Vehicle Body Styles Explained: SUV, Crossover, Sedan, and Coupe

If you are new to the car-shopping process, you’ve probably noticed a range of unfamiliar terms. These include words like “SUV,” “Crossover,” “Coupe,” and “Sedan”—words which seem like they mean the same thing. However, there are some important distinctions to make between these various body styles. Here is a list of some of the basic vehicle body styles explained.

According to AutoTrader, many people use the terms “SUV” and “Crossover” interchangeably despite the fact that there are some important differences. To begin with, SUVs are built on the same platform, or chassis, as a truck. This leads to a rigid, durable ride. Crossovers are built on a unibody platform, which means that the body and frame are built together. This leads to a smoother ride.

What about “Coupe” and “Sedan”? A coupe is usually a two-door model that has less than 33 cu ft of rear interior volume. Think of these models as sleek, sporty cars. A sedan is normally a four-door model (though not necessarily) which has more than 33 cu ft of rear interior volume. These cars are more practical and roomy than a coupe.

It’s important to understand terms like these in order to describe what you would like to drive. Now that you know the difference between these body styles, it’ll be easier to find your dream car.

vehicle body styles explained

The Best Fall Maintenance for Your Ford

Fall seems like the milder season nestled in between the two extremes of summer and winter. However, just because there are no immediate threats of dramatic weather, Ford owners should still tend to their vehicle. But fall maintenance for your Ford doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some quick steps that will make a big difference.

Check Your Tire Pressure

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your tires at all times. But when the colder weather hits, you should especially make a point of checking them regularly. Cooler temperatures decrease the air pressure in your tires. Plus, you’ll want to ensure that your tires are in tip-top shape going into the winter road conditions.

Check Your Heater

Speaking of that cold winter weather, fall is the perfect time to make sure that your heater and defrosters are working properly. Give them a test run and if anything goes less than expected, you’ll have plenty of time to get it looked at by a professional.

Check Your Battery

Like your tires, your vehicle’s battery is sensitive to the cold. Get your battery tested now and replace it if it looks like it’s on its last leg. It’s best to have a good battery going into winter, as the cold weather often keeps older batteries from starting.

fall maintenance for your Ford

Tips for Driving Near Bicycles

If you drive near school zones in the mornings and afternoons, and especially if you’re a parent or teen driving to and from school, you need to know the safest ways to share the road with bicyclists. Driving near bicycles can be intimidating, but if you keep these tips in mind you’ll have a safer commute.

You’re going to see a lot of kids on bikes in the mornings, and kids aren’t the most likely to follow all the bicycle rules, so you have to be extra vigilant when driving near them. If you have to go around someone on a bicycle, do it very slowly and give them plenty of space, and don’t get back in the lane until you’re well ahead of them.

Respect it when cyclists have the right of way. If they’re turning or merging into a bike lane, stay where you are to avoid accidentally swiping them. Bicycles are subject to the same traffic laws and responsibilities on the road as drivers, which means they also have the same rights in traffic situations.

But again, kids might not know these rules. If you’re at a red light, a bike might not stop. Adults do this too—a lot of people just don’t know that bikes have to follow the same laws. Just be cautious, and if you see a cyclist on the road, give them a wide berth and watch what they’re doing before you go anywhere.

Cyclists are good for the environment and for traffic congestion, so don’t get angry about having to share the road with them! They may go slower, but in the end if you pay attention and respect their place on the road it’s no big deal to drive by bikes.

Driving near bicycles in Pittsburgh

3 Ways to Prepare for Back to School

School may have been out for the summer. However, school cannot be out forever! The beginning of the school year is just around the corner, and the transition back to school can be a tough one for both parents and students. In order to help ease the transition back to class, follow these 3 ways to prepare for back to school.

Set up a Curfew

Summer nights may have lasted far after the sun went down. However, that is certainly not the case during the school year. In order to help your kids prepare for waking up early in the morning to get to school, consider setting up a curfew ahead of time.

Memorize the Bus Schedule

Part of getting up early in the morning involves catching the school bus. Nothing is worse than missing the bus during the first week of school. Therefore, make sure that you and your child have their bus schedule memorized.

Only Buy the Necessary School Supplies

It can be easy to go overboard while shopping for school supplies. However, students who have too many unnecessary supplies may find it difficult to carry all of that equipment around. Only buy the necessary school supplies as listed by your child’s future teacher in order to be properly prepared for the first day of class.

prepare for back to school

How to Clean Your Car Interior

Winter is the worst season for making a mess of our cars. Besides all the mud and slush we track into them, we’re probably leaving more trash in them as well—because who wants to go out in the freezing cold and clean out their car? But it’s March now, the weather’s looking up, and it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Follow these tips on how to clean your car interior, and it’ll be spotless in no time!

First, of course, clean out any trash, and then start the real cleaning. Hopefully most of the muck is on your floor mats—take them out and vacuum them or, if they’re really bad, spray them with a hose and set them aside to dry.

Get your vacuum ready—find a long extension cord if you don’t have a plug outside—and suck up all the dried dirt and grime you’ve accumulated in the last few months. Get in between the cracks; leave no stone unturned.

Most importantly after a long winter, clean your windows, and wipe down your dashboard while you’re at it. And don’t use window cleaner on cloth seats!

clean your car interior

Polishing Your Vehicle: Making Chrome, Aluminum, and Steel Shine

What’s the point in having premium chrome, aluminum, and other trim if you can’t see it? Polishing your vehicle trim is easier than you might think, leaving a mirror shine that is hard to beat.

Aluminum is a fairly soft metal, making it easier to polish than steel and other metals. Typically, according to Autogeek, aluminum on a vehicle is actually some sort of alloy and combines with other metals to add structure. Unlike iron, aluminum oxide doesn’t become rust; rather, it becomes a dull protective coat. When you polish aluminum, you want a polish that removes oxidation, tarnish, stains, and water spots in one. Try a polishing compound and compounding pad, and wipe clean with a chamois cloth.

Chrome is a plated metal, making it highly resistant to tough conditions, though it will rust without proper maintenance. Look for a polish that removes oxidation, calcium, lime scale, and green tarnish. Some chrome polishes come as wipes, allowing you to simply scrub away any residues. Chrome is incredibly bright when polished.

Stainless steel sounds like it would resist corrosion, but it can still degrade over time. Because steel is a hard metal, it can be tough to get it to really shine. Try a red paste polish and some old-fashioned elbow grease. Scrub clean with a microfiber towel.

Most of these supplies can be found at a local auto shop, though you can stop by the Shults Service Center for more information on detailing your vehicle.

polishing your vehicle

3 Top Reasons People Get Pulled Over

Want to avoid getting pulled over and ticketed? It’s easy, right? Follow the laws of the road. Just in case you need some reminding, here are some of the top reasons people get pulled over…

Equipment violations

Unlike speeding, equipment violations can happen simply from neglect. That’s why it’s a good idea to give your ride a once over every once in a while. According to Edmunds.com, things like expired tags and burned-out headlights cause the most citations for equipment violations.

Driving Like A Madman

This comes in a lot of forms. Maybe you make improper lane changes or roll through a stop sign, maybe you make U-turns whenever you feel like it. The bottom line is you drive like you are the only one on the road. This is definitely going to get you cited.

Speeding

But everybody does it, right? If everyone drove their convertibles off of the Grand Canyon like Thelma and Louise, would you do it too? The truth is that it’s not speeding per se, it’s excessive speeding that is going to get you in trouble. Going a few miles over the speed limit usually won’t catch the attention of our men and women in blue but just know that it can.

Save your money, save your time. Drive predictably and follow all traffic laws in a vehicle that is properly maintained.

top reasons people get pulled over

Pollution Prevention Week: Tips to Use Less Gas

The EPA has designated the week of Sept. 21 to 27 as Pollution Prevent Week, a time set aside each year to discuss the ways in which we can reduce the amount of pollutants emitted into the environment around us.

One easy way is to cut down on the amount of gasoline you use, which in turn, will produce fewer harmful emissions. Here are some tips to use less gas:

  • Try to avoid idling, which wastes gasoline even when you’re not driving.
  • It’s also a good idea to avoid stopping and starting whenever possible.
  • Driving slowly takes less gasoline than driving fast, so staying right at the speed limit will keep your fuel economy in check.
  • The heavier your car is, the more gasoline it requires, so it’s a good idea to keep your vehicle free of unnecessary cargo.
  • Of course – you can always try to drive less, or carpool with a friend or co-worker.

Plus, using less gasoline will also save you money! It’s a win-win.

tips to use less gas

Safe Driving Tips: How to Avoid Hydroplaning

Perhaps one of the most dangerous driving situations for many drivers, hydroplaning can occur when you least expect it. That’s why we’ve put together a list on how to avoid hydroplaning.

According to Discovery, hydroplaning occurs when your tires slide across a wet surface. Essentially, the rubber encounters more water than it can scatter, and water pressure from the front of the wheel pushes water under the tire. This creates a layer, or plane, of water in which the driver loses steering, traction, braking, and, ultimately, handling.

Hydroplaning can occur whenever there is water on the road, but is most dangerous immediately after it rains, when pools of water can be found on the side of the road. The chances of an accident increase when traveling in excess of 35 mph and when weather conditions are poor, including fog, sleet, snow, and obviously rain.

How can you avoid hydroplaning? The best thing to do is reduce your speed when it’s wet outside. You should also avoid large puddles and standing water, and try to drive in the tracks left by cars in front of you. Other tips include: keeping tires properly inflated, avoiding outer lanes (where water accumulates), turning off cruise control, and avoiding hard braking.

how to avoid hydroplaning

How to Check Car Belts and Hoses

As we head into summer and begin preparing for those family road trips, it’s important to check a number of your car’s functions, not the least of which are the belts and hoses. The belts and hoses are central to your car’s ability to run, and to do so efficiently.

“You don’t want to be stranded because of a bad belt that could have been diagnosed with simple preventative maintenance,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If the serpentine belt fails or breaks, the engine will fail to run and you may be stuck. The Car Care Council recommends replacing belts at specified intervals to save you from the hassle of a breakdown.”

Here’s how to check car belts and hoses:

Check the manual. Your manual will tell you how often belts and hoses need to be replaced (if at all). This will give you a good idea what to expect when you look under the hood. It will also provide insight into where specific belts and hoses are located for your vehicle.

Look for obvious damage. Make sure your engine is cool before getting started, then look for frays, tears, wear, cracks, nicks, or bulges. Anything abnormal should be looked at by a skilled technician.

Check connection points. Make sure that the connections look clean and show no signs of fraying.

Check for signs of glazing on belts. Belts can begin to glaze on the sides, which can lead to the belt slipping.

If you find that you have hoses or belts that need to be replaced, we recommend stopping by Shults Ford Lincoln of Wexford to schedule a service appointment as soon as possible!

how to check car belts and hoses

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