shown online by dealerships in your area is accurate. Less honest dealerships have been known to do what’s referred to as a “bait and switch,” where they attract potential customers with a deal on a vehicle that either doesn’t exist or has already sold, then try to talk the customer into a more expensive option.

Here at Castle Car Company, we specialize in vehicles that are as new as they can be without us being able to refer to them as new. Low mileage, late models, with quality inspections before we sell them, but be sure to do your research to ensure you’re going to the right dealership to begin with.

5. Don’t be afraid to call!

If information presented online seems inaccurate, or there’s something specific you’d like to know about a car, there’s nothing wrong with calling the dealership in question. In addition, salespeople and dealership staff may know more about the vehicle than the standard formatting of a website would allow them to list, so they'd best be able to give you this information over the phone.

This will also indicate to the dealership that you’re interested in the vehicle, meaning they may follow up with you if the vehicle hasn’t sold within a timeframe they’re comfortable with. If the vehicle hasn't sold within a few weeks, it's more likely that the dealership near you will call you back with a lower offer, in the interest of getting the vehicle off of their lot. It's not a guaranteed way of obtaining a vehicle cheaper, but when it comes to a purchase of this size, every bit of savings will help!

It's also worth noting that a working rapport with a dealership or other car seller could lead to a different purchase down the line. If you're looking for a Jeep for off-road purposes, but a dealership receives a Toyota Tacoma that's suitable for off-roading, they'll more than likely call you to see if you'd be interested.

6. Always, always take a test drive!

Don’t get blindsided by disappointment if driving a vehicle leaves a bit to be desired. You’re making a big purchase, make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

Even if you’ve driven a virtually identical vehicle, it’s critical to make sure the one you’re driving off the dealership’s lot is one you’re happy with. Drive until you’ve gotten a feel for the car, and make sure to try out a few different traffic conditions for your own reference. (Standard suburban streets, highway, country roads, whatever is most similar to your own daily driving conditions.)

This drive is critical, as a lot of minor details that could lead to major expenses down the road can be discovered early with a thorough test drive. For example, the New Castle area around our dealership is perfect for showing off standard conditions in Pennsylvania, with two-lane streets, traffic averaging around 45mph, ample opportunity to test acceleration and braking, and country roads to test handling and suspension. Experts recommend your test drive should last between 15 and 30 minutes.

7. Consider the age and mileage!

Besides neglect and accidents, both of which should be fairly evident given the research you’ve done, age and mileage of the vehicle are critical to consider for value and maintenance purposes.

An older vehicle will virtually always require slightly more maintenance than a newer one, and more mileage will drive the value of the vehicle down. In addition, vehicles tend to have certain pre-scheduled maintenance that needs to be done, including oil changes, filter changes, coolant and other fluid. Making sure these have been properly administered, either by the dealership or the previous owner, will save you serious headaches in the long term. A good pre owned dealership will usually have done these upon receiving the vehicle, but make sure to ask to ensure that you won't have to change the oil on the vehicle you just purchased.

And if you want to make sure the vehicle you get will come with no headaches at all, take a look at our selection! We only buy and sell top of the line vehicles, for below the line prices! We’re located in New Castle, PA and we offer delivery within 300 miles of our headquarters.

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