What You Make It: The Ultimate Car Brands Buyer’s Guide

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 at 7:00 AM
A man's hand selecting an image of a car on a screen featured in a blog post about car brands

Here you are: you’re about to make one of the most important decisions you can make. You’re about to buy a car. But you don’t want just any new car. You want something that’s going to set you apart. And nothing can set you apart more than choosing the right car brand.

But how do you go about doing that?

It depends. Maybe you’re a brand loyalist, and nothing can convince you to veer from the nameplate you’ve always gone with. Perhaps this is your first car. Either way, we’ve got a sure-fire way to ensure that you settle on the right brand for you. Follow the steps below.

5 Steps to Choosing the Right Car Brand

Do your research

The car-buying process starts well before you get to the dealership. You have a wealth of resources at your disposal, so you’ll want to use them all as much as you can. Keeping your needs in mind, research every car brand that falls within your budget range. Compare models, capabilities, features, and warranties to make sure that there are no surprises later.

Narrow your selection. Once you’ve compiled a solid list, it’s time to take it to the dealership.

Examine the exterior

Once you’re on the lot, the real fun begins — it’s time to see some cars up close. We judge things with our eyes first, and cars are no different. Get a good look at the exterior sculpting and general curb appeal. Whether you prefer a practical car or a luxurious SUV, make sure the exterior is free of blemishes and fits your style needs.

Inspect the interior

A car’s outward looks only go so far. You want to feel as good as you look behind the wheel. That’s why you should go with a brand that’s as reputable for its comfort as it is for its design and performance. At Zimbrick, you’ll have the choice between high-end brands and stylishly practical options alike.

Go for a test drive

And at long last comes the part you’ve been waiting for. If you’re serious enough about a car to test drive it, you’re probably closing in on a decision. This phase is all about what you want from a drive — and how a car fits your lifestyle.

Get a feel for the vehicle’s road manners within the city limits as well as out on the highway. Make sure you’re comfortable with basic maneuvers like parking and backing up. Select a model that maximizes your visibility and comfort. The choice is truly yours.

Decide how to pay

In many cases, the kind of car you want depends on how you plan to pay for it. If your heart is set on a particular make and model, consult with one of our Business Managers. These dedicated professionals know the ropes of financing and work with a variety of financial institutions to match you with the right lender for your credit situation. But if ownership isn’t quite for you, our finance experts can set you up with a great lease, too.

Buy into the Best Car Brand for You in Madison, WI

Ready to let the above steps lead you to your next ride? You’re in the right place. At Zimbrick, we make things easy for you. We stock 16 of the best nameplates in the auto industry. Browse our full new and used inventory, and visit any of our locations for a test drive as soon as you’re ready.

Winter Driving 101: Tips for the Road this Season

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Winter is the trickiest time of the year to drive your car in Madison, Wisconsin. Dipping temperatures mean snow and freezing rain, which can make for slippery roads that are especially treacherous to navigate.

But there’s no reason to sweat it out. At Zimbrick, we can help you keep your cool. We carry some of the best cars, trucks, and SUVs to drive in the winter. But how should you drive them? We’ve got some ideas.

5 Driving Tips to Warm Up to this Winter

Check the weather

This one starts before you even leave the driveway. It’s always a good rule of thumb to monitor weather, road conditions, and traffic activity before you depart for the day. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever the road holds so that there are no surprises.

Remove ice from your vehicle

Ice, snow, and sleet can do a lot more to your car than make the inside uncomfortably cold. The more accumulation there is on your windows, mirrors, and lights, the less visibility you’ll have. It’s always smart to keep an ice scraper on hand so that you can see as far ahead as possible.

A close-up of a man removing snow from a car window in a blog post about winter driving tips

Keep a safe distance

People value their personal space, and that extends to their cars. It’s never okay to tailgate someone, and that’s especially true in the winter. Keeping a safe distance from other cars and snow plows gives you extra time to stop. And with slicker road conditions, you’re going to need it.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise Control is a nice feature on the highway in dry conditions, but it should be used sparingly during the wintertime. As the road becomes less predictable, you’ll want to maintain control of the acceleration and deceleration of your vehicle at all times to avoid accidents.

Don’t overcorrect

It’s easy to panic when you hit black ice, but overcorrecting only makes the situation worse. Gently lift off of the gas pedal and turn gently into the direction of the skid to avoid losing control and spinning out.

A car skidding down a snow-covered road in a blog about winter driving tips

Stay Safe on the Road this Winter in Madison, WI

We’re happy to help you with some advice before the wintery weather goes into full swing in Madison, Wisconsin. If there’s any other way we can get you ready for the season ahead, check out our full list of winter services and contact us today.

Thank You to All Who Make the Zimbrick Blood Drive Possible

By blogsadmin | Posted in Community Information on Thursday, December 28th, 2017 at 7:47 PM
Blood Drive text with graphic of a blood bag and a heart

Zimbrick Hosts Blood Drive Event in December

As a strong presence in the Madison community, Zimbrick understands the importance of being involved in the community and giving back in many ways. One of the biggest events that our team here at Zimbrick puts on is the biannual blood drives. Two times a year, we host a blood drive for employees and community members to come donate blood. We are proud to be one of the largest private blood drives throughout all of Dane County. Here is a look from our most recent blood drive event this month.

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Zimbrick Teaches Students About Career Options In the Automotive Industry

By blogsadmin | Posted in Community Information on Thursday, December 28th, 2017 at 7:10 PM
members of Zimbrick Auto Group standing for a photo at Future Quest 2017

Zimbrick Auto Volunteers at FutureQuest 2017 Event

On December 6, 2017, the Madison Metropolitan School District, along with the Dane County School Consortium, sponsored FutureQuest 2017. The event took place at the Alliant Energy Center and featured a wide variety of careers for more than 5,300 middle schoolers to explore. Our team at Zimbrick sent a few of our own staff members from our service and collision repair departments to give the kids a better idea of what to expect from a career in an automotive field.

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Zimbrick Has the Experience and Ability to Handle Winter-Weather Car Repairs Quickly At 4 Convenient Locations

By blogsadmin | Posted in Service, Service and Repair on Thursday, December 28th, 2017 at 6:26 PM
woman calling for help while car is broken down on the side of a snowy road

Auto Body Shops for Winter Weather Repairs Near Madison WI

Winter has undoubtedly arrived, and though the falling snow can make this time of year magical for some, it can also wreak havoc on the roads for others. The snowy and icy weather easily increases vehicle accidents, making this a busy time of year for auto body shops.  

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Car Gift Ideas that are Great for Any Wish List

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 9:10 PM
A toy car with a box tied to the top of it featured in a blog post about car gifts

The holiday season is coming to a close in Madison, Wisconsin, but it’s not too late to get your loved ones the special gift they’ve always wanted. You could get them a novelty necktie or gift card, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, treat them to something they’re actually going to use.

Car-related gifts — like cup holders or car covers — are a great place to start.

At Zimbrick, we carry car accessories for a variety of nameplates — from Audi and BMW to Chevy and GMC. And we’ve got a pretty good idea of items you should consider. If you were buying for us, this would be our holiday wishlist.

5 Car Accessories to Gift this Holiday Season

All-weather floor mats

With unpredictable and sometimes nasty weather in the winter, you never know what you’ll drag into the car with you. All-weather floor mats are perfect for those who live in snow-prone areas. Give them this durable, high-quality gift, and they’ll be able to protect their car’s carpet and maintain its integrity.

A close-up of all-weather floor mats in a blog post about car gifts

Car covers

We all know how it is: you have to start getting up earlier so that you can remove all the pesky snow and ice from your car. Help your friends and family avoid this fate. When you hand them a car cover, you give them the gift of being able to sleep in a few extra minutes. That’s something everybody can appreciate.

A picture of a car covered with a car cover in a blog post about car gifts

Carrier bars

Have a friend who’s looking to hit the slopes this winter? Know someone who enjoys riding their mountain bike regardless of the time of year? Carrier bars are an ideal present for those with the most active of lifestyles. Be the reason winter doesn’t slow them down.

Two bikes attached to a car's carrier bars in a blog post about car gifts

Roof boxes

You probably have a lot of traveling on the schedule this holiday season. Many cars and SUVs boast spacious cabins and trunks, but those aren’t always enough. Roof boxes are effective for storing additional cargo, so you and your family can go over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house — without being cramped.

A roof box on top of a car in a blog post about car gifts

Apparel and keychains

Whether you choose a logo-emblazoned keychain or comfortable driving gloves, gifting your car-loving friend or family member car-themed apparel is sure to be a hit this holiday season.

A car keyfob placed on top of black driving gloves next to a pair of sunglasses in a blog post about car gifts

Put Some Awesome Car Gifts Under the Tree in Madison, WI

Want to save yourself the rush delivery fees? Stop by one of our 16 convenient locations today. Or, contact us ahead of time to check availability. We look forward to making your season all the merrier.

How to Test Drive a Car: A List of Things to Keep in Mind

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Thursday, December 7th, 2017 at 3:31 PM
A man in a suit pretending to sit in a car drawn on the wall featured in a blog about test drives.

A lot goes into buying a car — nobody knows that better than you. You’ve done your research, narrowed down your list of models, and you’re ready to head to the dealership. Now all of your hard work is about to pay off because it’s time for the good part: the test drive.

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5 Fall Car Care Tips to Be Thankful For

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Monday, November 20th, 2017 at 7:00 AM
A close-up of a car tire on leaf-covered pavement featured in a blog about fall car care

Fall means a lot of things in Madison, Wisconsin: changing leaves, brisker temperatures, football, Thanksgiving, and more. But it also means that winter is coming. It’s no secret that winter can take a toll on your car. But you don’t have to let it get the best of you.

At Zimbrick, we know that the key to successful winter driving is an early jump start on fall maintenance. That’s why we offer both year-round service and winter service at any of our locations. For more details, check out our five fall car care tips:

An infographic outlining five five fall car care tips

4 Used Cars That Are Safe for New Drivers

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Monday, November 6th, 2017 at 3:40 PM
Teen in a car featured in a blog about used cars for new drivers

Let’s be honest: when shopping for your teen driver’s first vehicle, you’re probably going to be looking at used cars. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for outdated technology or lower performance standards.

There’s an extensive criterion for what’s good enough for your teen driver. Gas mileage, storage space, comfort, and safety are all aspects you have to consider. At Zimbrick, we stock an expansive inventory of quality used cars that fulfill these needs. Keep reading to learn more about a few of our favorites.

Fantastic 4: The Safest Used Cars for Teen Drivers

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic boasts a history of IIHS Top Safety Pick honors, and available Honda Sensing® is a big reason why. This safety suite includes features like Road Departure Mitigation, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Lane Keeping Assist.

To learn more about Honda Sensing® and other safety technologies in the Civic, watch the video below:


Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is full-size in classification and value. The reason? Its impressive host of safety features. The 2016 model was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, thanks to available technologies like Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and the Rollover Protection System. But that’s not all there is to like about it. The Sonata is also great on gas.

Subaru Legacy

You don’t build a reputation for being a premier small car without being safe. The Subaru Legacy is known for its athleticism, but it’s also lauded for its sensibility. The 2017 edition is the most recent used model to be deemed an IIHS Top Safety Pick. And with Standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and available EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, it’s not hard to see why.

For an overview of Subaru EyeSight® watch the video below:


Toyota Camry

In the world of midsize sedans, the Toyota Camry is always a safe bet. Like the Civic, the Camry has earned numerous IIHS Top Safety Pick accolades and offers a proprietary safety technology suite, Toyota Safety Sense™, that is available on many newer models. Combine that with the ample cabin and impressive engine performance, and it’s clear the Camry has everything your new driver needs.

Keep Your First-Time Driver Safe in Madison, WI

The cars above represent only a short list of our available vehicles. Browse our full inventory of used cars purchasable at any of our 16 convenient locations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to arming you and your teen driver with peace of mind.

How Zimbrick Can Assist with Daylight Saving Time

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 1:50 PM

The clock is finally winding down on the transition from summer to autumn here in Madison, Wisconsin. Or, at least rolling backward. The extra hour of daylight was fun while it lasted, but it’s time to fall back. That’s right, we’re talking about Daylight Saving Time.

Yes, the extra hour of sleep in the morning will be as lovely as it always is this time of year. The increased risk of traffic accidents, however, won’t be. At Zimbrick, we’re all about keeping you safe. Here are five services we offer to prepare you for the time change on November 5.

5 Zimbrick Daylight Saving Time Services You Can Fall Back On

A/C and Heat

This one is more about comfort than safety, but it’s important nonetheless. Daylight Saving Time signals the closeness of winter, and therefore, colder temperatures. You don’t need one more thing distracting you from the road and getting you out of your comfort zone. That’s why we’ll check your car’s air conditioning and heating to ensure you’re warm for your daily commute.  

Man's hand over a car's AC vent


The days will soon be getting shorter, but that won’t stop your fellow commuters from hitting the road. You’ll want to make sure that your brakes are in great shape and ready to avoid accidents while other travelers are adjusting to the dimmer drive home. That’s where we come in. At Zimbrick, we inspect and repair brakes year-round.


The most noticeable difference this time of year is that it’s getting dark earlier. While there’s nothing you can do to change that, there’s one very simple thing you can do to combat it: have us check your headlights. With darker streets, you want to see as much as possible. We’ll help you light the way home during early nights.

A car driving on the road at night with its headlights on


Avoiding surprises is impossible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. With worn or deflated tires, the road becomes riskier. We can check the pressure of your tires, rotate, or replace them. Plus, as winter nears, we offer specialized winter tire installation.

Windshield Wipers

Visibility is difficult enough with less daylight, but it can turn from bad to worse with a dirty windshield. Do yourself a favor by letting our expert technicians make sure you have a clear line of vision. We can install new wiper blades or replace your windshield wiper fluid. It may sound simple, but it can make all the difference in the world.

A close-up of windshield wipers covered in leaves

Get Service That Saves the Day in Madison, WI

Darker days are right around the corner, but the future is still bright. Schedule a service appointment at any of our convenient Zimbrick locations before November 5. In need of a service not listed above? Contact us now. Our dedicated staff is here to answer any questions you may have.