How to prepare your vehicle for the perfect summer road trip

  1. Detail- We will forever be cleaning up the snack crumbs after a road trip, and the vehicle will definitely need to be vacuumed after the trip. But we always underestimate how important it is to wash and wax the outside of the vehicle before the trip.  Just by doing this simple step, you can prevent all the road grime from getting on your vehicle:  Sand in the desert, or salt and snow in the mountains.  You can also ensure great visibility through your windows; not to mention saving a lot of time at the gas station, trying to get streak-free windows!
  2. Window tint-This is a must, especially if you are traveling in the hot South. Tinting will keep your vehicle cool on the inside, because it prevents some of the sunlight and heat from entering through the windows. It will also prevent fading on the inside of the vehicle.  Tinting is great for naps for the kiddos, because the sun won’t be in their face on the long drive! This hopefully means a more peaceful drive!
  3. Gas saving- Gas is expensive! But, there are some great and simple ways to make sure that you are optimizing your mileage on your vehicle:
    1. Check your tire pressure- Make sure that it is the recommended PSI for your vehicle per your manual. This can help save on money.
    2. Get rid of excess weight- I know what you are thinking, but no, not any of your riders. But if you have an extra row of seats not in use, take them out.  It will save you some green!
    3. Don’t Speed and Use Cruise control- I know it is hard to do the speed limit, trust me! But going the speed limit at a consistent speed will save you a great deal of fuel, which in turn provides more money for the fun stuff on your road trip, like seeing the biggest rubber band ball!  Because who doesn’t want to do that!
  4. What to pack- Make sure that there is a spare tire in your vehicle, just in case there is a flat. Also make sure to pack some essential items in case of that breakdown (snacks, water, flashlight, etc…) Better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Perfect Music list-If you are like me, music is essential to a perfect road trip! I recently conducted a short survey with some of our staff and customers here at AutoSmart to prepare some music for your next road trip:
    1. Rick Niksic- Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin, and the entire album Trampoline by the Mavericks.
    2. Mandi Oliver- Ants Marching by Dave Matthews
    3. Steve Garrison- any 70-80’s rock
    4. Dennis Caldwell- any 60-70’s, he loves the oldies!
    5. Eric Storbeck -surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani
    6. Brittany Humphrey- Cruise by Florida Georgia Line and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

With all of these tips, your trip will be amazing!  Don’t forget that besides selling pre-owned vehicles, AutoSmart provides services such as detailing and tinting. So get those vehicles ready today!\

AutoSmart, Inc.

39 Stonehill Rd., Suite E

Oswego, IL 60543
Phone: 630.554.2285
Fax: 630.554.3716

Time to Tint!

What do you blow your nose with?  Kleenex!  Where do you take phone messages?  On a post-it!  My point is that the industry over time has changed our mind on what a tissue is.  Most people call it a Kleenex, because that is the brand that is most commonly associated with it.  This is the same as 3M with post-its and 3M with window tinting.

We are the only authorized 3M window tint dealer in the area.  3M offers a limited lifetime warranty on their product, and we are here to make sure that you love your new tint on your vehicle.  We carry different tint shades to meet your needs.  We can also tint as many windows as you need tinted!  Always keep in mind though; having windows tinted can be against the law if you do not follow the regulations set by the state of Illinois.  Remember you can always go darker, but keep in mind that you are at risk of being pulled over and getting a ticket.

The law in Illinois states:
“Motorists can have 35% Visual Light Transmission (VLT) on all motor vehicle windows, except the front windshield, as long as no other window in the vehicle is tinted darker than 35%.”

Having your windows tinted can also preserve the interior of your vehicle.  The purpose of tint is to reduce the amount of light and heat that comes into the vehicle, so this will protect the interior of your vehicle from sun and weather damage.

So call today and set up an appointment to get your windows tinted, and you will be amazed how great your vehicle will look and how cool it will be for those warm summer months.

Vehicle Spotlight: 2008 BMW X3

2008 BMW X3 with 107,876 miles – $9995

This 2008 BMW X3 has the following highlights:

  • 3.0L, 6 cyl.
  • Power windows
  • Power steering
  • Power locks
  • Cruise control
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Key-less entry
  • Power Sun/Moon Roof
  • Alarm
  • AM/FM Stereo with AM/FM CD player
  • And much, much more!!!

Further info about this vehicle:

http://autosmartnetwork.com/used-cars-oswego-il/2008-bmw-x3-p2017-13/

Please contact us today for more information about this vehicle.

AutoSmart, Inc.
39E Stonehill Rd.
Oswego, IL 60543
630-554-2285
www.autosmartnetwork.com

Detailing your vehicle for the Summer in Oswego, IL

  • Wash the Undercarriage of your vehicle- Although our winter has not been too terrible this year, we all have accumulated salt on the undercarriage of our vehicles. It is a great idea to wash that out.  This will keep our vehicles running smoothly. Salt can cause rust and corrosion to our vehicle.  According to DMV.org, the main places that are affected by salt are:  the exhaust system, our Muffler, the Coil springs, sub-frame and Hydraulic brake system.
  • Check your tire pressure- Making sure that your tires are aired up is essential to the upkeep of your vehicle. Remember that heat expands and cold deflates our tires.  So when it is hot, make sure that your PSI is 3-5 lower, and in the winter it should be 3-5 PSI higher.
  • Check your fluids- make sure your windshield wiper fluid gets refilled immediately. The salt over the winter has depleted our fluids in our vehicle.   Also make sure that you check your brake fluid.  The winter takes a toll on our vehicles, and it is a good practice to check it when the weather gets nice.  Also take a look at your engine oil, coolant and the power steering fluid.
  • Empty everything out of your vehicle-Over the winter, we accumulate a lot of trash, and extra stuff in our vehicles. We have extra clothes, ice scrapers, umbrellas, blankets, etc.   Take 5 minutes to empty everything out so you can have your vehicle detailed. Also add a small bag or trash can, so you can prevent the trash pile up in the future.
  • Have your car detailed! We have a great detailer at AutoSmart.  He will hand wash your vehicle, remove contaminates from paint, recondition the paint, apply wax, clean and polish your wheels, clean the wheel wells, and clean the door and trunk jams.  The interior of your vehicle, and the mats and carpets, will be completely shampooed and deep cleaned. The seats will be treated, everything vacuumed, all vinyl protected and the glass will be cleaned.

Get rid of that dust and grime and give us a call for your detail appointment today! You will be blown away by how great your vehicle looks, it will look brand new!

AutoSmart, Inc.
39E Stone Hill Rd.
Oswego, IL 60543
630-554-2285
www.autosmartnetwork.com

Preparing your Vehicle’s tires for Summer!

Who is ready to open those windows and enjoy the breeze?  Go on summer vacation, take the boat out on the water, and work on their spring and summer tires.  You heard me right; did you know that you need to alter your tires by the season?  

Let’s get those tires ready!  Here is everything you need to know about updating your tires for spring.  

Proper Tire Tread

Tire tread is very important on the snow, but also in the rain. The law requires our tires to be at least 2/32”.  There are indicators on our tires in North America called wear bars that help indicate when it is time to replace our tires.  I think the easiest way to gauge this though, is with a penny.  Turn the penny, so Lincoln’s head is facing down, and place into the tread.  If Lincoln’s head is partially covered, you have enough tread in your tire.  You can also use a quarter.  Turn the quarter, so Washington’s head is facing down, and place into the tread.  If part of Washington’s head is covered by the tire, you have more than 4/32” tread remaining. You will want to test multiple areas on the tire, as well as all of your tires.  You can gauge uneven wear and tear on them by doing this.  

In the winter, on the snowy terrain, our tires should have a minimum remaining tread of 5/32”.  This allows the snow to compact under the tire and be released.  If there is not enough tread, it will reduce the vehicles traction and mobility, causing more accidents.  Spring tires, should have a minimum remaining tread of 4/32”.  Spring brings rain, which bring hydroplaning.  Typically people who experience hydroplaning during the rain, will have tires that don’t meet this minimum tread requirement.  If the tread is too low, there is nowhere for the rain to escape causing your tire to ride on top of the water.  

Tire Pressure

Did you know that the pressure in your tires should be 3-5 PSI higher in the winter?  Winter provides a host of not so fun driving conditions.  From ice to snow and everything in between, we are sometimes less responsive than on dry roads.  The 3-5 PSI higher helps our tires offset the less responsive driving and also provides more stability to the tire when driving through ice and snow.  

Tire pressures are meant to be tested on cold tires!  This means that the pressure might be skewed if you test after you have been driving all day, or if your car was stored in the garage all night.  Be consistent when testing the pressure of your tires.  Remember that the air in our tires will expand when it is hot, and contract when it is cold.   So keep in mind, PSI in our tires is going down in winter and going up in summer!

AutoSmart, Inc.
39E Stone Hill Rd.
Oswego, IL 60543
630-554-2285
www.autosmartnetwork.com

Selling your Vehicle on Consignment in Oswego IL

vehicle consignment oswego il

Selling your Vehicle on Consignment in Oswego IL

Most people understand how a traditional consignment works. You drop off whatever you want to sell at the consignment store, whether it’s furniture, a book, or an old piece of jewelry, and let the consignment shop do all of the work. Once your item sells, you receive a check equal to the sale price of your item; less the fees you pay to the consignment store.

Recently, a growing trend towards auto consignment has emerged, based on the same simple model. The hassles of private car sales make vehicle consignment well worth considering, but as you might guess, having someone sell your used car is a lot different from having someone sell your old books. To professionally market a higher priced item like a car, requires significant prep work, product knowledge, and skills to facilitate negotiations, the ability to meet buyers’ needs for financing and service contracts, and a variety of other factors that complicate the sale process.

So, with all that said, how exactly does vehicle consignment work? Upon consignment of your motorcycle, car, truck, SUV, or RV, your vehicle is inspected. If necessary, a list of any repairs or cosmetic work to improve its value will be suggested to the seller. A market value analysis of your vehicle is completed, and a recommendation of an asking price is made. 

Properly marketing your vehicle is critical to selling it quickly and at the right price. Auto consignment dealerships should have a professional customer service team that will meet all of your demands.  Some auto consignment dealers will photograph and list your car on Craigslist, Carsforsale.com, Autotrader.com, and other favorite websites that are frequented by car buyers. Some consignment dealers will offer to clean and detail services to get your vehicle showroom-ready before photographed and marketed to potential buyers.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of vehicle consignment dealers is that they handle the actual sale transaction. they usually handle all test drives, buyer inquiries, and DMV paperwork. These essential pieces to private party car sales can require a great deal of your time, and are best left to experienced consignors. Most dealerships will manage buyer negotiations, a valuable service that can be a tremendous comfort to buyers and sellers alike, as negotiating with strangers can be difficult. While some put buyers in direct contact with sellers, others act as a buffer between the two parties, making the transaction anonymous to both sides. The safest and process for the buyer and seller is to allow the consignment dealership to handle all negotiations, payment processing, and DMV paperwork.  

Safety is a key concern in private party car sales, and consignment dealers protect sellers and buyers alike. Auto Consignment offers an attractive option for vehicle owners who would like to get more money for their car than the dealer trade-in price, as the vehicle will be marketed professionally without the traditional hassle and frustration of trying to sell it yourself. 

Give us a call today, so we can give you more information about our vehicle consignment services!

AutoSmart, Inc.
39E Stone Hill Rd.
Oswego, IL 60543
630-554-2285
www.autosmartnetwork.com

AutoSmart Used Automobile Dealership in Oswego IL

used cars oswego il

At AutoSmart, we carry a great selection of quality pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs at competitive prices in Oswego, IL, and our knowledgeable sales team ensures that each and every one of our customers receives the high quality service that they deserve. We’re committed to providing you with a hassle-free car buying experience, while also providing you with the peace of mind that you received a fair deal on a great used vehicle. All of our used cars, trucks, and SUVs are safety-checked by ASE certified mechanics.

Whether you’re looking for your next new or used car, or a pre-owned vehicle trade-in appraisal, we are here to help! We have over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, and our company was created to provide consumers with a hassle-free car buying experience.

We offer the best vehicle consignment service in the area. Upon consignment, we’ll inspect your vehicle and advise you if the vehicle requires any repairs or cosmetic work to improve its value. Put our extensive automotive experience and dedication to work for you!

We are highly skilled at helping our clients choose the right vehicle; whether it’s an entire fleet of vans for your business, or a safe and reliable car. We’ll locate your vehicle and negotiate with the automobile dealer, arrange for inspections, and oversee the entire vehicle purchase transaction.

We provide a full range of professional auto appearance services for our customers in Oswego Illinois, such as auto detailing, window tinting, clear bra installation, and paintless dent repair and removal. We look forward to assisting you with all of your automotive appearance needs soon, so contact us today and allow us to put our extensive experience and dedication to work for you!

AutoSmart_LogoAutoSmart, Inc.
39 Stone Hill Rd.
Oswego, IL 60543
(630) 554-2285

We also provide our service to customers from Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville, Plano, Montgomery, Plainfield, Batavia, North Aurora and Sandwich, Illinois.

Stop Stone Chips and Scratches On Your New Vehicle!

clear bra paint protection film oswego il

At AutoSmart, we use XPEL Ultimate, which is the best self-healing protection film on the market. XPEL protection films offer a wide selection of films to protect your vehicle from paint damage.

This film sheds contaminants like no other film. It combines the clarity of a clear film with the defense of an elastomeric polymer that self heals.  The film protects your vehicle from rocks, bug acids, salt, oils, gravel, tree sap, bird droppings and magnesium chloride.

The film will heal quickly and will continue to do so over time as long as scratches don’t penetrate the film. The average time for a scratch to heal is about an hour, but if the temperature is warmer the healing time will accelerate.

There are many kits for each vehicle. Whether you want a rocker panel or your whole vehicle covered, XPEL has a kit for your needs.

If you’re interested in vehicle paint protection, call AutoSmart for a quote. Our staff will discuss your options, go over any questions or concerns you may have, and schedule your appointment.

After your XPEL Ultimate Film is installed, wait 48 hours before washing it. After that setting time, any normal car soap can be used to wash it. However, in order to prolong the life of your film, we suggest regularly washing, waxing and sealing the vehicle. Unlike other films you can wax and seal your vehicle without causing any damage to this film.

XPEL is so confident that its product is the best paint protection film on the market that it comes with a 10 year warranty. This warranty covers peeling, cracking, yellowing, hazing and staining. If any of these occurs on the vehicle, XPEL will reimburse both the film and labor costs.

For more information, go to www.AutoSmartNetwork.com or call our office at (630) 554-2285.

Hail Damage!! Now What?

Recent spring storms have contributed a substantial amount of hail damage to the area.  If you are traveling and come into a hail storm, you can lessen the impact of the damage by pulling to the side of the road.

There is no need to increase the magnitude of the dents by continuing to speed down the road and add your velocity to that of the hail stones.  Like your home, hail damage may be a covered item under you vehicles insurance policy.

Assuming your vehicle sustained damage, take photos and notify your insurance company as soon as possible.  Hail is an act of God and will be covered under a “Comprehensive” policy, but you may have a deductible that will need to be satisfied.  A “Personal Liability and Property Damage” policy will NOT cover hail.

Review your policy’s terms.  Your insurance company will request information regarding the amount of damage and may require forms to be filled out.  A claims adjuster may be assigned to view the actual damage and issue an “Estimated” cost to repair.

During the assessment of damage the adjuster does NOT need to know if you actually plan on having the repairs done.  If they think you are going to cash the check, they may come in with a lower number.  It would be to your advantage to have a few estimates for repair in hand before accepting the offer from the insurance company.

It is possible that your vehicle could be declared a total loss if the cost of repair exceeds 75% to 80% of the vehicle’s value.  If there is a lien on the vehicle, the lien holder needs to be notified and may have requirements for repairs in their contracts as well.

If the vehicle is totaled and you keep the vehicle on the road, the title could also be affected by being designated as “Salvaged.”  Check your state’s rules before keeping a “totaled vehicle” on the road.

The other option would be to surrender the totaled vehicle to the insurance company for the agreed settlement.   While hail damage is largely cosmetic damage to the exterior, it does affect potential resale values and potentially the title status.

While the insurance company may try to direct you to a preferred repair shop, the decision of where to have repairs done rests with you and you alone.  One would naturally think of going to a body shop for an estimate of repair, but shops specializing in “Paintless Dent Removal”, or PDR, should also be considered.

Paintless dent removal can often remove signs of hail damage without major body work, preserve original paint, and save time, as well as money.  Each individual dent is examined under special lighting.  The technician can often remove signs of the dent using special methods and tools.  Think of it as a massage for your car’s body.

While a traditional repair may take weeks, result in ordering new body panels and repainting, Paintless Dent Removal will likely be completed in a few days and preserve the original paint.

AutoSmart, Inc. at 39 Stonehill Road, Suite E offers Paintless Dent Removal.  To schedule an appointment to estimate repair costs call 630-554-2285.

In case of emergency, what do I put in an Auto Survival Kit?

The key to surviving an emergency is preparation.  You may not have been a Boy Scout, but that does not mean you are at the mercy of fate.  While watching episodes of Bear Grylls may give you some entertaining comfort, it is unlikely he will be there to hold your hand.  Imagine yourself on a trip to an unfamiliar location.  The car dies, or you’ve slipped into a ditch.  You pull out your cell phone and the battery is dead or there is no coverage.  When things start going wrong, the items we take for granted tend to fail us.  Having a simple plan allows us to adapt and move forward.  Our survival kit will be the key. 

Safe operation of vehicle.

  • Window scraper to remove snow and ice.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Tell someone where you are going, the expected route, and idea of when you plan on being back.

Simple roadside breakdown. 

  1. Safety Triangles and or flares.  This will allow other motorists to see you and avoid an accident.
  2. Jumper cables.  The extreme cold weather can quickly run down a battery.  Having cables and have you back on the road in minutes.
  3. Traction pads, old carpeting, cat litter.  If you can get some traction, skidding into a ditch might not require a tow.
  4.  Shovel.  Removing snow will go more quickly.
  5. Chain or tow cable.  A Good Samaritan may show up and be willing to give you a pull.
  6. Flashlight.  Makes life much easier when the sun goes down.
  7. Extra fuses, fan belts, duct tape

Extended breakdown, now what?

  1. Florescent Flag to hang on the antenna or window allowing rescue crews to find you with greater ease.
  2. First Aid Kit.
  3. Prescription drugs
  4. Water
  5. Blankets and sleeping bags.
  6. Winter clothing, hats, gloves, extra coat.
  7. Non perishable food, granola bars, candy bars, instant soup.
  8. Tin can or small cooking pot.
  9. Lighter, waterproof matches.
  10. Candles.  Lighting a candle can provide additional warmth to a car raising the temperature as much as 4.5 degrees.  The candle can also be a heat source for turning snow into water.

Other tips:  Stay with your car.  It provides shelter and it is easier for rescue crews to locate a stationary object.  To add visibility at night for the rescue crew, leave the dome light on.  In an effort to conserve your battery, only use hazard flashers when someone approaches.  The tail pipe must be free of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  Running the auto for ten minutes an hour and leaving the window cracked during operation of the engine should reduce exposure to exhaust fumes.  A hand held crank radio or a weather radio would give you an idea of future weather reports.  A cell phone adapter for your car would allow you to recharge and make that 911 call.   Once on the phone with 911, stay on the line.  Do not hang up!  If you absolutely need to abandon the car, leave a note with your contact information and your planned route of departure.  Leave the note on the windshield so it can be easily found.