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The Truth About Potholes — And How They Hurt Your Car

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 7:00 AM
A road covered in water-filled potholes

We’ve all been there: You’re driving to work in the morning, and you hit a literal bump in the road. There’s a good chance it was a pothole. Spring is an especially problematic time for potholes, thanks to the hangover from the treacherous weather of winter and the wear and tear from rock salt and snow plows.

We all know that potholes are jolting and annoying. But can they cause significant harm to your car? On average, potholes result in about $3 billion in annual damages. Keep reading to find out how.

5 Parts of Your Car That Potholes Can Throw Off

Alignment

If your steering wheel is out of whack or your car pulls toward one direction after a brush-up with a pothole, you’ve probably thrown off your alignment. Until you get it fixed, you’ll experience poor handling and uneven wear on your tires. Chances are you’ve sped through a pothole before and come out unscathed. But why risk it?

Tires

Your tires are the most likely part to take a direct hit from a pothole. The damage can range from bulging and tread deterioration to a blowout — especially if the pressure in your tire was low to begin with. Driving in any of these circumstances can be unsafe for you and your passengers.

Wheels

You might think your car is okay after you encounter a snag in the road, but the proof is in the details. Potholes can cause chips or hairline cracks in your wheels. While these may not affect your driving at first, they can gradually grow into a much bigger problem.

In more severe cases, potholes can bend your wheels, which creates particularly dangerous driving conditions.

Exhaust Pipes

Deeper potholes are dangerous in more ways than one. Some are deep enough to puncture or rupture your exhaust pipes or muffler. Damaged exhaust parts aren’t good for anyone, and can lead to a variety of problems — from loss of power to inefficient emissions.

Body

If you drive something with higher ground clearance, your vehicle’s body will likely be unaffected by hitting a pothole. But it’s a different story if you drive a low-sitting car like a sports coupe.

Potholes can wreak havoc on your undercarriage or low-hanging bumpers. Most of the damage is cosmetic but should be taken seriously if you care about your car’s appearance.

Fix Your Pothole Problem in Madison, WI

Let’s be real: Potholes aren’t going away any time soon. The best way to avoid them is to exercise safe and responsible driving. But if your car has been damaged by a pothole, Zimbrick can help. Schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Madison, Wisconsin, or contact us to see how we can assist you.

Why a Used Car Is the Perfect Gift for Your Graduate

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 7:00 AM
A salesman handing a woman a set of car keys

Spring commencement is right around the corner, and you’re running out of ideas for what to buy your future high school or college graduate. They’re about to embark on the road to the real world, so what could be better than a car?

You’re on a budget, and they’re just starting out, so buying new probably isn’t the best option. Luckily, a used car, truck, or SUV is a great alternative. Keep reading to find out why a pre-owned vehicle is an ideal gift to give your grad before they turn their tassel.

5 Reasons to Reward Your Grad With a Used Car

Endless choices

You don’t have to shop new to get all of the options your graduate wants. In fact, if you’re looking for a model or feature that’s been discontinued for one reason or another, buying used is the only way to go.

At Zimbrick, we offer over 800 cars across a variety of brands, so your options will never be limited when you pick us.

Lower price points

On average, used cars are much cheaper than their newer counterparts, which is good news for both you and your grad. Even if you’re just putting a down payment on a car before handing over the responsibility, you’re still leaving your grad with a more reasonable payment plan. Since there’s a significant chance they’ll be paying back student loans, they’ll be grateful for all the help they can get.

Less depreciation

If you buy your grad a new car, its value will depreciate at a faster rate than a used alternative — especially in the first year. This might not seem like a big deal, but it makes all the difference in the world when the time comes for them to trade-in and upgrade to a newer model. Improve their resale value by purchasing pre-owned.

Improved conditions

Used cars nowadays are in better shape than they’ve ever been, thanks to advances in technology and engineering. It’s not unheard of for a car to reach 200,000 miles and beyond. So, while buying a car with a clean slate is nice, it’s not necessary like it once was.

The Zimbrick Difference

You can find a used car at almost any dealership, but at Zimbrick, we offer the best car-buying experience. When you choose us, you and your grad will enjoy a complimentary tank of gas, the CARFAX® Vehicle History Report, and more. We understand how exciting this time is, so we don’t hit you with any unpleasant surprises.   

Shop Our Used Cars for Sale in Madison, Wisconsin

Want to help your soon-to-be alum get a jumpstart on their career? Shop the inventory of used cars for sale at Zimbrick today. From starter and bargain cars to certified pre-owned vehicles, we’ve got something for everyone in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.

Spring Cleaning Tips: How to Properly Wash Your Car

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 7:00 AM
A close up of a man washing a car's tire featured in a blog post about car spring cleaning

Your car is your pride and joy, so you want it to reflect that everywhere you go — especially with warmer weather taking hold. It’s not always easy to make that happen, thanks to pollen, rainwater stains, bird droppings, and grime left over from winter.

Taking your car to a drive-thru washer might sound like a quick and easy fix, but it can actually have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. So how do you wash your car like a pro? We’ve got a few tricks for you below.

5 Definite Dos for Your Spring Cleaning Car Wash

Clean while the car is cool

It might be tempting to give your car a bath after a long drive, but hitting it with the suds after it’s had time to warm up is a no-no. Washing it after it’s been in direct sunlight for a while should also be avoided. Why? Because a hot surface will cause the soapy water to dry faster, leaving stains and deposits in its place.

Rinse well before you begin

It might sound counterintuitive since you’re going to give your car a full wash anyway, but you should perform a thorough water-only rinse before you get to the nitty-gritty. Otherwise, if there’s any loose dirt or debris, it can cause scratching on your car’s body.

Use a car-specific cleaner

Online do-it-yourself gurus might suggest alternative products for achieving that like-new shine, but when it comes to your car, it’s best to stick to car-specific cleaners. That means household items like dishwashing detergent or hand soap are off limits. While good for a variety of tasks, these products can strip your car’s paint if you’re not careful. Car-specific cleaners are much milder.

Wash with a non-abrasive sponge or towel

You want to remove any pesky dirt from your car, but you don’t want to remove its beautiful finish. That’s why you should use a large soft sponge and wash section by section in a lengthwise motion. Doing so will drastically reduce your chances of leaving scratch marks.

Dry the car by hand

You’ll be itching to take your car for a stroll once you’ve got it looking so sleek, but you should resist the urge until you’ve dried it off. Letting it air dry or taking it for a spin while it’s still dripping wet will cause watermarks.

You’ve come this far. Make the extra effort and use a terry towel or chamois to hand dry it yourself.

Touch All Your Service Bases in Madison, WI

Of course, having a car that looks nice doesn’t matter if it doesn’t run just as well. If you need something done that a simple rinse and lather won’t wash away, schedule a service at one of our convenient locations today.

At Zimbrick, we know how much your car means to you. That’s why we want to help you make it the best it can be — inside and out.

How to Celebrate “National Car Care Month” With Spring Service

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Service and Repair on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 3:42 PM
A cartoon family in a car surrounded by balloons and confetti because of spring service and "National Car Care Month"

As a car owner, it doesn’t get any bigger for you than this time of year. After all, April is “National Car Care Month.” With winter in the books, it’s important to give your vehicle the attention it deserves so that you can repay it for how reliable it’s been for you.

You love your car. So how do you make sure you show it? You can’t shower it with gifts, but you can treat it to a little TLC. Read our list of tips below.

5 Spring Service Tips for Honoring National Car Care Month

Stick to your service schedule

Staying up to date on your maintenance checklist will go a long way toward keeping your car running smoothly and preventing unwanted surprises down the line. Change your oil, rotate your tires, replace your air filter, check your battery’s charge, or do all of the above.

If you need help getting caught up on spring service, Zimbrick has you covered.

Drive responsibly

Aggressive driving puts unnecessary stress on your vehicle and wears down your engine, brakes, suspension, fuel efficiency, and more. Do your car a favor by being more careful and deliberate.

Reach out when in doubt

We’ve all been there: trying to fix something to save money or save face when we really know very little about it. When it comes to your car, attempting to solve a problem when you’re unsure can result in worse trouble than when you started.

At Zimbrick, we understand that you only want the best hands touching your ride. That’s why we’re proud to extend our services to you.

Park under the shade

With temperatures rising, it’s important to protect your car. Leaving your car to bake under the brutal sun can do a number on your paint job, upholstery, and dashboard. Park in the shade to soften the sun’s blow.

Since you can’t always find a spot under a tree, consider buying a sunshade to reduce the chances of damage.

Keep your car properly stored

If your car is going to be out of commission for prolonged periods of time, it’s still important to treat it as though you’ll use it tomorrow. Maintain a full gas tank and start the engine from time to time to keep the battery and engine healthy. Clean it and cover it to ward off critters looking for a new home. You want to be your car’s only inhabitant.

Experience National Car Care Month in Madison, WI

Your car just made it through a taxing winter. Isn’t it time you reward it? Commemorate “National Car Care Month” by scheduling an appointment at Zimbrick. With 16 convenient locations across the Madison, Wisconsin, area, we provide plenty of venues to help you celebrate.

Comprehensive Automotive Spring Service Checklist

By blogsadmin | Posted in Service, Service and Repair on Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 at 8:50 PM
Snowy Car Tires on Winter Road

When you’re safely exiting the other side of a Madison winter, you want to make sure that your vehicle got through those rough months as successfully as you did as soon as you can. Sometimes winter causes obvious problems to our vehicles with the stress of constantly driving in poor road conditions, and other times they hit us with less obvious issues. Whether you think your vehicle is alright after a cursory glance or not, it’s important to always do some comprehensive automotive service once you officially get to spring weather, and we’ve put together the sort-of checklist below to help you do that. Read the rest of this entry »

Zimbrick Wins Madison Magazine’s 2018 Best of Madison Gold Medals

By blogsadmin | Posted in Dealer Information, Dealership Information on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at 8:31 PM
Madison Magazines Best of Madison 2018 Gold

A highlight of each and every year for small business and shoppers alike in the Madison area, Madison Magazine recently announced its numerous winners of this year’s Best of Madison awards. All of us here in the Zimbrick family are proud to be able to say that we were recognized with not one but three different gold medals! Read the rest of this entry »

Busting Common Automotive Myths: An Infographic

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at 8:32 PM

Car myths are a dime a dozen. You’ve heard them from your parents, your friends, and maybe even — but hopefully not — your old driving instructor. Some are obviously ridiculous. Others, not so much. So what about the ones that sound plausible?

At Zimbrick, we know a thing or two about cars, so we’re here to set the record straight.

Below, you’ll find an infographic of five very common myths associated with your car. Knowing the difference between fact and fiction will go a long way toward ensuring a safer, more enjoyable ride for you and your passengers for miles to come. Do you have a question about something that isn’t answered below? Contact us at one of our 16 convenient dealerships in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is on standby.

An infographic about debunking common car myths

Spring Into Safety: How to Drive When Winter’s Over

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at 5:48 PM
A car driving down a road in a field featured in a blog post about driving tips

Winter may have a few tricks left up its sleeve before warmer temperatures set in, but spring will officially make its arrival before you know it. We know you’re excited to get out on the road more. And you should be. Aside from bizarre circumstances, ice and snow will soon be matters of the past — but spring comes with its own unique set of driving challenges.

Learn how to address them below.

5 Springtime Driving Tips to Help You Stay Safe on the Road

Don’t let April showers rain on your parade

Spring showers may not turn roads icy, but they still leave driving surfaces slippery. Slick roads drastically reduce your car’s handling, traction, and ability to stop, while puddles increase your odds of hydroplaning. Don’t tailgate. Drive five to ten mph slower than normal, and allow a distance of at least four seconds between yourself and the car ahead.

April showers can also limit visibility, so it’s important that your windshield wipers are up to snuff. At Zimbrick, we’re happy to install manufacturer-approved wiper blades and offer a variety of other spring car services.

Share the road with your fellow commuters

You’re not the only one who’s excited to get out of the house and take advantage of that extra hour of daylight. Spring summons runners, walkers, bikers, cyclists, and general outdoor enthusiasts alike. That’s why extra caution when turning, parking, and passing is advised.  

Keep your eyes peeled for your furry friends, too

Spring brings everyone out of the woodwork — literally. As animals awake from hibernation, you’ll want to pay close attention to your surroundings. Deer, raccoons and other critters don’t often look both ways before crossing the street. That’s why staying conscious — especially around dusk and dawn — is of the utmost importance.

Don’t fall victim to post-winter wear and tear

Winter might technically be out the door at the end of March, but its effects are lingering. Snow plows are known to damage roads and leave potholes. That spells trouble for your tires and the alignment of your car. Avoid potholes when possible and drive more slowly so that you can allow yourself time for evasive maneuvers.

Learn about the side effects of spring medications

Spring is a rejuvenating season for some, but a miserable one for others — thanks to seasonal allergies. While most people tolerate allergy medications with no noticeable effect, others are particularly sensitive. If you take antihistamines, gauge how they affect you before you hit the road. Never drive if a medication makes you too drowsy.

Enjoy a Safe Spring in Madison, Wisconsin

At Zimbrick, we understand that you’re itching to get out and enjoy the spring fun. That’s why we provide plenty of safe driving options for you at our Madison car dealerships. Browse our inventory of new cars for sale and drop by for a test drive today.

Saving Up: The Road to Preparing for Your Next Car Payment

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 7:50 PM
Person playing with a piggy bank featured in a blog post about car payments

Spring is a time for new beginnings, and there’s no better way to start fresh than with a new car. Maybe your current ride is approaching its twilight miles. Perhaps you’re ready to embark on your first car-buying adventure. Whatever your situation, a new car is in your future.

But can you afford it? If so, how do you go about saving up for it? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

5 Tips to Help You Save Up for a New Car

Figure out your ideal car payment

First thing’s first: You need to have an idea of your buying power. Unless you’re planning on paying in full, you’ll have to come up with a car payment plan. Calculate your down payment, term, and interest rate options. If you have a car currently, you’ll want to factor in its trade-in value. If you don’t know where to begin, the finance professionals at Zimbrick can help.

Account for car-related expenses

The work isn’t over once you secure your loan and begin monthly payments. Like most other goods, cars require basic ongoing expenses. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are all things you’ll have to budget for, so don’t shop above your price range without considering what you’ll need to keep you on the road.

Decide on a timeframe

Timing is everything. Once you know which make and model you can afford, the next step is determining a realistic timeframe to make it happen.

Maybe you’ll need to save less over more time. Perhaps you’ll want to buckle down and penny-pinch to reach your purchase goal sooner. Whatever you do, make sure you have a nice cushion before you rush into anything.

Start saving

Now it’s time to get down to business and start putting money away. Budgeting requires a lot of discipline, but you’re ready. Open up a savings account and set aside a specific figure from each paycheck. “Test drive” that figure for a few months to see if you reach it without negatively impacting other parts of your budget.

Consider leasing

Buying isn’t for everyone. Leasing is a great alternative for those who don’t want to be tied down by ownership. It’s also a good option for those who desire lower average monthly payments.

If buying isn’t your style, check out the lease deals and specials at Zimbrick. If you want to know more, our finance experts are here to answer your questions.

Start Saving for Your Ride Today in Madison, WI

Once you’ve reached your savings goal, it’s time for the fun part. At Zimbrick, we have a variety of competitively priced vehicles in our inventory of new cars for sale. We also carry an array of affordable options at our used car dealership. Visit one of our 16 convenient locations to put the stamp on your car-buying journey.

 

Spring Cleaning: How to Get Your Car Ready for Warmer Weather

By Zimbrick Automotive | Posted in Helpful Tips on Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 4:51 PM
A person cleaning off their windshield featured in a blog post about spring cleaning

With the weather warming up, your house isn’t the only thing in your life that needs a little spring cleaning. Don’t forget about your car.

With milder temperatures on the horizon, you’ve got places to go and fun things to do, so you’ll be spending plenty of time on the road. That’s why you’ll want to keep your car as squeaky-clean and clutter-free as possible.

But where do you get started? Read our list below to find out.

A List of Things to Tidy Up When Spring Cleaning Your Car

Windshield

The winter precipitation has likely taken a toll on your windshield, so cleaning your glass will increase your visibility for the season ahead. Apply glass cleaner, wipe with a microfiber cloth, and buff with a clean rag.

Once the windshield has dried, you can take it a step further by spraying rain repellent solution and buffing again.

The cowl

Most of last fall’s leaves are gone — except the ones stuck in your cowl, which is located at the base of your windshield. Any unwanted debris there can clog your fresh air intake and lead to a slew of other problems. You’ll want to clear out your engine compartment and the surrounding area.

Floor mats

Unless they’re an all-weather grade, your floor mats have probably taken a beating from the slush you’ve dragged in with you during the winter. Freshen them up with stain remover and throw them in the washing machine — unless the manufacturer advises otherwise.

Floorboards and storage compartments

Everyone can relate to finding a stray water bottle — or ten — in the floorboard. Go through your cabin and remove all disposable and recyclable waste. You’ll be happy you did so — and so will your passengers.

Upholstery

If your upholstery is vinyl, a toothbrush is a good trick for removing any embedded dirt. You’ll want to use dish soap or something equally non-abrasive so that you don’t damage the material. Speaking of toothbrush…

Cushions

A toothbrush also comes in handy for getting the pesky dirt from between your cushions. Once you’ve loosened the particles from the cracks and crevices of your seats, you’ll want to go behind with a vacuum to make sure nothing lingers and resettles.

A/C vents

Toothbrushes aren’t the only improvised cleaning tools that can help you with your car. A cheap foam brush is perfect for dusting your AC vents. Spring is difficult enough for a lot of people — thanks to pollen — so you don’t want to be breathing in any unnecessary irritants. Be sure to vacuum as you go so that the dust doesn’t settle elsewhere.

Spring Into the Days Ahead With a Clean Slate in Madison, WI

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get to spring cleaning? Zimbrick can help. Our Service Center can do everything from replacing your cabin’s air filter to changing your engine’s oil. Schedule an appointment today, and let us show you how we do spring service.

To learn more, contact us at one of our 16 convenient locations in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. We can’t wait to hear from you.