Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

Service Myths and Facts – What Your Dealership Can Offer

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
When your check engine light comes on it’s not the time to start to worry – it’s the time to know you have a reliable one stop service shop at Three Rivers Volkswagen.

Often the idea of taking our vehicles in for service makes most of us cringe, and we are familiar with myths like dealerships are the most expensive. However, if you do not choose to service your car at the dealership which you purchased, the warranty is void. This isn’t the exact truth, and those who have known a mechanic may already be aware of this. To keep certain parts of the warranty valid, some services do need to be completed at a dealership, but the benefit is that often these services are free.

Another reason individuals shy away from dealership service is that it may seem that it can often take an extended period of time to get a service completed. If you have ever had a vehicle with a significant problem or even taken yours in for service and received an unexpected call – you know any service department usually provides an approximate return time, but there is never a guarantee. Some of the most common myths that arise from dealership service can be debunked with a few facts. 

Don’t get stuck waiting…

First- many dealerships offer either a shuttle service or the availability of loaner cars. If you need to drop your vehicle off for the day, let the dealership know in advance – often, they will be able to provide you a ride to work, so you don’t have to sit in the dealership all day. However, keep in mind that most dealerships are now equipped with WiFi and often have work stations and provide an endless supply of coffee. If you are bringing your car in for a service that may require the dealership to be in possession of your vehicle for more than 24 hours, the better option may be requesting a loaner vehicle. This can also be a great option if you are thinking about checking out a new car. Loaner vehicles are often the same brand as the dealership and maybe a few years older, but they may come in a model you’ve never driven. 

When you decide to take your car to an independent service shop, you may have the option of unlimited caffeine, however, you may be stuck there for the entire day. Reasons that your service can often take longer than expected at an independent service provider include that they may not have the parts on hand as a dealership would. 

More service bays means more completed services – this is one benefit to a dealership.

Get the one trip fix

A dealership may be able to save you a second trip in or keeping the vehicle overnight because they have the specialty parts needed stocked regularly. At the same time, this can also be one of the reasons it’s thought that dealerships are more expensive. A dealership will carrier the Original Manufacturer’s Equipment, also known as OEM, which was created specifically for your car’s make and model. Many times independent service centers can provide parts that are similar but not identical. Parts may be rebuilt or refurbished, generic, or even used, which can cut costs, too. 

Another way that independent service centers can cut costs is by cutting down labor costs by taking what could be considered shortcuts to complete the work that needs to be done. This doesn’t mean they are giving you a poor service. What it means is that at a dealership, the mechanics are required to complete each and every service to the exact specifications of the manufacturer to ensure everyone receives the same quality. Dealership mechanics are often experts in their area and can make suggestions based upon their prior experience with the same vehicle. Often you might hear individuals claim they feel as a dealership “upsold” them on unnecessary services. Your dealership mechanic knows what to anticipate from your car due to extensive brand training. Therefore if you are just coming in for an oil change and they happen to note the particular mileage on your car is close to another service or notice something out of character about your vehicle, they may suggest service. 

Independent service centers may not realize items like this or may only be investigating the cause, which leads you to them. Keep in mind just because any service center makes a recommendation, it’s likely because they anticipate you will need this service shortly. If you choose to go to an independent service center and they do not perform a comprehensive vehicle check, as a dealership would have, you could end up spending more in the end. You may have thought your car was only due for one service – however, upon closer inspection and seeing within the next 3-6 months you might need these services does not mean your dealer is trying to take advantage of you, they are trying to help. By offering you the opportunity to handle these particular issues while your car is already in for service, they could be preventing a second – or even third- service trip. 

Volkswagen Master Techs are experts in their craft.

Finally, I cannot stress enough individuals who work in the service area of a dealership are experts in their craft, and again, they know more about your vehicle than anyone. You may trust your mechanic to be honest with you because you have been using him since you were 16. However, he cannot anticipate the common problems or needs for your vehicle. In the end, service will always be a personal preference – some individuals like to see their mechanic face to face, while others don’t mind dealing with a service department in exchange for exceptional quality in their vehicle. Whichever you choose, do keep in mind that we are only seeking to provide you with the best in quality manufacturer’s products and exceptional service here at Three Rivers Volkswagen

Plus- if you decide to stick around while your vehicle gets serviced, we provide attention from a very loving, playful, energetic pup! Not to mention you can schedule your service with us from the comfort of your home.

Get Your Dream Car in 2020

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Many of us have made New Year’s Resolutions-

some to improve our personal health, others to improve relationships, and many to improve our financial health. Often times we would like to see a little less debt, more of our paychecks going towards the things we desire or healthy savings account instead of drowning it all into paying the accumulated debt. Other times we can be looking to secure better financial health to work towards big purchase goals, like buying a house or a new car.
When we consider things like a practical mortgage or car payment, we often have a set number in mind – to make sure we are in the range we desire, there are a few steps.

First, start a savings account,

make sure it is within your means. If you only have an extra $100.00 of disposable income after bills, groceries, and gas, consider putting away maybe start with $20.00. Remember to take a look at where your discretionary income is going first. Do you only have an extra $100.00 left at the end of the month because you make a coffee run every morning? Even $3.00 five days a week can lead to $60.00 a month gone, instead of investing half that into a decent thermos and taking coffee to work. Or maybe you treat yourself to lunch a few days a week at work – the average lunch costs $7.00-$8.00; that’s if you keep it simple. Take a fine-tooth comb through your spending and see where it could be cut.
I know we all need groceries, too, but keep in mind, are you purchasing things that you are not eating? For example, do you tell yourself you will take a salad every day for lunch then end up eating out twice a week? Often we enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, but if you are trying to keep yourself on a restricted budget, you can find excellent substitutes in the frozen foods section that contain less sodium.

Review your bank accounts

Check for things you may have set up on auto-pay that you may not be using. There are plenty of apps and websites that can help with this now. Streaming services, gym memberships, other various memberships, which you may have forgotten over time. PCMAG has a great article featuring applications like TrueBill and Trim to help you decide which program might work best to cancel these unnecessary subscription services.

Know about your credit

Naturally, the best way to help boost some credit is to keep your revolving balance on the lower end because this will help keep your debt to income lower. Applications and websites such as credit karma (which is free) can help you track revolving balances, accounts in collections, and other delinquency marks. It can give you a baseline idea on where your credit ranks – it’s not 100% accurate; however, the other tools provided can be extremely beneficial to get you on the right path.
Paying off collection debts and keeping a lower revolving balance are going to be beneficial to credit score maintenance – and keep in mind if you are shopping for a new car paying off the balance of your old car isn’t quite the priority. Using credit karma in conjunction with tools like Kelly Blue Book can help, so you are rolling negative equity from your trade into a new car.

Know about your car

If you decide to use Kelly Blue Book, do keep in mind this is not an estimate, not an actual quote from a dealer. Also, be honest with yourself when getting a quote; a few cosmetic problems are one thing but, if you are missing hubcaps or have serious issues, don’t like your car in excellent condition.

Pictured: 2020 Passat R-Line Premium

Shop Around and Get Friendly

Also, if you are considering a vehicle purchase- shop around – get some pricing and talk to a finance manager while you are there. They can help to advise you on a few things – if you have old accounts with no balance, should they be closed out or not? Realistically how long until you will be making this purchase, they may be able to offer some advice. Finally, what kind of down payment you might need to put your payments where you would like them to be and what kind of credit score you may need to achieve that financing. Stopping in and becoming friendly with the dealership you are planning on purchasing will only benefit you because you will learn about – and maybe even receive a heads up – when the best deals for your ideal purchase are. Also, if you have never considered anything like this before, it will help you establish if you need to lease or finance a vehicle. If you have never considered leasing before this might be the ideal time – it offers a lot of benefits long term, such as always being under warranty, often you can receive free or low-cost services on the vehicle.

Be Realistic

Most important, set a realistic timeline for yourself – no less than at least 90 days. Often when items are in collections or paid off, it takes up to 30 days for it to reflect on your credit. Also, this will provide more time for you to save so you won’t be putting large chunks of your income aside and sacrificing other things you may want. If you resolved for better financial health in 2020 – start now and take this year by storm.

Gift Guide for your Car Enthusiast

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For some of us, it’s the most dreadful time, too. We all have that special someone who is impossible to buy for this holiday season. Here is our gift guide for your family car enthusiast, or if you’re really lucky, your Volkswagen enthusiast.

In 2019 we saw the boom of the subscription box and car lovers were not left out!

Mancrate – offers the essential auto care box; this one is great for anyone in the family or your friend who enjoys keeping their interior and exterior top notch. This is probably the least specific box out there but can come in handy for just about anyone when their car needs some extra shine.

 

Autobox– Provides 5 monthly products and accessories for your favorite car lover. Anything from luxurious LED light wash and a plush wash mitt, to an emergency hammer for the car! Offering both annual and tri-monthly subscriptions.

 

Diesel Crate – This one is nice for the auto enthusiast who likes to wear their pride! It comes with items like hats and hoodies and car accessories, or you can pick up a box full of decals! Something else that sets Diesel Crate above the rest? You can choose a specific brand!

 

RPM Crate– This one will give you tools, swag, and more! If you are looking for something that covers cleaning, cranking, and style, this box is sure to wow your favorite enthusiast!

 

Turner Crate – Is for the hands-on enthusiast; this pack features a variety of tools and limited edition items. They offer an array of sizes for boxes and a variety of what they call editions, including seasonal and gender-specific.

 

Glove Box – This one is for those who love to see their beauty shine! This one is known as the detailer’s box and offers a variety of products to help keep your car pristine. They offer a range of subscriptions, too, from one time to monthly and more!

Stocking Stuffers

Drop Wipes – For those who can’t keep their car indoors, sometimes drops happen. Keep them prepared with these cleaning wipes.

 

Legos– Lego has expanded into ever territory, some of your favorite VWs are even Legos now!

 

CupPhone– Have a traveler who often needs a co-pilot? This device can help them out when they don’t have a second set of hands.

 

ABC’s for Future Racecar Drivers – Is your favorite car guru a new parent? Help them raise the next generation of driver!

 

Volkswagen Store

Of course, we can’t think of anything better than getting them some VW gear and more!

Hoodies, gloves, and caps for the VW lovers of the world.

Strollers for the next gen VW driver.

Swag for your furry friends!

And the perfect white elephant gift.

 

Hurry and get gifting there are only a handful of days left! If you’re short for time, you can stop into Three Rivers Volkswagen and check out our swag next to the service area.

And feel free to browse the showroom too! Brand new cars make the best gifts of all!

 

Pairing your Jetta with Bluetooth

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
How to pair Bluetooth with your car how to use 2015 Volkswagen Jetta Three Rivers Volkswagen

How to connect Bluetooth to your car

The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is one of the top-selling compact cars on the market for a reason. It features a comfortable interior, easy handling and advanced safety features. But the Jetta’s great qualities don’t end there. When you pair your Volkswagen Jetta with Bluetooth, you gain access to a selection of other services for added convenience and entertainments. Here at Three Rivers Volkswagen, we’re going to show you how to connect Bluetooth to your car, focusing primarily on the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta.

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How to create a car budget

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Buying a car on a budget How to create a car budget

Buying a car on a budget

Buying a new car? We know what that’s like. Sometimes it’s hard to know even where to begin your search. What most people don’t consider is before you get all starry-eyed looking at all of the cars you want, it’s most practical to set up a car budget. Your car budget is important because it really helps you narrow down your search. When you have a budget in mind, it’s much easier to figure out what’s in your price range. Here at Three Rivers Volkswagen, we’ll do you the service of giving you a run through on how to create a car budget. (more…)

Need new tires? We can help you save.

Friday, April 10th, 2015
New tire coupons Pittsburth PA

New tire coupons Pittsburth PA

It’s that time of year when your life on the road starts to change a bit… the snow and ice have receded, potholes are in full bloom, and your tires may or may not be ready to take on another season. Today we’re going to give you some of our tips for determining whether your tires are in need of replacement, and more importantly tell you how you can save some money on a new set if they are! We’ve got your new tire coupons, Pittsburgh PA! Read on for details:   (more…)

What to ask when buying a used car

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
What to ask a car seller

If you’re in the market for a pre-owned vehicle here in the Pittsburgh area, you know you’ve got a lot of options. From dealerships like ours with a huge selection of used cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles, to private listings on popular classified ad sites, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that fits your needs and budget. Once you do, though, making sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be is up to you; Specifically, the questions you ask. If you want some tips for what to ask when buying a used car, here are some of our top suggestions: (more…)