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

How do so many people get away with drunk driving until someone is killed? Is there a way to prevent this?

traffic stopFewer people are getting away with drunk and distracted driving. There are more government campaigns, police crack-downs and consumer groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) waging the battle against drunk driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sponsoring “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign from August 21-September 7. On average, more than 10,000 people die on the roads each year due to drunk driving – that’s about one fatality every 51 minutes. In order to stop this deadly epidemic, police are cracking down on drunk (and impaired) driving. The NHTSA is reminding people “they’ll [police] see you before you see them.” In many of our local towns with a concentration of restaurants and bars in close proximity, the police wait until the bars close and for patrons to leave. While some people find this annoying, the local police departments are protecting you.

There are about 1.4 million—yes million— DUI arrests in the U.S. annually which clearly shows the police are cracking down on drunk, drugged and distracted drivers. This is one of the best steps toward prevention.field sobriety

In association with the NHTSA efforts to stop drunk driving, there is a new pledge to sign to not driving buzzed or drunk. A lot of people, especially young drivers, believe they’re just a “little buzzed” and therefore, don’t feel they are impaired. But they are. “Buzzed. Busted. Broke.” is another theme at the NHTSA, as they remind drivers that if you are caught, the cost will be about $10,000 in legal fees, court costs and insurance rate increases.

How do you prevent traffic fatalities?

For yourself:

  • If you are driving alone, don’t drink (or plan accordingly to be sober when you leave).
  • Plan a way home with a friend, taxi or public transportation.
  • When going out with friends or family, decide in advance who will be the designated driver.

For others:

If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive, here are some tips on how to stop them recommendations by MADD:

  • Be as non-confrontational as possible.
  • Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination — a cab, a sober driver, or public transportation.
  • Remember that the person you are talking to is impaired — talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
  • Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
  • Suggest that they sleep over (if you’re at a house party or at a hotel if they have the means to do so).
  • Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support — it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or more) people than one.
  • If possible, get the person’s keys. It is far easier to persuade the potential driver when you are holding their keys.
  • If all else fails, call law enforcement if the driver is truly impaired. It’s better to have a friend arrested than injured or killed, or has the potential to kill someone else. Enjoy the rest of the summer and this beautiful weather!
  • All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want you to drive safely to arrive home safely. Please consider following these guidelines and sharing them with others.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

I bought my Toyota from Jaffarian, but why would I come back for service when there is a service station closer to home and may be less expensive than your dealership?


JaffarianVolvoServiceArea2This is a great question — thank you for asking! There are so many reasons why you will love Jaffarian’s Service Departments, let me count the ways…

1. A common misperception is that dealerships are more expensive than other places for servicing your vehicle. The reality is you want to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. As I have written about before – it is similar to buying paper towels. You can buy the cheapest and use 3 times as many or you can buy a quality paper towel and get better value. We WANT and EXPECT you to do your homework when buying a vehicle and when choosing who services your vehicle. We make it easy for you by doing the research for you. Check out “Dare to Compare” on our website to help you evaluate alternatives and your best options to get the most value for servicing your vehicle! It is updated monthly to help you make an informed decision and compare in detail what you get for your money.

2. Trained Professionals. Not all service is the same for various makes and models. If you are driving a Volvo or a Toyota, you likely value quality. Our service advisors and service technicians are trained and our service technicians are professionally certified to work on your vehicle. A service advisor will meet with you before and after your appointment to explain everything that was done and recommended maintenance schedules. Your technician and/or advisor will meet with you to explain any service needed when they diagnose a problem prior to performing the work and will let you know all charges. At Jaffarian, you can count on trained professionals.

3. Service Excellence. Both of our service departments are award-winning, based on customer reviews. Our Jaffarian Toyota Service department ranks in the top 10 out of 71 Toyota Service departments in the Northeast Region. Our customers’ satisfaction is one of the best ways to evaluate our service departments.

4. We maintain the integrity of your vehicle by replacing genuine Toyota or Volvo parts with genuine Toyota and Volvo parts. Simply stated, we keep your Toyota a Toyota and your Volvo a Volvo. The local service station may not have the extensive inventory of parts we stock. If they do have to call for parts, you may have to sit and wait for them to arrive.

5. State-of-the-art technology. Allow our staff to demonstrate our commitment to excellence while using state-of-the art equipment. As you drive into the service area (designed to protect you from the elements), you may notice the clean environment as well as the equipment and technology. We invest in the best, including Hawkeye alignment technology, that most independent service stations will not have. With state-of-the-art technology, we can show you exactly the results of alignment diagnostics, as just one example of investing to better serve you. JaffarianVolvoServiceArea

6. We build relationships. We get to know your vehicle, we get to know you and you get to know us. Our team has longevity, so you become familiar with us. There is a lot to be said for having ‘your guy’ who you can count on to get your vehicle squeezed in to check something out prior to your heading out on vacation or quickly getting you into a rental hassle-free when an engine light comes on and you need to get somewhere. That may not be the case with other service alternatives.

7. Although you don’t think of a service department being in the hospitality business, when you’re in the Jaffarian Volvo or Toyota Scion Service Department lounges, you are our guest and we take pride in providing many hospitality services. We provide comfortable seating with flat-screen cable television, Wi-Fi, work stations, a choice of beverages, snacks, Starbucks coffee in real mugs. We also have a children’s play area and restrooms that are clean and spotless.VolvoWaitingRoomAccessories

8. Additional convenience amenities we offer include complimentary shuttle service to get you to the train, work or home and early bird key drop-off. We’ll give you a ride to your home or workplace in our van, but many people prefer to stay in our comfortable lounge and watch TV, read, or work on your phone and/or laptop.

9. There is a red phone that dials directly to my cell phone in both the service and sales areas. If you need to reach me for any reason, pick up the phone. I’m here to solve problems and make sure you’re happy. While the intention was for me to handle problems, I can’t tell you how many times someone picks up the red phone to call me and just tell me how happy they are with the service, or how the advisor or technician went above and beyond expectations.

10. Our websites include coupon specials to help protect your wallet and offer you the convenience of booking your next service appointment online, if you prefer.

11. Our highly-skilled and certified technicians work in temperature-controlled areas where they can focus on your vehicle in comfort, rather than in conditions such as extreme hot and cold. Some local service stations may be more like “sweat shops” this time of year. They also have general service technicians, not generally skilled or trained in your vehicle’s make and model.

12. Service appointments include a complimentary exterior car wash.

I understand the value of convenience and certainly understand the opportunity to save money. At Jaffarian, we are committed to delivering a high quality, professional service experience and offer the full set of amenities to make it easy and hassle-free for you. I hope to see you here for service to give us the opportunity to earn your business and your trust!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

P.S. I once walked through the Volvo service area and someone actually asked me if he could stay a little longer when his car was ready. He said he was enjoying working here and getting more done than in his office. Oh, and he was enjoying the coffee too!

Categories: Ask Gary

I saw in the paper that you took a group of 40 kids to a Red Sox Game. What motivates you to do that?


Another group shot of the group headed to Fenway 2015 07 28 with Bill BurtThanks for asking, as I’d love the opportunity to discuss our commitment to giving back to the community at-large. For years, Jaffarian’s charitable efforts have been focused on supporting local youth organizations and efforts, especially those related to sports and physical activity. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, with members from many local communities including Haverhill, Methuen, North Andover and Andover, is just one of many local organizations that we have supported over the years.

This was a very special game. The opportunity to take 40 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence to the game where Pedro Martinez was honored for his induction into the Hall of Fame and the ceremony retiring his number — 45— was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only for the kids, but also for us at Jaffarian. Pedro is only the second player born in the Dominican Republic ever to be inducted into the Baseball of Fame; and the ninth number retired in Boston Red Sox history. This was historical and to share this with local youth, especially local Dominicans, was truly magical.

Why was this event so important to Boston, the kids and the City of Lawrence? This event was very special to Red Sox Nation. Pedro had a big, positive impact on Boston and the greater Boston area; certainly for Hispanics, but especially for Dominicans. Lawrence is the city in the entire U.S. with the second largest Dominican population, with 21.4% of its population born in the Dominican Republic. It’s the city with the largest Hispanic population in Massachusetts with 73.8% of its population Hispanic, mostly of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. It was a prideful day for Red Sox Nation and Dominicans everywhere. And who else was part of the ceremony, but Red Sox favorite David Ortiz (aka Big Papi), like Pedro, born and raised in the Dominican. I am proud to remind you that we also brought Pedro to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion on July 3, 1998 (pictured below). He was also a three-time Cy Young Award Winner for best pitcher in the League, twice as a member of the Boston Red Sox.Gary and Pedro Customer Appreciation July 3 1998 v2

It meant so much to these grateful teens evidenced by this heartfelt thank you note emailed from one member of the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club: “I was in tears yesterday and just thinking about it this morning, I feel like crying again! What a beautiful ceremony. Powerful at so many levels…I grew up playing baseball in the streets, with a stick and a water bottle lid, and to hear Pedro’s reflection yesterday was a real gift. Thank you for making it possible for us to be there. Definitely a day to remember. I just love baseball.”

Fenway sign welcoming lawrence boys and girls club a prior time when Jaffarian took kids to FenwayAs I told the reporter from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune , “I’m excited for them (the kids). I go back with Pedro a little bit. I delivered him a car after his first start at Fenway Park in 1998. He was a gentleman from Day 1. He was a special pitcher, too, which is why he’s having his number retired. This is a great day for a lot of people.”

As the headline in the Eagle Tribune read “Pedro Pride Running through Lawrence,” it was also a day of pride here at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion! We are proud to give back to the local community, provide fond memories for local youth and join in the celebration of the great tribute to Pedro Martinez. This is truly what life is all about — giving back, bringing hope and inspiration. Pedro did great things for Red Sox Nation and I believe we can all do our part.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Do I need to maintain my truck differently than a car?








I hope you have a Toyota Tundra or Tacoma! If so, maintenance at the Jaffarian Toyota Service Department will keep you truck in certified Toyota parts and easily comply with your warranties. Certainly we service all makes and models, so if you have another truck, we would love to be your service department. Generally, many aspects of maintenance are the same for trucks and cars, but there are some differences. Your owner’s manual will give you the important information you need.

Oil changes are the basics of maintenance and that is so important to extend the life of your truck. However, it is not necessary to change your oil every 3,000 miles which many “quick oil change places” will lead you to believe. Most oils are now designed to last longer. In newer vehicles, you can wait for the maintenance service indicator light to come on. In vehicles from 2010, most often oil doesn’t need to be changed until you go 7,800 miles. In trucks that use synthetic oil, you can often go 10,000 miles between oil changes.

Starting with model year 2011, all Toyota Tundra engines converted to 0w-20 full synthetic motor oil, therefore, the oil needs to be changed every 10,000 miles. The Toyota Tacoma has two options for engine size. The Tacoma with the V6 motor will use 5w-30 motor oil, a semi-synthetic, which requires oil changes every 5,000 miles. The Tacoma with a 4-cylinder engine uses 0w-20 motor oil, a full synthetic blend and must be changed every 5,000 miles as well.

Know that not all oils are the same. For vehicles that use synthetic oils, you get the same oil every time and nothing extra you don’t need. Gas and diesel trucks need different oils. Diesel oils have more additives, which may adversely affect gasoline engine parts. That is why it is so important to go to a dealership that specializes in your vehicle. They will know exact which oil to use. Using the wrong oil will void your warranty.

You may be one of those people who knows how to change your oil, but you may be overfilling your engine. Even if it leaks and you add too much oil, you may be making things worse. Excess oil can end up in the cylinders and cause unwanted burning. If you believe you have a leak, come to Jaffarian Service Department for the repair. Leaking oil will cause permanent stains on your driveway or street. Be sure to put a box top or cardboard under the vehicle until you can bring it in.

TundraTundra V-8Engine

For Toyota Trucks, the following is recommended generally every 5,000 miles:
• Rotate tires and check condition (tread depth)
• Set tire pressure to correct psi
• Check that all exterior light bulbs are functioning
• Inspect front and rear brake components
• Inspect and top off fluid levels
• Perform multi-point inspection with print-out
• Road test the vehicle.

Every 15,000 miles, add the following services:
• Inspect condition of drive axle boots
• Check condition of brake fluid
• Check transfer case and differential fluids
• Check operation of cooling system and/or indication of coolant leak
• Complete inspection of steering and suspension components
• Complete inspection of exhaust system
• Inspect air filter (generally needs to be replaced every 30,000 miles)
• Inspect wiper inserts/blades
• Inspect cabin air filter (if applicable)
• Lubricate propeller shaft (where applicable)
• Inspect fuel lines and charcoal canister
• Reset maintenance/tire pressure warning lights

You know the old saying, “an ounce of prevention…” and that applies here and to all vehicles. The better you take care of your vehicle, the less it will cost over time for expensive repairs that could have been avoided.

Make sure your air conditioning is in good working order, you’re going to need it this week for sure! Let us know how we can help. Our service advisors and certified technicians are here to help you Monday through Saturday.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Where do you recommend visiting for summer day-trips or weekend drives?

While most people in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire prefer going to Cape Cod, the Lakes Region of N.H. and Southeastern Maine, the Travel Channel named the “7 Wonders of New England.” Why not plan a day trip to Newburyport or a weekend away to the other destinations and explore these “7 Wonders of New England” (distance each way from Haverhill is indicated in parentheses).

According to Gas Buddy, the average price of gas this week is $2.68 per gallon. Traveling in your vehicle is generally the most economical way to go and allows for more luggage than other modes of transportation.

Cog railway1. The Cog Railway, Mt. Washington, N.H. (120 miles) This is the world’s first mountain-climbing train and you can get a spectacular panoramic view on this spectacular 3-hour guided tour up to the highest mountain peak in New England. You get to spend an hour at the top of the 6,288-foot high peak. Now passengers can choose to take the three-hour round trip in a vintage coach powered by a historic steam locomotive or the more modern and eco-friendly biodiesel engines.

CascoBay2. Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine (250 miles) Acadia National Park contains more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails. Many of these trails were established by local village improvement societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Today many of the historic features, such as stonework, are still visible. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Visitors hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

MysticCT3. Mystic Seaport, CT (137 miles) Another great summer destination on the water, with loads of shopping and the renown Mystic Pizza, made famous by the movie of the same name, starring Julia Roberts in her first title role! The pizza is wonderful, as is the view from this quaint seaport.


Stowe4. Stowe, VT (178 miles) featuring the Trapp Family Lodge and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is a great place to visit in the summer. There is a zip-line adventure, shopping, dining, and loads of outdoor activities for the novice or the athlete.


rocky_gorge_bridge5. Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln, NH (120 miles) is by far one of the most majestic drives you will ever take in the entire country, though best in fall foliage season. The highway, designated an American Scenic Byway, is 34.5miles long and is part of the White Mountain National Forest loaded with trails, campgrounds and water falls. Just one word of caution, cell coverage may be an issue so plan ahead with necessary supplies and a bathroom stop!


NBPT6. Newburyport & Plum Island (18 miles) is a fun day of dining and shopping in the quaint downtown area while Plum Island has beautiful beaches, kayaking and bird watching. It lends itself to music festivals, shopping, walking and touring. Newburyport offers a beautiful view of the sunset, sitting on the benches on the downtown boardwalk at night or enjoy the sunset view from Plum Island.


CascoBay7. The Casco Bay Islands in Maine (246 miles) A little more complicated to access, these seven islands are off the coast of Maine. There is year-round ferry service from Portland to these charming islands filled with beaches, dining, campgrounds, arts and culture.

I still love the old favorites. But it’s always nice to visit a new place and see amazing new sites. Like most die-hard New Englanders, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But most of us don’t take the time to explore new places. Why not spend the rest of the summer seeing these beautiful 7 Wonders of New England? If you go to any of these 7 Wonders, share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Before you go, be sure to pack up your emergency items. I wrote about preventing overheating in my Ask Gary blog last week and some key items to have with you. Be sure to read that column before you leave. Haven’t had your car checked yet this summer? Be sure your vehicle is ready for your trip. We’ll check it out so you can enjoy the trip and have peace of mind. If you do need the AC serviced, check out our specials on line. We at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to be sure you have a fun and safe trip. If you need to schedule maintenance, you can schedule online or by phone.

Happy traveling and safe driving as you explore some new summer sites! I can’t wait to see your photos!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

With these hot temperatures, is there a way to prevent my car from overheating?

Overheating1Yes, there is a way to prevent overheating with proper maintenance. Bring your vehicle into Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion’s Service Department and we can be sure to do the following to prevent overheating:

1. Make sure your coolant system is topped off with antifreeze.

2. Check all hoses to be certain they are in good condition so they don’t corrode or leak.

3. Change your oil. If you change your oil yourself, check the water system, hoses, and belts. A good visual inspection is important. If you see something that doesn’t look right, bring it in.

4. Check your fan. Sometimes fans don’t operate properly and can cause the engine to overheat, so checking that is also important.

If your vehicle does overheat, you want to be sure you do everything to stay safe. As soon as you see smoke or steam coming from the engine, pull off to the side of the road and follow these steps:

1. Turn the engine off, open the hood and let it cool down.
Normally your car will have warning lights and a pressure relief valve. If your engine starts to overheat, it will give you plenty of warning before you could actually damage anything. You really can’t address any of the problems though until the engine cools off. Monitor the temperature gauge to catch it before it overheats; take notice if you see the needle moving up toward hot rather than staying in the middle.
If the gauge is already indicating the engine is overheating,  turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows. Turning the heat on can help to pull the heat away from the engine.

2. Do not take off the radiator cap until the engine is cool.
Be safe as you don’t want to get burned.  Do not uncap the radiator or water system. The pressure will be high and it will blow off.

3. Refill antifreeze and coolant.
Once everything cools down, open the system up and fill it back up with new antifreeze. The coolant tank is generally a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If it is empty, you may have sprung a leak. If you look under the vehicle and you see a drip or puddle, the tank is leaking.
If you have a leak, carefully open the radiator cap. Place a cloth over the radiator cap to protect your hand, and tilt the cap away from you as it opens. Refill the cooled radiator with your spare coolant or water. Do not pour cold water into a still-hot radiator — it could cause the engine block to crack due to the sudden change in temperature. If you absolutely have to add water while the engine is still warm, pour slowly while the engine is running in neutral or park.

4. Check hoses for leaks, blockages or bursts.
Conduct a visual inspection to see if you have a leak or something that caused your engine to overheat because a vehicle doesn’t usually overheat without a reason. Chances are you either have a leak in the coolant system, or a thermostat went bad, which can happen. It is more common for older vehicles, but we recommend a professional technician address the thermostat.

5. Keep a safety kit in your car.
Have a kit that contains coolant, a tool kit, a blanket, a working flashlight, non-perishable foods and water in the car at all times. By the way, an engine can overheat at other times of the year beside summer.

Come see us to have your vehicle checked out to avoid the hassle and frustration of being on the side of the road.  We’re here for you 6 days a week and you can book a service appointment online.

Drive safely, enjoy the beautiful weather, and keep your cool, even when your vehicle can’t!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

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