While it’s been a mild winter, I still have sand and salt on my vehicle. Does that affect the paint or body?

ToyotaCarWashYes, even though the weather had been milder than normal, our vehicles are still exposed to dirt, sand and salt. And yes, it does affect the paint, body and even the components. That’s why it’s so important to keep your vehicle clean.

Although sand is essential for safer winter driving by providing better traction, salt prevents ice on the roads and can lead to numerous problems. It is extremely corrosive and over time it can cause extensive damage to vehicles. Salt causes rust, which accelerates by repeated exposure to salt. What most people don’t realize is the rust can create problems ranging from hydraulic brake system leaks to sub-frame damage. While most of the vehicle’s underbody is wide open, most salt damage occurs underneath the vehicle, and can be difficult to see. The water and salt that sprays up underneath your vehicle sits there and may stick to the bottom and cause corrosion.

This is why it is so important to find a good auto wash, such as the Jaffarian Auto Spa, and have the undercarriage washed this time of year. I also recommend that you have your vehicle waxed and sealer applied to further protect the paint at each wash. It is important to dry your vehicle off this time of year, especially in those hidden spots such as the door jams to prevent icing and rust after you wash your vehicle. Check out our Auto Spa and service specials here.

Even if you garage your vehicle, after driving on salt treated roads, the ice, snow and salt from the roadways sits underneath and can potentially rot away your vehicle’s under components. This rotting or corrosion can harm the car’s exhaust and muffler systems, coil springs and the frame. Damage to the sub-frame of a vehicle is quite common in the Northeast.

While corrosion under your vehicle is not necessarily visible, the best way to ensure that a vehicle is and will continue to function properly is to have it checked by our professional technician’s in the Jaffarian Service Department when it is in for an oil change or at any service appointment. Our Service Department provides a complimentary exterior wash with each service appointment (weather permitting).

If you want to protect the undercarriage or rid your vehicle of rust or corrosion, visit or call our Jaffarian Body Shop, at 312 River Street in Haverhill at (888) 242-2812. They are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To schedule an appointment for our Auto Spa, call (888) 234-2854. Doesn’t your vehicle deserve some TLC this winter?

Let’s hope this warm weather remains, but then again it’s February in New England – anything goes!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Why does it matter where I buy my next Toyota or Volvo? What’s the difference if you all sell the same vehicles?

checklistActually, a lot of people feel the same way you do. Yes, you can buy a Toyota Camry at any number of Toyota dealerships and you will get the same vehicle. While many people shop for a vehicle solely on price, the reality is most dealerships sell the same vehicles for about the same price. So what else matters to you, if anything, other than price?

I highly recommend you research the vehicle and the dealership putting as much emphasis on choosing the dealer as you do choosing the make and model.  Below is what else you should research in addition to price when selecting a vehicle and a dealership:

1. Longevity. Does the dealership have a proven track record? We have been in business in Haverhill for more than 75 years! Why does this matter? This is especially important if something happens to the vehicle and you need the dealerships support or assistance. A vehicle is a powerful machine with many moving parts. Do business with someone who is likely to be around in the future if and when needed.

2. Reputation. Research the reputation of the dealer via reputable online review sources. An objective source is DealerRater.com which compiles customer reviews easily for other consumers to read and monitor. Our rating is 4.9 out of five from our satisfied customers. Another useful reputation site is Women Drivers.com reflecting surveys from women and families as to how dealerships treat and service their needs.

3. Quality Experience. Evaluate your interactions to ensure you are being treated the way you deserve to be treated. As we say, Demand the best. Get the best. You deserve to be in the driver’s seat when purchasing or leasing a new or pre-owned vehicle.

4. Accessibility.  Can you access the top management or even the president of a dealership? Not usually, except at Jaffarian. There are red phones in our service areas and in the showroom available for you to pick up to speak with me directly. I installed those phones so I could resolve problems, but many people use them to tell me they just had a great experience. Should you have any concerns, simply pick up the red phone. red phone

5. Do you feel valued?  Are you comfortable that your needs are being heard and the team at the dealership is doing what they can to best serve you?  Your time is valuable and the buying process can be cumbersome and time consuming. Do you feel your time is being valued and your needs are being accommodated?

6. Service Quality. While many approach this as a transaction, we honestly approach this as the beginning of a relationship. Given that, we want you to not just evaluate the sales person and showroom but to evaluate what else you are buying into.  That includes the  service department. Is it clean? How are the restrooms?  Is there a complimentary shuttle? Do they make servicing your vehicle easy and convenient for you and your busy life?

7. One Stop Shopping. For most people, life is busy and spending time at a dealership is not highly desirable.  You do not have a lot of free time. Is it important to you to establish a broader relationship with the dealership to serve all your automotive needs? Or is this buy or lease, one and done?  With an emphasis on building relationships, we understand our customers are very busy and offer one-stop shopping for all your automotive needs from our award-winning body shop (consistently ranked in the top by leading insurers for quality of work), our vehicle rental division (replace division with service), parts department, and Auto Spa. Whatever your needs when it comes to vehicles, we can serve you and do it well.

We know that the average consumer looking for a vehicle visits two to three dealerships (2.8 on average). You have many choices. Do your homework on both the vehicle and the dealership.

It is our goal to earn your business by being one of the dealership you research and visit. We will then do everything we can to earn your business on that visit and in every future visit.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Is there anything new from Volvo since the XC90? I don’t want to buy an SUV.

VolvoS90There is something exciting coming soon from Volvo that is smaller and sportier than the XC90 and it’s the all-new S90! It features Volvo’s second generation Pilot Assist technology, making it the only vehicle in the U.S. with semi-autonomous driving technology, which is starting to get more attention. At your command, the car will assist with steering, acceleration, deceleration, and braking up to 80 mph. The S90 has a lot to offer drivers, while staying in complete control.

Its rare Nordic wood makes it an expression of true Scandinavian craftsmanship. Although this is Volvo’s newest model, drivers are assured of the world-renown safety features. The new S90 detects pedestrians, cyclists and – a world’s first – large animals on the road. It warns you and, if necessary, brakes if you don’t intervene, even in the dark. It can also work out whether there’s a collision risk if you’re approaching slower moving or stationary vehicles.

For sleepy or distracted drivers, the 2017 S90 offer the world’s first, run-off-road solution with steer assist technology that operates at higher speeds, working out if you stray over lane markings to the road edge. It will assist steering and will put you back on a safer path. How’s that for a vehicle looking out for its owner? It seems to me like it has eyes and a brain!

There are times when having a helping hand with driving makes life more relaxed and safer. Pilot Assist automatically maintains a set speed or distance to the car in front, as well as giving gentle steering inputs to keep you properly aligned within your lane markings.

This is an environmentally-friendly vehicle with low emissions, less fuel required and a commitment to sustainability. The four-cylinder engine saves on energy consumption, yet it performs like a six or eight-cylinder. There is a “CleanZone” approach to the S90’s interior environment. Volvo offers an Interior Air Quality System that checks incoming air for pollutants and closes the vents when necessary. An active carbon filter also helps protect you from harmful gases and unpleasant odors — so you can breathe healthier air.

Please give us a call at 888-656-8726 to be on our list to be one of the first to test drive the S90 at Jaffarian Volvo when it becomes available or to test drive any of other vehicles.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

P.S. Jaffarian Volvo has a nice selection of the S60, S80, XC60, and XC80s available – as well as the XC90 that won so many accolades, including the 2016 “North American Truck of the Year,” by the top automotive writers in the U.S. and Canada, though it really is an SUV!

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What can we do to avoid an accident or hydroplaning in slippery conditions?

VOlvo in snowy winterThat’s a great question and the best thing you can do is ensure your vehicle is properly maintained and ready for driving in inclement weather.  Remember that your tires and brakes are your most important safety features, particularly in winter driving conditions. If you have not had your tires and brakes checked, now is the time.  Your tires should not be worn and the tire pressure should be checked to help minimize chances of skidding and hydroplaning. It is also important to be sure to rotate your tires regularly and check your alignment.

Good tires in good condition is one of the best ways to avoid hydroplaning. Hydroplaning happens when your tires encounter more water than they can scatter, so they lose contact with the road and skid along the water’s surface. In this situation, you actually lose control of your vehicle. We have some videos to watch on our You Tube channel on making a decision to buy new tires and the “penny test.”

Feel free to see our technicians at Jaffarian’s Service Department. We can inspect your tires and let you know if your vehicle is due for a tire rotation or an alignment. We have state-of-the art equipment, Hawkeye Technology, to give you an objective opinion and review the results with you. We also have an on-line service scheduler for your convenience.

In addition to having your tires and brakes checked, here are additional tips to help you this winter.

Ten Tips to avoid an accident by skidding or hydroplaning:

1. Slow down. Even the first 10 minutes of rain can be the most dangerous as can the early part of a snow storm before the roads are treated. In the case of rain, move to the middle lane if possible to avoid standing water.  Avoid abrupt or quick turns and do not use cruise control.

2. Be watchful of other drivers who may be skidding. Keep a safe distance ..

3. Drive in the tracks of the vehicles in front of you. This minimizes the amount of water your tires will encounter and can be helpful before plows are out during snowfall.

4. Be certain your windshield wipers are working and that they have been replaced in the past 6-12 months. Make sure your defroster is  in good working order for maximum visibility. Book an appointment to get your vehicle prepared for winter driving conditions if you have not done so.winter wiper blades

5. Consider driving in a lower gear to gain more traction.

6. If you have to brake, do so with gentle pumping. Never slam on the brakes. (If you have anti-lock brakes, you should be able to brake normally.)

7. Try to stay calm! I realize this is not easy advice, but avoiding slamming on brakes and abruptly turning the steering wheel will help you get through the skid or hydroplaning.

8. If you skid while driving a standard vehicle, disengage the clutch and downshift. In an automatic vehicle, ease up on the brake.

9. Always steer in the direction you want your vehicle to go or in the direction of a skid.

10. Choose your route carefully during inclement weather.  While some may prefer to avoid the highway in snowy or icy conditions, these roads may have better lighting and are well marked while back roads may not be treated as quickly, road markings can be more difficult to see and lighting may be an issue. Be mindful of overpasses as well as they tend to freeze.VolvoS60winter

After a winter like last year’s record-breaking snowfall, we’re all bracing for another tough winter, while hoping for the best. Please follow these guidelines as all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want to see you stay safe this winter.



Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Winter came upon us so quickly after a warm December, how do I get my vehicle ready for winter?

ToyotaCamryin SnowMany of our customers are like you and weren’t ready for the first snowfall that hit last week. One of the most common issues is something we’ve addressed in our fall blog, tires that are not properly inflated. It is indicated by a symbol on your dashboard that lights up and looks like an exclamation point inside parentheses. This is an important quick fix for both safety and gas mileage. Whenever a symbol appears on your tire pressure syboldashboard, please call us or stop by the Jaffarian Service Department that week to take care of the issue. You can also book an appointment online. Spending an hour or two in our clean and comfortable  waiting room in well worth the peace-of-mind that your vehicle is safe and ready to handle the winter weather. We have a lot of great service specials through the end of the month. (Click here for the coupons!) Or if you can’t wait, we offer a complimentary shuttle.

While most older model vehicles were supposed to have the antifreeze flushed out every two years, many of the newer vehicles have coolant that is supposed to be good up to 100,000 miles. Due to the severe driving conditions in New England, it is a good idea to start having the protection level checked beginning at 60,000 miles. I recommend that is checked every fall to prepare for winter, but it’s never too late. Here at Jaffarian, we believe that it is very important and do it as part of our multipoint inspection every time that your vehicle comes in for service.

Here are the other important items you need to address to prepare for this winter along with some tips:
• Keep the gas tank at least half-full to help avoid the tank and fuel lines from freezing.
• Replace wiper blades with new or winter blades that can handle snow and ice. As a general rule, blades should be replaced every six months.
• Have the radiator system serviced and check the antifreeze level.
• Check the heating system to be certain it works properly with no leaks, that the blower works and window defroster is working.
• Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
• Replace any worn tires, make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.
• Have the battery and charging system checked. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
• Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. That’s something than can be done with each oil change.
• Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can be a problem in winter. At Jaffarian, a certified  technician will check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time and will put in the specific oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. That’s why it is so important not to rely on a quick oil change drive-through service as they may not use the specific oil recommended.
• If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done soon and follow your recommended service schedule. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
• Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
• Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
• Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed.

I highly recommend that everyone carry an emergency kit containing the following:
Ice scraper and snowbrush
Jumper cables
Flashlight and flares
Bottled water and dry food snacks
Necessary medication
Cat litter, sand or ice melt and a shovel.

Stop by our Parts Department to prepare your emergency kit. Lastly, garage your car if you have one or can rent one to preserve the exterior finish of your vehicle. You may consider covering it with a tarp or other cover. Be sure to keep your cell phone charged.

Drive safely and next week I’ll be sharing important driving tips for winter weather.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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What is the safest way to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Anything new in the automotive industry to look forward to in 2016?

Safety is most important. Many people like to spend a quiet evening at home because that is clearly the safest place to be. This year the college football playoffs offer an alternative way to plan your New Year’s Eve celebration. But if you’re like most people and want to go out or spend the evening with friends, one of the best places to be is at a house party, particularly if you’re hosting the party. I urge you to think about staying over a friend’s home or at a local hotel. Hotel-sponsored events are a popular place to celebrate, whereby you can drink and then go upstairs to your room without being on the road. You may be the person who doesn’t drink, but as I mentioned last week, you can’t control who else is on the road. This is the night where you can most expect people to be drinking and driving. If you know someone willing to be a designated driver, that’s a great person to celebrate with. If you go out with a significant other or friend, take turns every other year being the designated driver. Be creative in your solutions to celebrating safely.

After the clock strikes midnight, January 1 is generally the fifth most dangerous night to be on the road in terms of fatalities, particularly when New Year’s Eve is on a weekend. It is also important to note that It is also the night with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities, so walking home from a party is not always the best solution.

The positive spin on the New Year: The New Year offers the opportunity for hope, goal-setting and exciting new possibilities in the year to come. Perhaps you’re seeking a new job, looking for a new love or even a new vehicle! While most people traditionally think in terms of New Year’s resolutions, they are generally short-lived. By March, most people forget the resolutions they made or feel defeated because they can’t keep them going.

Stress management experts say the most important way to design your New Year’s resolutions is to set goals that are achievable so that you won’t feel like a failure if you don’t achieve them. They recommend you don’t try to change habits overnight — such as going “cold turkey.” While you may not make it to the gym every day, you may be able to go for a walk in the neighborhood and still get your exercise, if your resolution is to exercise more frequently.

One of the other tips is to make resolutions or set goals you want to achieve, not make the ones you think you should make such as saving money, exercising more, dieting and quitting smoking. If you plan to do what you think you should do or should give up, you will inevitably end up making a resolution to which you are not entirely committed. Choose one or two goals for which you are capable of achieving and truly committed. Other tips include sharing your goals and resolutions with the people closest to you to engage their support; and be realistic in how many goals you set and what you really can achieve!

What’s new and exciting in 2016 for vehicles?

One of the most exciting vehicles is the redesigned Prius, synonymous with energy savings and environmental achievements. This year’s model is more stylish than ever. Be it the standard or the plug-in, the new Prius exceeds all expectations. The all-new 2016 Prius (coming soon) is more


The sporty new 2016 Toyota Prius is coming soon!!


efficient than ever, has bold character lines, a lower and wider stance, expressive LED headlights, unique LED taillights and a more spacious interior with enhanced safety features and driving dynamics.

The bold, new Camry has a redesigned, mesh front-end. There is also a new special edition Camry with 18-inch alloy wheels. If you thought the


2016 Toyota Camry

nation’s most popular car was not very exciting, now is the time to take a fresh look at the redesigned Camry. With its sporty new look, the Camry now has wider appeal to a younger demographic.


If you’re looking for an SUV that exemplifies safety and luxury, check out the Volvo XC90—Motor Trend’s 2016 SUV of the Year! It also received accolades from U.S. News and World Report’s Best Cars of 2016 and Car and Driver, and too many more to name. The biggest news from Volvo is


All new 2016 Volvo S90

they just released is the all-new 2016 S90— a sporty looking luxury sedan, with rare Nordic wood, ergonomic comfort and world-class safety features.


Please plan out your New Year’s celebration and strategize how to celebrate safely. If one of your goals in 2016 is to purchase a new vehicle, come visit us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion. We look forward to serving you in the New Year. Thank you to all of you who contributed to our fourth generation of success as a local, independent, family-owned dealership.

A happy, healthy and safe new year to all of our friends and customers from all of us in the Jaffarian family.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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Among all the commercialism, what happened to the true meaning of Christmas?

HappyHolidaysYes, this is something most of us are all guilty of—both the shoppers and the retailers. The days of hand-made gifts and quiet family celebrations may be gone— but the spirit and meaning of Christmas can linger on for generations to come.

Churches still fill up on Christmas Eve as we are reminded of the story of the birth of Christ. But even those who don’t believe, can keep the meaning of Christmas alive—as it was intended to be. Christmas has become a harried time of shopping, though many people do all their shopping on line to avoid the lines, traffic and crowds—and people know how to use the web to search for the best deals.  The wise men bringing gifts has turned into parents who buy 10 to 100 gifts, some of whom were criticized on social media after a parent showed off the 100+ gifts they purchased for their children.

But it is also a time to celebrate friends and family— a time for charity to be at an all-time high for those less fortunate. We filled the back of a Toyota Tundra in the Jaffarian showroom with clothes, diapers, hats and mittens for local homeless children helped by the Emmaus House in Haverhill. Quite a few customers and those who read about our efforts in social media went out of their way to make a donation. That to me is how we can keep the meaning of Christmas alive in our own hearts and in helping others in need.

Emmaus donation

Pictured above (l to r): Trevor Fanning, Jaffarian Sales Manager, Gary Jaffarian, President and CEO, and Denise Arnold, Emmaus House volunteer.


As far back as 1889, American Magazine published the true meaning of Christmas as “to give up one’s very self — to think only of others — how to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas.”  As simple, yet profound as this is, people lose the true meaning in the hustle and bustle.

We can all do our part to keep the true meaning of Christmas alive in various ways. There are thousands of worthwhile charities locally and throughout the U.S. The reality is there is so much need and we have an opportunity to give of ourselves – not just in the form of money but in the form of time, sharing talent and compassion. It’s a great time to think of supporting the USO or other organizations that supports veterans. If you are an animal lover, there are nearly 300 high-rated animal charities and hundreds of shelters that need support. If you have thought about a cat or dog for your family, consider a shelter pet that will be so grateful, and will give back the love you give them. Perhaps you can encourage your company and co-workers to support a local worthwhile charity or volunteer their time. These efforts epitomize the spirit of Christmas and can be done throughout the year.

If you have children, this is a time to involve them in charitable giving. Many children have successfully raised money for charity and learn from their parents about the spirit of giving. This is another gift you can give your children—the compassion of giving to those in need, perhaps even giving up one of their gifts to a needy child.

That is the true spirit of Christmas to me – what we can do for others, our family and friends – at a time when the world needs all of the peace and love it can give.

May you and your family, members of the community and citizens of our country, find the find peace, prosperity, love and friendship at a time when we need it most. Wishing you  a happy and safe holiday celebration, whether you celebrate Hannukah (held earlier in the month), Christmas or Kwanzaa (from December 26 to January 1) from the Jaffarian Family to yours.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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