What vehicle maintenance is so important that it can’t wait? I cannot afford to service my car when nothing is wrong.


JaffarianVolvoServiceArea2I understand completely, as many of our customers are in a similar situation. I would be happy to tell you where you’ll get the most “bang for the buck.” It is important to maintain your vehicle for two major reasons: No one wants to break down and deal with the inconvenience of waiting for a tow truck  (or a potential accident); and if you wait for a break-down, I can guarantee that your repair will cost more than what you can do to prevent it. Your vehicle contains a lot of high-technology parts and it is important to maintain them to extend the life of your vehicle.

This is Car Care Month. Your vehicle should get an annual check-up and period check-ups when you get your oil changed — at least every 5,000 miles. I’m confident that our Jaffarian Service Department’s certified technicians will be able to tell you what else is most important for your specific vehicle. Here are my Top 10 best car care tips:

1. Keep up with your maintenance schedule. In order to honor your warranty, you must keep up with maintenance. If you are outside of the warranty period, take your vehicle to a reputable service station or dealership to identify what is most crucial to repair.

2. Does your vehicle have a timing belt or chain? Repairing it before it snaps will save you money and aggravation. The timing belt or chain is part of the system that controls the engine’s valves so they open and close at the proper times. If you don’t change it, generally at 90,000-100,000 miles, it will cause further damage to your engine.

3. Have an oil change that includes a check of all the filters and fluids. Check the hoses, belts and battery. It’s best to replace them before their useful life is over. Jaffarian’s Service Department is able to work on all makes and models and the technicians are certified on Toyotas and Volvos.

4. Check your brakes. If you feel your brakes are not as efficient as they were, get them checked. This is one of the most important safety systems. You cannot afford to lose your brakes as that will certainly lead to an accident.

5. Keep your tires properly inflated. Tires that are too low use more fuel, and therefore, cost you more. Other than your brakes, they are one of the most important safety features. Get an alignment, tire rotation and balance your tires when the technician recommends it. You’ll save money and prevent more costly repairs by needing new tires sooner than expected, and of course you’ll experience a smoother ride. Check the inside door label or manual for the proper inflation for winter vs. nice weather.

6. Wax, polish and wash your vehicle regularly. Though these may seem like cosmetic issues, they go a long way to maintaining the value of your vehicle. Repair dents and nicks before they rust. All of this can be done at the Jaffarian Auto Spa and at the Body Shop.

7. Know who is working on your vehicle. All service stations and service department are not created equal. Find out if the technician is certified to work on your vehicle. How much experience do they have working on your vehicle make and model? How much experience do they have with that specific procedure? Do they have convenient hours? The Jaffarian Service Department is open six days a week. Appointments can be made on line 24/7.

8. Does your service station use genuine or generic parts? Do you want new or refurbished parts? I call this “Keep your Toyota a Toyota” or “Keep your Volvo a Volvo.” Your vehicle is the sum of its parts!

9. Do you get a ride to work or back home? Jaffarian offers a shuttle service to get you where you need to be, should you not want to wait for your vehicle.ac01415a4046387200e90e232677f4ce

10. Get your vehicle ready for winter. Check your tires, heating system, windshield wipers and lights. I will write more about this before the winter weather descends upon us.

During Car Care Month, be sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. For a free copy of a booklet for VolvoWaitingRoomAccessoriesCar Care Guide available as part of “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, click here.  Please don’t wait for something to go wrong before you get your vehicle checked. After all, it’s your money, your safety, your life. Come visit us at the Jaffarian Service Department where you’ll be treated like a V.I.P. Our comfortable waiting rooms and guest services mean you may not want to leave! Really, our customers have told us that before!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

P.S. We have a lot of coupon specials on our website including many of the services  mentioned above, for example, timing belt, oil change, and auto spa specials. Protect your wallet and review our specials!

Categories: Ask Gary

Where do you recommend driving for fall foliage season?

Prius in fallAs you know, people come from all over the country to New England during leaf-peeping season. The best foliage in late September is in Northern New England and then as the weeks go on into October, the foliage changes in Southern New England.

Experts predict the foliage will be a little later this year and “patchy” as it wasn’t an ideal spring or summer for foliage. Most of New England had a dry spring and little rainfall this summer, which is great, except that it affects the foliage season. The rainfall this week will perhaps hasten the New England foliage. Yankee Magazine’s fall foliage website gives you live foliage map to track the color changes.

Since I’ve addressed this topic before, I’d like to highlight some of the lesser-known road trips in places where life is slower and there may be a little less traffic. Driving is stressful enough on weekdays, so I hope you’ll enjoy visiting some places you may never have seen for some breath-taking colorful foliage.

One of the best parts of living in New England is that we’re in a region where you can drive about two hours in any direction, and you are in a different state with different views and activities. As small as our region is, each state and each town has its own personality. With your cell phone or camera in hand, what a great opportunity to post your photos on social media or create a family album. We encourage you to become part of the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion family and post your photos to our Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook pages. Tell us where you went, rate the foliage and what you liked best about the area or town.

I would be remiss though if I didn’t mention the two places that get the most accolades. In “50 Stunning Places kancamagus-granite-and-foliage1Around the World” to see autumn foliage, according to weather.com, is North Conway, New Hampshire. My other favorite place is driving through the White Mountains on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.

In “50 Stunning Places,” they also note Hogback Mountain in Brattleboro, Vermont, about two-and-a half-hours from this area. Here are some lesser-known places to visit in New England:

Berkshire SignMASSACHUSETTS –Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires-Amherst-Williamstown region is often overlooked by those in the Boston and Seacoast area. There are loads of quaint inns and bed and breakfasts in this region. Shelburne Falls is another place to visit in the region.

RHODE ISLAND – This small state has so much to offer. Foliage is often best in Northern anRId Western, R.I. on the Connecticut border. It’s even beautiful along the downtown Providence Canal area.

MAINE – Camden, Rangeley, Bethel and Blue Hill are beautiful areas to visit.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – Hanover, Jackson, Sandwich, Conway and the Waterville Valley area are places to visit for beautiful colors.

VT in autumnVERMONT – Stowe, Montgomery, Woodstock, Manchester, Middlebury and Waitsfield are places written up for having beautiful scenery without the crowds. Keep in mind that the “Green Mountain” state is 80 percent forestry and is one of the best states to visit this season.


CONNECTICUT – Litchfield and The Cornwalls have been written up as the best places to visit.

Wait! Before you go on a long drive, be sure your vehicle maintenance is up-to-date and your tires are properly inflated and windshield wipers are in good working condition. If you need help preparing your vehicle, please call the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion Service Department or book an appointment online. If you get to any of these places, or any place of your choosing to see foliage, please let us know how your trip was and post to social media or email us your photos to askgaryj@gmail.com. We’d love to see your photos, with or without your vehicle!

Enjoy this beautiful time of the year in New England!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

I hear rave reviews about the Jaffarian Collision Center, but I don’t live close by. How can I access your services?

BodyShopRestorationsI am so glad to hear that word is spreading about our terrific Jaffarian Collision Center, because I am so proud of what my brother, Mark, has accomplished running this area of the business.  Mark and his team repair vehicles to pre-loss condition, and our customers are thrilled when their vehicles are returned to them  looking new! Many people visit the collision center because it’s like visiting an auto museum (pictured here).  Restored vehicles are on display dating back to 1923, with restored antiques and older Volvo models.

Anyone can access the services offered, from windshield repairs to paint touchups or body work done due to an accident. Our commitment to you is to make the process easy and hassle-free for you and to deliver top quality work. We consistently receive notes and emails praising the experience and the quality work done!

Jaffarian Collision Center is a Massachusetts authorized, insurance company approved repair facility.  We work with all insurance companies and are highly rated by the top insurance companies in the state (e.g., Safety Insurance, MAPFRE/Commerce) for the quality of services performed.  We perform collision repairs on all makes and models and will handle the billing and paperwork directly with your insurance company.  As an added convenience, Jaffarian Collision Center offers Toyota Rental vehicles on site, with many new Toyota models to choose from making the drop off and pick up of your vehicle very easy!

If you are a MAPFRE insurance customer, you will receive many advantages by choosing to have your body work done by Jaffarian given we are one of their preferred repair shops.  MAPFRE describes the advantages of selecting one of their preferred repair shops as follows:

• These shops provide a high level of customer satisfaction for service and the quality and workmanship of the repairs.
• The quality of the work performed by these shops is backed up by MAPFRE Insurance Company for as long as you own your vehicle.
• MAPFRE will step in and deal directly with the repair shop for any issues necessary to expedite timely repairs and intervene if you are not satisfied with the work completed on your automobile.
• MAFRE will pay to have your vehicle towed to a Preferred Shop if it is not drivable (or Jaffarian Collision Center will arrange the pickup).
• Some registered shops may not agree to do the work for the prevailing labor rate in Massachusetts. All MAPFRE Preferred Repair Shops have agreed to do the work for the prevailing labor rate. This means no additional costs for you.
• If additional accident related damage is found during the repairs, don’t worry! The repair facility will contact the MAPFRE appraiser directly for a supplemental appraisal for any additional accident related damage.
• No surprises! All the MAPFRE Preferred Shops will complete the repairs according to the MAPFRE appraisal and we guarantee it.

MAPFRE reminds it customers that they are free to have the repairs performed at any shop of your choice, but that MAPFRE recommends a Preferred Repair Shop that provides a MAPFRE Insurance Company guarantee for the quality and workmanship of the repairs.

Jaffarian Collision Center also offers the following services:
• Paintless dent removal
• Detailing at the Auto Spa
• Windshield Replacement

The Jaffarian Collision Center is located at 312 River Street in Haverhill, just a few blocks down from Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion. For an appointment or more information, call the collision center at (978) 241-4576 or toll-free at 888-242-2812.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

You referenced Volvo having a child passenger seat in one of their vehicles in a previous blog. What is that all about? Anything new parents need to know about car seats?

volvo0715-xc90-excellence-child-seat-conceptCar crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Though most live, every 34 seconds one child under age 13 is involved in a crash. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts, so I am glad you asked. Without being properly restrained, many of these injuries or death could have been prevented.

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 13-19, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the goal is to make sure all parents and caregivers are correctly using the right restraint (rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat, booster seat, or seat belt) for their children’s ages and sizes.

You are correct as  Volvo just unveiled a unique (and slightly controversial) design for a child’s car seat with its new 2016 XC90 “Excellence” series. The design features an adjustable, swiveling baby carrier in place of the front passenger seat (pictured here). However, we are not offering that child seat until it has been thoroughly tested in the U.S. This new concept was developed to address three key points: make it easier for parents to get children in and out of the car, provide the child with a safe rearward facing seating position and create extra storage for their accessories.Child car seats

The seat’s position in the XC90 also has the parent literally taking a backseat to their child, allowing them to maintain eye contact throughout the trip.  Volvo’s Chief Designer of Interiors Tisha Johnson says, the arrangement would “go a long way toward making life easier for parents taking their small child on a trip,” adding that “alternative seating arrangements will become increasingly important as we move towards autonomous (self-driving) vehicles.”

Another goal of Child Passenger Safety Week is to encourage parents and caregivers to visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine if their child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area. Additionally, parents and caregivers will be urged to register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall, which is fairly  common.

This Saturday, September 19, many agencies throughout the state will be offering free child safety seat checks. To find a location in Massachusetts, call 877-392-5956; or go to www.mass.gov/childsafetyseat. Car seat clinics are available at the Andover, No. Andover and Haverhill Police Departments as well as at Lawrence General Hospital. Please be sure to call the non-emergency police numbers for an appointment.

The Bad News

Before you think your children are safe, here are the stats from 2013, the last accurate stats on record:

  • In 2013 alone, 126,000 children under age 13 were injured as passengers in car crashes.
  • On average,  2 children under age 13 were killed, and 345 children were injured every day in 2013 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.
  • From 2009 to 2013, 1,552 tweens (ages 8 to 14) were killed in cars, vans, and SUVs.

And most importantly, those that could have been prevented:

  • In 2013, over one-third (38%) of children (under 13) killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained – they were not in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.

The Good News

  • Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts save lives
  • In 2013, among children under the age of 5 in cars, an estimated 263 lives were saved by child restraints.
  • An additional 55 children could have survived if car seat use was at 100 percent.
  • Car seats work best when used correctly
  • In passenger cars, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively.
  • Most parents are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, but in most cases (59%) the seat has not been installed correctly.

Child passenger safety laws

  • For the past 30 years, all 50 States have laws requiring children to be restrained while riding in cars.
  • Massachusetts passed a booster seat law in 2008 requiring children be in a booster seat or safety seat until age 8 or 57”.


  • Failure to read and carefully follow the installation instructions included with a car seat as well as those in the vehicle owner’s manual can lead to incorrect installation, exposing a child passenger to the risk of injury or death in a crash.
  • All children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat.

Please make sure your children are in the proper seat or booster and properly restrained. Drive safely and enjoy this beautiful weather. All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to see you return home safely with your children.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

I realize that Toyota is a top-seller in the U.S., so are they “resting on their laurels” by having nearly the same design from year to year?

On the contrary, the top Toyota sellers have been redesigned! Just check out the 2015 and 2016 Camry, and the 2016 Tacoma and Prius! You’ll see a big difference!

Tacoma truck: America’s #1 Mid-size truck2016Tacoma
What many people don’t realize is that Ford dominated the truck market in the U.S. until the Tacoma came out in 1995 and it became the biggest seller in the U.S. mid-size truck market for the past 10 years when the design and size went from a small to mid-size truck 10 years ago. The design of this model was virtually the same until now—and it’s gone through a major redesign, earning rave reviews from Car and Driver, The Boston Globe and other publications.

According to Toyota, the new Tacoma will be available in 29 different configurations—between the two cab types and double cab styles! Each will be available in a 4×2 or 4×4 cab option with an elongated truck bed option. There will be a choice of engines and an all-new 3.5 liter V-6 engine. It generates 278 horsepower, 42 more than the previous model. It will be available with a new six-speed automatic transmission or five-speed with various engine sizes. This will present a great opportunity to customize the Tacoma to meet your own needs!

Additionally, it has new narrower headlights; and technology options for blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system; automatic headlamps and various audio systems with Toyota’s acclaimed Entune Infotainment system that has been available in other Toyota vehicles. Another new feature is the locking tailgate, an available factory-installed tri-fold hard cover; a high-definition touch screen, fold-up rear seats and under seat storage. The truck beds have a composite lining and loads of optional accessories. If you’re in the market for a truck, come check out the Tacoma and see why it’s been the #1 mid-size truck in the U.S. for 10 years straight! According to Car and Driver, “It’s the gateway truck for a lifetime of truck addiction…”

Prius: America’s #1 hybrid2016-toyota-prius-hybrid
The new 2016 model Prius was revealed last night and will be released in the coming weeks.. Also developed in 1995 and sold in the U.S. since 2000, it’s been the #1 hybrid for the past 15 years and it’s come a long way since then. Toyota has sold more than 8 million Prius models with a million sold in just the past 10 months. An Edmunds.com study suggests that 45 of those who traded in a Prius, bought another. By the way, Toyota has its 8th hybrid model arriving in 2016, as they introduce the RAV4 hybrid all-wheel drive model. Toyota has long been the leader in the “green” vehicle market.

You may have read in the news that the 2016 Prius had spies watching out for it, so it has been delivered to its officials launch under wraps—literally! Unveiled live from Las Vegas, it is a new 4th generation model and will be sportier looking than ever!

According to Yahoo Cars, this is “the first major overhaul of the world’s best-selling hybrid since 2009.” They reported “Caught during a photo shoot, even at a great distance it’s possible to see the major changes to the Prius’ exterior — more sharply sculpted headlights, a channel that begins in the back door and runs through the rear fender — while noting that it retains the overall hatchback shape…and more distinctive bodywork.”

The 2016 Toyota Prius is suitable for five people. There is a sun roof and the best new safety system, all available in a slimmer design. Toyota has reduced the weight giving it better performance. Toyota has redesigned the interior and exterior and incorporated new high tech features. The photo here is rumored to be the new redesigned model, but we will all have to wait for the grand unveiling in Vegas.

Camry: Toyota’s #1 Seller2016Camry-Special-Edition
The Camry was redesigned in 2015 and in 2016 there is a limited number of Special Edition Camrys being produced that are sportier and in bright new colors! It wouldn’t be as special without two new paint colors, giving Camry buyers a choice of Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic. Accenting the exterior finish is a set of 18-inch aluminum wheels featuring a unique machined and painted fascia (whereby Special Camry SE’s get 17-inch alloys) and a smoked-tail lamp treatment.

The interior is upscale, with exclusive seats that feature black bolsters and blue patterned inserts. They also get the same blue accent stitching that appears on the shift boot and the dash. A unique blue-on-white cluster populates the instrument panel, and comes with Special Edition floor mats. Keyless entry and push-button start are present, as they are standard on the SE—as is Toyota’s Qi wireless charging.

While Toyota’s projected limited production figure of 12,000 for this model may seem large for a special edition, keep in mind that in 2014, Toyota sold almost 400,000 Camrys in the U.S. alone; by that measure, the Camry Special Edition would constitute just about 3 percent of total volume. Production is scheduled to begin in August and run through January of 2016.

Watch for these great new 2016 models, coming soon to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion. Our 2015 models in stock are priced to sell as we await the new models. Come visit us before they’re gone. Keep in mind, if you’re one of our many customers who prefer to buy American, these Toyotas are made in America.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What are your best driving tips now that the kids are back to school?

School bus childrenThat is a great question because September is Safe Driving Awareness Month and I’m quite sure this coincides with back-to-school month by design. As summer weather continues, many children are out walking to school and back so this is a time to be vigilant, especially in areas near schools.

Be alert as you enter school zones and look for crossing guards. Crossing guards are town employees giving them policing power to stop or slow traffic down in school zones, putting their own safety at risk.

Here are tips for back to school driving:

  1. Slow down as you approach schools or cross-walks. Two-thirds of drivers exceed the posted speed limit. When you’re on main or side roads in cities and towns, keep your speed at the limit or slightly lower.
  2. Obey signs—when you approach a stop sign, come to a full stop and look in all directions before proceeding. If you see a sign posted that you’re approaching a school zone, drive defensively and watch for children.
  3. Stay Alert and avoid distractions—the biggest one being your cell phone, which we address on a regular basis. NO reading texts or texting. If you don’t have a blue-tooth, get one. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times. That’s one of the most exciting features of the newer vehicles, that you can answer your phone (or change the radio) without taking your hands off the wheel. Avoid eating, grooming, talking on the cell, and all those things people do while driving.
  4. Watch for children between parked cars. When approaching the school zones, watch for young children, who often dart out to get on or off the bus, or who dash over to their parents’ vehicles when they arrive. Pay particular attention at intersections.CrossingGuard
  5. Always stop for school buses as they let children on or off. Do not tailgate school buses, or any vehicle. When you see the school bus flashing yellow lights, be prepared to stop.
  6. Allow extra travel time whenever possible. You know the pressure—we’ve all felt it – when you’re running late for work, school or an appointment. We can feel our heart race while we watch the clock. We may try to rush through yellow lights and cut corners wherever possible to get there faster. With school buses rolling and extensive road construction going on throughout the area, allow extra time. You may want to experiment with alternate routes to avoid construction areas or school zones. Schedules are getting ironed out. Keep that in mind as it will settle down as bus schedules and routines get solidified.
  7. Use extra caution, especially in bad weather. On rainy days, with windshield wipers on, don’t forget the new law is that your lights must also be on. In rain and snow, drive at or below the speed limit. Be sure daylight running lights are always on. Just be sure to turn them off when you reach your destination if your model does not automatically shut off day lights.

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion wish you a very happy and safe school year.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What vehicles do women like to drive?

WomanHighlanderWhat do women want? According to Consumer Reports, women want “safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient transportation. Men, on the other hand, want power. While those desires might seem clichéd, they’re real. This comes from the latest owner satisfaction survey, which included data on more than 1 million vehicles.” It was the first time that they conducted data by gender. Consumer Reports relies solely on consumer research and does not accept advertising, giving it the highest credibility possible.

In its latest survey, Consumer Reports asked car owners whether they would buy the same vehicle again. Many women said they would purchase another Toyota Highlander or Toyota Prius, both ranking in the top five nationally.

And what else do women like? Hybrids are more popular with female drivers than with male drivers. But it’s not all about fuel economy. The Toyota Tacoma pickup truck received high marks from women!

The editors of Consumer Reports thought the “most interesting—but not surprising—owner satisfaction finding was that woman know what’s good. Whether it’s a luxury car, an SUV, a pickup truck, or a wagon, the list of women’s favorites is comprised almost entirely of vehicles that earned top scores from Consumer Reports. The same can’t be said about the guys’ choices.” This really changes the stereotype of men knowing more about vehicles than women. We continue to find our women customers are the primary decision-maker, well-read and have come into the dealership having done their research.

Woman-PriusThe finalist in the Most Loved Family Car” was….(drum roll please) the Toyota Prius. Why? The “excellent fuel economy, solid reliability, and a spacious interior make the Prius easy to fall in love with” were the reasons specified in the survey.

And the “Most Loved Midsize SUV”…the Toyota Highlander! Women surveyed preferred it as it “offers a roomy, family-friendly interior and rock-solid reliability.”

The top 5 list of vehicles for women represented a practical list of vehicles reflecting key factors including performance, reliability, and space. The top 5 list for men, perhaps not surprising, tended to reflect an aspirational list of vehicles they would like to drive, but in reality may never own. I’m happy to report there was not a Toyota or Volvo on the bottom 5 lists for either men or women.

Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion participates in a program connecting women to women-friendly dealerships and is Women-Drivers certified. We have a satisfaction score by women of 4.96 out of 5! That is so important to us that there is no gender-gap here—and that we treat every customer with respect. After all, statistics show that women buy 65-68% of all new vehicles and are a decisive influence in 93% of all purchases! Now that is buying power!

Enjoy these last couple of weeks of summer. Stop by and see us for any of your automotive needs.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

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