​Larger not always Better when Choosing an Auto Dealer

We’ve all seen them — small auto dealers based in an old house with 10-12 cars and trucks sitting in their lot or on the front lawn. While the “smart” buyer may drive past these lots without a second glance, you may be surprised at what treasures you could find in purchasing a vehicle from a smaller auto dealer.First, there is little to no room for negotiation. This type of dealer has often purchased their vehicles from an auto auction, which means the larger dealer has passed on trying to sell them. The smaller dealer will sell you the vehicle knowing they have to make a certain profit margin on that vehicle based on the cost of the vehicle to the dealer.While they may have a smaller selection on the lot, they are also privy to additional vehicles they are purchasing in the near future. They may also know of trade-ins that other buyers are using to purchase vehicles from their lot, which they can essentially hold for you while they are finalizing the deal on that vehicle.Smaller dealers are also more personal in nature, making them easier to work with. They will often give you a fairer deal on your vehicle in terms of trade-in value, and will work with you to ensure you drive away in the vehicle you are interested in.Another benefit to working with these smaller auto dealers is that if you are not pre-approved to finance a vehicle, they tend to only work with one or two financial institutions, which means their revenue is not necessarily tied in to the financial institution that secures your loan. They do not have an allegiance to the financial institutions, because their main objective is to sell you a vehicle.Smaller dealerships will also remember you when you come back for repeat business. They may not exercise a huge post-marketing campaign, but when you come back by to look at another car several years later, they will not forget you. Their repeat business is completely based on how well they treat their customers—with respect—integrity—and with high quality vehicles.

Why buy from a CarFax Advantage Dealer like Murrysville Auto Sales? The answer is easy...Information.

But... Where does CARFAX get their information from?

CARFAX Vehicle History Data SourcesHome/CARFAX Vehicle History Data SourcesCARFAX® receives data from more than 100,000 different sources including every U.S. and Canadian provincial motor vehicle agency plus many police and fire departments, collision repair facilities, auto auctions, and more.The CARFAX database is the most comprehensive vehicle history database in North America, containing more than 22 billion records. Records included in each CARFAX Report reveal important information about a car’s history, such as an odometer reading, existence of a branded title such as a salvage/junk title, or past registration as a fleet vehicle. A CARFAX Report may not include every event in a vehicle’s history, but will include the data that is reported to CARFAX for a specific vehicle identification number (VIN).Before you buy a used car, we recommend that you get a CARFAX Report, take a test drive, and have the vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.The following list represents some of the many types of data sources that currently report information to CARFAX.Data source Types of data provided to CARFAX How the data can help you make abetter used car buying decisionU.S. motor vehicle agencies Branded titles, including salvage/junk, flood and moreTruth in Mileage Act (TIMA) certified odometer readingsManufacturer buybacks or lemon titlesRegistration records, including original vehicle use and city/state where the vehicle was registeredAccident damage reportsStolen vehiclesOwnership transfersLien informationIdentify problem titlesUncover potential odometer fraudLearn estimated number of ownersLearn where the vehicle has been registeredIdentify how the vehicle may have been used (rental, taxi,lease, etc.)Uncover past accidentsCanadian provincial motor vehicle agencies Vehicle registrationsProblem brandsOdometer readingsOwnership transfersFind cross-border activityIdentify problem brandsLearn estimated number of ownersAuto auctions Odometer readingsUncover potential odometer fraudCollision repair facilities Accident indicators, including:Structural/frame damageCollision repair historyUncover past accidents that resulted in repairsService/ maintenance facilities Service or maintenance records including dates and services offeredLearn maintenance historySee where the car has been servicedInsurance companies Total loss vehiclesStolen vehiclesIdentify accidents which may not have resulted in salvage/junk titlesSalvage auctions Salvaged vehiclesVehicles sold at auctionIdentify salvaged cars that may not have been assigned salvage titles by motor vehicle agenciesAutomotive recyclers Recycled parts that were requested for a repairUncover major maintenance repairsIdentify damage events that may not have been reported to law enforcement agencies or insurance companiesRental/fleet vehicle companies Total loss and damage historyMaintenance/service historyLearn damage historyLearn repair/maintenance historyState inspection stations Odometer readingsLocation of inspection sitePass/fail safety and emissions inspection statusInspection detailsUncover potential odometer fraudIdentify vehicle driving patternsIdentify compliance problemsExtended warranty companies Major repair and maintenance historyLearn repair/maintenance historyFire departments Fire damage reports from across the U.S.Identify vehicles damaged in fire incidentsManufacturers Open recallsCertified pre-owned (CPO) vehiclesService and maintenance historyCourtesy buybacksIdentify recalls that need to be completedIdentify vehicles inspected and certified by manufacturersLearn maintenance historyLaw enforcement agencies Stolen vehicle recordsPolice department accident reports (various state and local jurisdictions)Identify stolen vehiclesUncover past accidentsCar dealerships Vehicles offered for saleOdometer readingsUncover potential odometer fraudLearn odometer historyImport/export companies Vehicle transfers and locationsCompliance datesIdentify out-of-country historyVerify emissions standards complianceCARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. A CARFAX Vehicle History Report is based only on information supplied to CARFAX. Other information about the vehicle, including problems, may not have been reported to CARFAX. Use a Vehicle History Report as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about a used car.* Do CARFAX Vehicle History Reports have information about accidents?Yes. If an accident has been reported to CARFAX it will be included in the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. CARFAX reports have information about accidents in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. We guarantee we will have information about the most severe accidents, ones for which the states or provinces have issued a branded title. We also have the largest publicly accessible database of less severe accidents which we have compiled from thousands of sources.However, we do not have all accidents as many have never been reported, or may only have been reported to a source to which CARFAX does not have access. We recommend that any car be inspected by a qualified mechanic prior to purchase to make sure the vehicle is functioning properly and check for signs of unreported damage.* I know this vehicle has had an accident. Why isn’t it listed on the CARFAX Report?CARFAX compiles the CARFAX Vehicle History Report from information it receives from thousands of sources. As extensive as our database is, we do not have all accidents as many have never been reported, or may only have been reported to a source to which CARFAX does not have access.If you know a vehicle was involved in an accident and it is not on the CARFAX Vehicle History Report, please take a minute to let us know about it by emailing us through the “Email CARFAX” tab above.* Does CARFAX get total loss data from insurance companies?Yes. Some insurance companies report total loss information to CARFAX.CARFAX also uses other sources to determine if a vehicle was declared a total loss by an insurance company.


Ford Motor Company sold more than one million Ford Model Ts in 1919, and each of those Model Ts used 100 board feet of wood for the parts such as frame, dashboard, steering wheels and wheels.Because of the amount of wood that had to be used in the cars, Henry Ford decided he wanted to produce his own supply. He enlisted the help of Edward G. Kingsford, a real estate agent in Michigan, to find him a supply of wood. Coincidentally, Kingsford’s wife was a cousin of Ford – making the partnership a reality.In the early 1920s, Ford acquired large timberland in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and built a sawmill and parts plant in a neighboring area (which became Kingsford, Michigan). The mill and plants produced sufficient parts for the car but generated waste such as stumps, branches and sawdust. Ford suggested that all wood scraps were to be processed into charcoal.A University of Oregon chemist, Orin Stafford, had invented a method for making pillow-shaped lumps of fuel from sawdust and mill waste combined with tar and bound together with cornstarch. He called the lumps “charcoal briquettes.” Thomas Edison designed the briquette factory next to the sawmill, and Kingsford ran it. It was a model of efficiency, producing 610 lb (280 kg) of briquettes for every ton of scrap wood. The product was sold only through Ford dealerships. Ford then named the new business Ford Charcoal and changed the name of the charcoal blocks to “briquets”. At the beginning, the charcoal was sold to meat and fish smokehouses, but supply exceeded demand.By the mid-1930s, Ford was marketing “Picnic Kits” containing charcoal and portable grills directly from Ford dealerships, capitalizing on the link between motoring and outdoor adventure that his own Vagabond travels popularized. “Enjoy a modern picnic,” the package suggested. “Sizzling broiled meats, steaming coffee, toasted sandwiches.” It wasn’t until after World War II that backyard barbecuing took off, thanks to suburban migration, the invention of the Weber grill and the marketing efforts. An investment group bought Ford Charcoal in 1951 and renamed it to Kingsford Charcoal in honor of Edward G. Kingsford (and the factory’s home-base name) and took over the operations. The plant was later acquired by Clorox in 1973. How cool is that, huh? The story of Kingsford charcoal isn’t merely an American story,” as their website proclaims. It’s the bone and sinew of Americana itself, from start to finish.Funny, too, how sour old Henry always seemed to find a way to make his famous parsimony pay off somehow—and if he couldn’t find a way, he’d manufacture one himself For a grouchy, greedy Capitalist Pig Industrialist, he was a damned creative fellow, full of unconventional ideas he wasn’t the least bit timid about pursuing.-- David J Davidson

Why do you need a Mechanical Reconditioning Checklist?

And you should always ask to see it!

   Before purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, it is always a good idea to know what was done with it prior to your purchase. Using a comprehensive checklist ensures the technician checks each and every item important to that dealer. It also allows you to document measurements on parts such as tires and brake linings. There should be options to document whether an item passed as it is, needed repaired or was replaced. The checklist should be technical enough to cover all features, functions and operations  yet still be easy to read and understand for the average consumer. As important as a checklist is, there also has to policies and procedures put in place and followed 100% to ensure every vehicle meets the same standards. For example, Pa State inspection requires Tire Tread Depth and Brake Linings to be a 2/32 of an inch of wear left. This is the minimum allowable wear to pass inspection. Murrysville Auto Sales standard is to replace the tires or Brake Linings if they are at 50% wear. So a new brake pad that is new at 8-10/32 of an inch would be discarded and replaced at 4 or 5/32. Make sure the work is performed by a licensed and insured facility that has technicians that are either ASE Certified or have a State Inspection License.  This insures the person inspecting and repairing the vehicle is trained in the aspects addressed on the checklist.  For the checklist to work, 100% of the vehicles need to be looked over 100% of the time and these standards can not be compromised no matter if the vehicle is $5,000 or $50,000. It is your safety, your money and your piece of mind....Ask to see the checklist.

Why buy a used car?

Purchasing a reconditioned vehicle at Murrysville Auto Sales is the right choice

For lots of people, the answer to the question ‘why buy a used car?’ is straightforward. A new one simply isn’t within their budget. However, depending on what you need and exactly what you can afford, other factors can come into the decision. In some instances, a used car might work out a better long-term investment than a new one, while there’s always the potential of driving a larger, sportier or more premium car than your budget would allow if buying brand-new. In general, drivers are proud of their cars, keeping and maintaining them well. New-car sales have been buoyant for many years, too, and taken together these factors ensure the used car marketplace is full of good-quality vehicles of all makes and models, at a variety of price points. New cars are obviously still appealing, of course, so what are the major advantages of going used?   Secondhand Cars: While the phrase ‘secondhand car’ may conjure up images of an old and battered vehicle with many previous owners, that’s certainly not representative of the whole market. All cars shed value over time, but this process doesn’t take place at a steady rate. Initially, there’s quite a steep depreciation hit, and this means ‘reconditioned used cars’ can be a great-value option for buyers. On occasion, high demand for a brand-new model can mean going previously owned will get you behind the wheel of the car you want sooner.   Finance Options: Car finance is no longer only applicable to new vehicle purchases these days. Some Used Car Dealers work with national and local banks, credit unions and independent finance companies that can often help with the purchase of approved used vehicles. The cost can therefore be spread over affordable monthly repayments, rather than having to dip into your savings or come up with a lump sum to buy.   Conclusion: The wide variety of options and offerings that secondhand buyers have available to them all mean that a used car can represent a fantastic choice. With detailed pre-sale inspections with a comprehensive checklist, reputable extended warranty companies and reassuring roadside assistance all available – along with the option of financing your purchase – there’s never been a better time to buy secondhand.

Summer, winter or all-season tires: What's the difference? - Roadshow

So, your tires are worn out and it's time to replace them. What kind should you get? While it's generally a safe bet to to go with original equipment tires - the brand, model and size fitted to your vehicle by the manufacturer when it was new - maybe you want to switch things up a bit.

You've got plenty of options, but unless you've got an off-road rig, your decision will likely boil down to three basic choices: summer, winter or all-season tires. Each type have their own specific pros and cons, so be sure to know what each can and can not do, and compare that to what conditions you'll likely be driving in.

Summer tires

Usually marketed as performance tires, summer tires work best in warmer weather (read: over 45-degree temperatures). Summer tires are made from a softer rubber compound and are typically fitted with large tread blocks to give maximum contact with the road in warmer weather. As a result, summer tires generally have more grip in both wet and dry conditions and provide optimal cornering and braking capabilities.

However, once temperatures drop, their soft rubber compound hardens, and traction suffers greatly. Not only that, colder temperatures may cause chipping of the tread block edge or the tread compound rubber to crack. Since these failures are generally treated by tire companies as the result of improper tire use, they're rarely covered under warranty, meaning the replacement cost will be on you.

More importantly, however, summer tires just don't grip in cold weather, whether there's snow or ice present on roads or not. Cornering performance is greatly impaired, and stopping distances can be lengthened dramatically. Simply put, summer tires aren't just unsuitable for temperatures below 45 degrees, they're genuinely unsafe.

Don't believe me? Tire Rack has done extensive testing on summer tires performance on ice. In one test, a car wearing summer rubber took 47 feet to stop from only 10 mph, while the car wearing winter tires managed the same task in just 21 feet - well under half the distance.

Winter tires

When the thermometer dips below 45 degrees, you really should consider throwing a set of winter tires on your car. Winter tires are made with a deep tread pattern and a series of very thin cuts called sipes across the tread. The deep tread can help flush out excess slush buildup, while the sipes and other ridges help to pack the white stuff between the tread blocks, allowing for superior snow-on-snow traction. Meanwhile, sipes help provide a biting edge to keep things copacetic on icy surfaces. Winter tires also use rubber that's specially formulated to provide more grip on cold, dry pavement. Even if you don't regularly experience snow, winter tires are still your best bet when temps are low. 

Just be sure to put a full set of winter tires on your car. Mixing and matching snow tires with all-season or summer tires results in different levels of traction between your ride's wheels, which can be a recipe for erratic handling.

Studded snow tires, with metal studs embedded (or installed) right into the tire tread, are an option. However, be forewarned that they are much noisier than regular winter tires (which often already quite loud), plus they can do damage to local pavement. Some cities have outlawed them for exactly this reason, so check your local ordinances before buying a set.

If swapping out your tires twice a year sounds like a drag, consider investing in a second set of less-expensive steel or alloy wheels for winter, preferably in a size or two smaller than your summer tires. Even if they don't look quite as impressive, a smaller-size tire will provide better performance at a lower cost, plus they'll typically have taller sidewalls, which aid ride quality. Just make sure that the downsized secondary set of wheels you buy fit cleanly over your brake calipers.

And be warned, fellow procrastinators: Winter tires can be sold out by the time the snow flies. Buy them early to guarantee you won't be stranded waiting for your local tire shop to get a fresh shipment.

All-season tires

The vast majority of new cars are arrive at dealers equipped with all-season tires, since they can perform adequately on dry or wet roads, or roads that have a light snow. However, you should think of all-season tires as a "jack of all trades, master of none" solution. All-season tires may perform adequately on dry, warmer pavement, but they won't give you the handling and grip levels of a summer tire. They may have a longer life than summer or winter tires, and they can get you up to the ski slopes, as long as that mountain road is only lightly covered with snow. Even then, however, they won't stop and corner as well as winter tires can when the weather turns cold.

The best choice really comes down to your budget, convenience and the worst-case scenario. Figure out how much money you can spend, the worst weather you'll be driving in and whether you want the hassle of swapping out tires twice a year. Purchase tires to accommodate those factors.

For example, when I first bought my Mazdaspeed Miata, I lived in Washington, DC, an area that doesn't receive an overwhelming amount of snow. But its winter temperatures often dip below 45 degrees. As much I wanted summer tires for maximum fair-weather performance, I knew I'd have to spring for a set of winters, as well. I didn't have the cash for two sets of tires, so instead, I opted for Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 all-season tires. In warmer months, they provided enough grip to participate in a few autocross events and be fun on the street. In the winter, they performed well when roads got about an inch of snow - but anything over that saw me leaving my rear-wheel-drive sports car at home and taking the train.

Similarly, when I moved to California to join Roadshow, I immediately swapped those tires out for Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires, since I knew snow and cold weather wouldn't be a factor. Sure, I can't drive up to Tahoe in a blizzard, but I'm OK with that.

You may see all-season tires with "M+S" marked on the sidewall. This stands for "mud and snow" and means that the tire has performed well in packed snow and mud. It does not mean the tire has the same traction in the cold or on ice as a proper winter tire. These tires are more "all-season plus" than full-fledged winter tires, and if you don't want to pony up for the two-set solution, it might be worth seeking out a set of M+S-rated tires.

One last thing: Just because you have all-wheel drive doesn't mean you have all-wheel stop. Getting power to all four wheels certainly helps all-season tires accelerate in heavy snow, but it does nothing to help you stop or corner. If it snows more than a few inches regularly where you live, do you, your family and everyone else on the road a favor: Invest in some good winter tires. 

Good Advise on Picking Out a Lower Priced Used Vehicle

Posted 12/29/2018
There's an old adage among restaurant owners which says always eat where the chef eats. That advice can be applied to almost any profession, always go to the doctor your doctor uses; always use the hairdresser your hairdresser uses.

Then why not buy a higher mileage car that your car dealer would buy for his own personal use. If there is anybody who knows a good, safe bargain, it is a used car dealer. 'I'm looking for a cheap reliable used car, got any ideas?' is the most asked question I get from family and friends who know, from their bitter experience, the minefield that awaits the unwary buyer.

Let these three basics to guide you: First-choose a car for your needs and wants: Second-buy one with a known dependable engine; and Third-buy a car least prone to rust if kept outside (hard to do in the rust belt area of the northeast).

No matter how uncomfortable you feel, haggle with the seller to get the price down. If that is possible, you will always have $300-$500 set aside as a contingency plan for replacing worn parts.

Ask to see the CarFax. While not 100% reliable, it is a great guide while looking for the right vehicle. Check the car's history and when the last service was done, if over a year budget for a new service. Check for uneven tire wear, abnormal shifting and look for signs of leaking oil. This could make your bargain buy not so much of a bargain.