A common belief is that it costs more to service your vehicle at a dealership. It doesn’t cost more. As I often say, “Buyer beware!” I want you to be an informed consumer – whether buying or leasing a new vehicle, buying pre-owned or servicing your vehicle. As a consumer, I encourage you to do your homework and “Dare to compare.” Be sure you are comparing “apples to apples” when comparing services provided at a national chain, local service station or one of our service departments. Use this simple checklist to help you make an informed decision and protect your wallet:
1. Genuine parts. Decide how important it is for you to keep your “Toyota a Toyota or your Volvo a Volvo.” I have written about this topic before, but depending on where you service your vehicle, you may be losing value. For a refresher, read my prior blog on this topic. At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we only install genuine Volvo and Toyota parts to maintain the integrity of the vehicle you purchased. If we were going to use or recommend re-manufactured parts, your service advisor would discuss that with you, as well as the warranty on that part and the cost-savings, in order for you to make an informed decision. We believe in full disclosure. If you choose to service elsewhere, be informed about the parts being installed.
2. Dare to Compare Value. At Jaffarian Toyota, we make it easy for you to compare service costs as we do it for you! Click here to review how common service appointments compare to local providers and notice the difference in the services provided! Get the specifics from other providers and Check Us Out too to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. Be sure to get the specifics of parts (genuine OEM parts or not) and oil type etc.
3. Quality of Technicians. Are the service technicians performing the work on your vehicle certified? Like any profession, training, expertise and experience matter. Rest assured Jaffarian’s service technicians are trained and certified for the vehicles they work on. The more you work on these vehicles, the better you get! Our technicians have longevity which offers great value to our loyal customers as they get to know your vehicle.
4. Professional Service Advisors. Do they have service advisors who communicate with you and are not on commission to sell you more? Our service advisors are highly trained and knowledgeable, but they will not sell you something you don’t need. An important part of their role at the Jaffarian Service Department is to guide you and answer any questions you have about servicing or maintaining your vehicle. I had a customer tell me that she went to a national franchise for a $29 oil change and came out spending more than $100 on parts they claimed she needed. Many of the low-priced, quick oil change franchises lead with coupons and low prices, only to upsell you once in the door.
5. Convenience. Do alternatives offer you a ride to work, train, or home? Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion offers you a ride in our clean shuttles with professional, friendly drivers getting you where you need to be and providing rides back to the dealership, too.
6. Amenities. Do you have to sit in a small, dirty waiting room with old magazines and undesirable rest rooms? Jaffarian offers beautifully-appointed waiting rooms with flat screen TVs, computer work stations with Wi-Fi, snacks and beverages (Starbucks coffee in a real coffee mug) and pristine rest rooms. I once heard a customer in our Volvo service waiting room say he was so comfortable, he’d prefer to work in our waiting room all day instead of in his own office!
Still looking for more value? I don’t blame you! We all should be protecting our wallets and making sure we are getting the most for our money. Drive into our covered service drives to avoid rain and snow and slush and we will deliver a lot of value and take good care of you and your vehicle. But just as I used to say to my own kids, do your homework! I think you will be surprised by what you learn.
P.S. This is Halloween week so please be careful on the night your city or town deems “Trick or Treat” hours. It will be dark and you need to drive more carefully than ever with all the children out on the streets and in the neighborhoods. Also, remember to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night. If you need help setting the clock back in your vehicle, stop in to our “How Do I” showroom hours and we will show you how.
This week (October 19-25) is National Teen Driver Safety Week. As adults, it is so important that we serve as a good role models for teen drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of 14 to 18-year-olds in the U.S. In 2012, there were 2,055 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes and 859 (42%) of those teen drivers were killed in the crashes. Let’s use this week as an opportunity to reduce those numbers.
The theme this year is “5 to Drive” and I hope every single parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or anyone who knows a teen driver, will reinforce the message and take a pledge on our Jaffarian Facebook page to honor the tenants of the “5 to Drive” campaign, sponsored by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to a recent survey quoted on the NHTSA website, only 25 percent of parents even take the time to talk with their teens about the dangers of driving. Parents are the most important part of the solution. Speak to your teens not only about the dangers of driving and following the “Five to Drive,” but also as a passenger. Most people know that passengers are generally at higher risk of death in traffic accidents than drivers. Most teens have cell phones. Make sure your teen knows to call you for a ride rather than get into a vehicle when they don’t feel safe. Commit these to memory for when you have the opportunity to speak with a teen driver:
1. Alcohol: Teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes compared to drivers in all other age groups, even though they’re too young to legally buy or drink alcohol. In 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20-years old) who were killed in crashes had a high blood alcohol level.
2. Seat belts: Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle. Whether it’s immaturity or a false perception that they’re invincible—teens aren’t buckling up. In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
3. Texting: Texting or dialing while driving is more than just risky—it’s deadly. In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19-years-old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use. In Massachusetts, it is again the law for anyone to text and drive and it is against the law for drivers under age 18 to use cell phones at all.
4. Speeding: In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.
5. Passengers: Teens may be very social, but the car isn’t the place to socialize. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Allstate Foundation, half of all teen drivers even admit that they are safer drivers without their friends as passengers.
Parents – please be part of the solution by talking to your teens and setting a good example for them.
Let’s use the week of Teen Driver Safety Week to start the conversation and also acknowledge that driving distracted is not just a teenage issue, but a national issue. Take the pledge now to not drive distracted and to follow the “5 to Drive” points of this year’s theme. As role models, we can make a difference, and together we can change driving habits and save lives. Many auto schools recommend that you contract with your teens as they start to drive. If you have never tried this with your teen, this is a great time to make that happen. Keep it visible and remind them of how much you care and that you want to remind them to return home safely.
Other things we can do as parents is to write your teen a letter, leave notes in the car before they drive off, or use social media to message them and remind them of the “5 to Drive” points.
Just like when they were little, they will mimic the behaviors they see. This is a great reminder to be good role models as drivers and to have open and honest conversations about the importance of driving safely.
Best wishes to all parents and teens and safe driving!
With the price of gas coming down and the foliage at its peak, this is a great weekend to go to see the magnificent fall foliage. There are so many spectacular places to see the foliage as it seems particularly vibrant this autumn – and they are all a day-trip away. I’d like to focus on a couple of well-known places that are my favorites, as well as some obscure places that have been written up in the media or showcased on television these last few weeks.
In New Hampshire:
1. The Kancamagus Highway is by far the most scenic drive in New England, in my opinion. It is a 34.5 mile scenic drive along N.H.’s Rt. 112 in Northern New Hampshire that is well known as one of the best foliage viewing areas in the entire country. The Kancamagus Highway is now designated an American Scenic Byway. I caution you, however, to make sure your vehicle is in great shape (or come see at the Jaffarian Service Department) before you go, because cell-phone coverage is non-existent along much of this scenic drive. But it’s a great get-away from work, cell phone and all obligations as you view the most spectacular foliage in New England.
2. North Conway has over 700,000 acres of the protected White Mountain National Forest and the tallest peak in the North East (Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet), but I love the scenic railroad ride, the outlet stores and the restaurants. In addition to the fall foliage, you have a great little downtown area with Zeb’s old-fashioned country store with great homemade root beer, cream soda and an ambiance that will make you forget it’s 2014!
Mt. Washington’s Cog Railway in Bretton Woods has a three-hour guide tour up Mt. Washington and is one of the few cog railways left in the country. Now that is the perfect way to see foliage!
3. Meredith was the pick of N.H., last week on Channel 5’s Chronicle for its corn maze (no thank you!), pumpkin bowling, antique shops and restaurants. Their recommendation was based on places to visit that are a tank-away and not crowded, so try it and let me know what you think!
1. Boothbay Harbor was Chronicle’s pick for Maine. It has the best of both worlds—foliage and a water view with beautiful marina. It has the 248-acre Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. That alone is a great half-day tourist attraction. There is also the Boothbay Railway Village, a museum featuring steam locomotives.
In Rhode Island:
1. Westerly to Wickford — north, west and south of Providence – is probably the most neglected part of New England, and therefore, never crowded. Being further south in New England, means the beautiful foliage is at its best in late October.
2. Warren – One of Chronicle’s pick of three places in New England with beautiful foliage and no crowds. I haven’t been there but it’s worth checking out. Nice to know there are beautiful places that are more secluded and less touristy!
1. Stowe and surrounding areas along Rt. 100. If you go to New Hampshire or Vermont during foliage season, you can’t go wrong! With its white church steeples above the colorful scenery, it’s one of the best places for taking New England photos! Basically the entire state could make this list!
1. Plymouth and Carver (Plymouth County)—cranberry bogs driving tours are great in the fall when they’re harvesting the cranberries.
2. Berkshire County is by far the best place to travel in Massachusetts, though it may be more than a day trip. Travel along the Mohawk Trail, a great 55-mile drive throughout the Berkshires. If you haven’t been to that part of the state – you need to go in any season! It’s one of my favorite parts of the state, with quaint and scenic towns and the famous Norman Rockwell Museum. That would make a beautiful drive this weekend.
If you’ve been thinking about replacing or repairing your vehicle – or trying to decide which option makes sense – come to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion and let us help you make an informed decision. It’s a great time to buy because the new 2015 models are out and you can still buy the new 2014 models at great prices, or let us help you decide if it’s time for a service check or repair. Whatever you choose to do, we are concerned about your safety, particularly on extended day trips. Let us know who we can help. “Check us out! You deserve better.”
P.S. Please let me know your favorite fall foliage trips or if you try one of the places mentioned above, let us know how you enjoyed it. Feel free to send a photo of the places you visited, perhaps with your Toyota or Volvo and we’ll post some of them to our Facebook page.
Brakes are so important in both autumn and winter, because of slippery road conditions. You want your vehicle to come to a complete stop quickly, without skidding. Most people think of winter with ice and snow, but autumn often has side roads covered in slippery, wet leaves, making it difficult to stop. Even dry leaves can present a challenge because they can make it difficult to see potholes, curbs and street markings. They even present a fire hazard should leaves get into a hot muffler or tailpipe.
The brakes are your vehicle’s most important safety feature. They should be checked routinely when you bring your vehicle in for an oil change. Because brakes are a normal wear item, brake linings, drums and rotors, as well as brake fluid, should be checked at each oil change.
If you feel that your brakes are not functioning properly, bring them in to the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion Service Department and we will give you an objective opinion on how to get your brakes functioning at maximum capacity. Every month we offer special coupons on our website to help you save money.
Tires are the next most important safety feature, as they can affect the car’s ride, handling and traction. They are that critical connection between your vehicle and the road in all types of driving conditions. To maximize tire life and safety, check the inflation pressure and the tread depth, and inspect the sidewalls for cracks or punctures. As a general rule, tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles and balanced. This is something else the Jaffarian Service Department can check when you bring your vehicle in for an oil change.
This is also the time of year, because of the drop in temperature at night and in the morning, that you’ll often see the tire pressure light come on. Tire pressure needs to be adjusted for fall and winter driving. Improper pressure not only affects your vehicle’s ride, handling and safety, but it also means you burn gas a higher rate, so it costs money in the long-run. (To learn more about tire pressure, please watch my You Tube video or come into our showroom for the “How Do I” sessions where we will show you how!)
As a dealer, we offer you the correct make and model for your vehicle. Our tires are new, first quality tires. A recent Boston television expose reported on tires that are date stamped and sometimes years old. Consumers were educated on the importance of buying newly-manufactured tires. I addressed the difference in buying tires from a dealership vs. discount warehouse stores in a previous Ask Gary column. I encourage you to be informed when it comes to buying tires. Not all tires are created equal.
This entire month, Toyota is offering a Tire Savings Event, whereby you can buy three tires and get the fourth for one dollar! We’ve talked about the importance of “keeping your Toyota a Toyota” in a previous Ask Gary column and buying the right tires is one way to do that by purchasing the perfect match for your vehicle. This special sale event includes top name-brands including Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Pirelli, Toyo and more. Two-year road hazard protection is included in the price of the tires.
Be safe this fall when driving by keeping your brakes in top-top shape and having the right tires with the proper inflation for your vehicle and this season.
There are three reasons to choose the Jaffarian Body Shop for any and all your body work needs:
1. Customer Satisfaction
If you are looking for a great restaurant, you may check out Zagats. If you are looking for a reputable auto body shop, how do you evaluate where to go?
The Jaffarian Body Shop, run by my brother, Mark Jaffarian, is top in Massachusetts for its customer service. We are consistently ranked #1 in Massachusetts by MAPFRE Commerce Insurance as the top provider for auto body repairs out of hundreds on their list of preferred body shops. This #1 ranking is based on customer surveys following insurance repairs completed as part of its “e-z” program.
And rest assured that we work with all the leading insurance providers.
You can count on quality workmanship with our team of highly trained professionals that have been part of the Jaffarian family for many years. And, better yet, your vehicle is returned cleaner thanks to our Auto Spa treatment completed prior to your picking it up!
3. Full service
Whether it is a ding, a windshield replacement or an insurance claim for body work, you can count on us to repair your vehicle while making the repair painless and hassle-free for you.
Simply, we realize that having repair work done is an inconvenience. We will handle any and all insurance paperwork, we have rental cars on-site making it easy and convenient for you to be on your way in a rental car to minimize the disruption in your life. Our team is well-versed with insurance claims and paperwork as an ongoing part of what we do.
Instead of trying to assess all those body shops on the long list of approved auto body shops provided by an insurance adjuster, save yourself time and hassle. Our goal is to make the decision easy for you by earning your trust, delivering quality work and making it easy for you.
Conveniently located at 312 River Street in Haverhill, the Jaffarian Body Shop is just a few blocks down from the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion Showroom, at Exit 49 off Route 495. You can reach them directly at 888-242-2812. Too often I forget to congratulate Mark on his success and contribution to the family business. Thanks to Mark and his great team for making all of us proud of our Jaffarian Body Shop.
So Check Us Out for any and all dings and dents.
This is a great question! We commonly hear of all the new technology being incorporated into vehicles, especially Toyotas and Volvos. But who has time to read the manual?
Most of our customers are excited to come in and pick up their new vehicles and while our salespeople review key features with them, the reality is there is so much to review. We understand that our customers are very busy and may find they may have questions that arise weeks, months or even years later.
This is precisely why we have launched a new program at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion: “How Do I…” hours every week.
Whether you’ve had your vehicle for two weeks or five years, just stop in the showroom during these hours and ask your question(s)! Product specialists are available to answer your questions and demonstrate how the features work. No question is too small or silly! There is no limit to the number of questions you ask or how many times you come!
Are there features of your vehicle that you want to learn how to use? Do you need to know how to use Bluetooth? Did you buy a new Toyota with Entune technology or Volvo with Sensus Connect and not sure how to use all the features? When it’s time to change the clock, are you frustrated with “How do I?” Are there mysterious dashboard buttons that you want to use? How do I change GPS settings? How do I sync my IPod music or the music on my phone with the stereo? Just come in and ask us!
The HOW DO I hours are:
• Every Tuesday 11 a.m.-1p.m.,
• Every Thursday 5-7 p.m.
No appointment necessary! Complimentary for Jaffarian customers.
At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we want to make sure you get the most out of your vehicle and all it has to offer!
We look forward to your coming by the showroom during HOW DO I hours to get your questions answered!
How does the Toyota Camry compare to the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata?
Camry has been America’s best-selling car for more than a decade for many reasons. Because of the high volume of sales, it’s manufactured in the U.S. for the most part and responsible for more than 6,000 jobs. Camry sales in the U.S. have been so strong for decades, that for many years it has been America’s most popular car. But let me stick to the facts with what Camry has to offer in 2014.
The many ways in which Camry has topped all of the competitors is in the following areas:
• Camry offers Entune technology that includes complete audio display services – including Bluetooth, voice recognition, USB, aux port, display screen and apps that include business, weather and news – not available in any of the competitors.
• This “smart” car includes a back-up camera for accident and injury prevention.
• According to IntelliChoice.com, the five-year cost of owning a Camry has a lower year cost of ownership than any of the other mid-size vehicles.
• The EPA ratings for gas mileage in the Camry, for both city and highway driving with its 2.5-liter engine, beats out Honda Accord’s 4-cylinder engine, even with manual transmission, keeping down the cost of driving.
• Camrys come with complimentary two-year, 25,000-mile factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance not available with any of the competitors. This is no-cost maintenance, in addition to the standard 60,000 mile/36-month powertrain warranty.
• There are 10 standard airbags, with standard knee airbags, whereas the competitors have only six and no one has the knee airbags to keep you safer and to sustain fewer injuries in a crash.
• Newer Camrys feature whiplash-injury-lessening front seats.
• For comfort and convenience, Camry offers more rear head and leg room than the other vehicles in its class.
Camry has won these significant awards and accolades in 2014:
• Excellent Value by IntelliChoice
• IIHS Top Safety Pick
• SmartChoice Retained Value by IntelliChoice
• NHTSA 5-Star Safety Rating
• SmartChoice Maintenance Costs Winner by IntelliChoice
• Highest-Ranking Passenger Car
• SmartChoice Fuel Costs Winner by IntelliChoice
• SmartChoice Operating Costs Winner by IntelliChoice
• “Most Dependable Midsize Car” by J.D. Power (Camry received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles among midsize cars.)
• U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Cars for the Money” award top honors in the Best Midsize Car for the Money category
• Recommended by KBB.com Consumers
For Camry’s safety features, including 10 standard airbags, whiplash injury lessening driver’s seat, and back-up camera; combined with the lowest cost of ownership for its economical gas mileage and two years of free maintenance; and it’s excellent technological capabilities—it is clearly the best choice over the Accord, Fusion, Altima and Sonata. And let’s not forget its comfort and increased interior room combined with its new sleeker style.
Come see the new Camrys available at Jaffarian Toyota Scion so we can show you these special features in person and answer your questions. For a more detailed comparison of Camry and its major competitors, click here.
Get informed. Stay informed. Which vehicle are you considering buying now?