8 Accessories to Add to Your Car in the Winter

8 Accessories to Add to Your Car in the Winter

Between the icy roads, mounting snowflakes, and daylight hours becoming virtually non-existent, driving during the winter season can prove to be quite challenging and requires extra safety precautions. 

While we may not be able to escape the frigid chill of Mother Nature, there are ways to improve your car during the cold months and to ensure you will be prepared no matter what weather conditions come your way. 

Here are 8 must-have accessories that’ll make your driving experience safer and less miserable in the dead of winter. 

Accessories to Add to Your Car 

#1. Remote Starter

Imagine hopping into your car to leave for the office and your car is just as cozy and warm as your bed was when you woke up? Well, a remote car starter can do just that! You can fire up the engine and turn on the heat a few minutes before you plan to leave - all from the comfort of your home. 

A cozy interior plus heated seats? It sounds like the perfect place to kick back and binge-watch Netflix. Remote starter kits can be installed DIY and are simple to use. Some companies even offer a smartphone app you can pair it with. 

In addition, you’ll receive detailed instructions and even video tutorials to help you get set up so you don’t have to pay for costly labor at the dealership or auto body shops. 

#2. Windshield Ice Melter

There’s nothing more dangerous than trying to hit the highway with a frozen windshield. As a pro tip, if you can’t see clearly out your windshield, you shouldn’t have your foot on the gas pedal. 

The solution? Grabbing a can or two of windshield ice melter. It’s the perfect investment for enjoying an ice-free windshield and ensuring you’re protecting yourself while out on the road. 

Windshield ice melters are formulated with a special liquid to effectively remove ice from your windshield. Plus, it’s safe and works quickly. That means no more using an ice scraper like a hacksaw to remove unwanted ice. 

Or fumbling with a credit card to get the job’s happened.

winter car accessories

#3. Heated Car Seat Covers

If you’re driving a vehicle that’s sporting vinyl or leather seats, then you know the pain of plopping down on the excruciatingly cold surface of your seat in the winter. Rather than torture yourself, get things toasty with some heated seat covers for your car. 

They are a very cost-effective addition when compared to costly built-in heated seats. And the best part? They’re readily available for purchase from online retailers and automotive stores. 

#4. Jumper Cables

Getting stranded in the frigid cold surely isn’t what you’d consider a fun night out. One of the more common car issues people face is a dead battery. So, to keep you safe, always have a pair of jumper cables available in your car - it’s a must! 

Whether the chilly weather depleted your battery, or you accidentally left your lights on (it happens to the best of us), jumper cables will help breathe some life back into your car. 

#5. Cat Litter

If you’re laughing right now, I promise there’s a reasonable explanation for having this on hand. You’ve probably experienced that awful feeling of being stuck in the snow, tires spinning, to no avail. 

Even if you recently had a new set of tires installed, many cars can still lose traction when the roads get slick and snow-covered. 

That’s where cat litter comes in. Simply, toss the litter underneath your tires and you’ll be out of your slippery situation in no time. Sure, you may not have a little furball meowing for you back home, but you can grab litter for cheap on Amazon, at the supermarket, or your local pet store. 

winter accessories to add to car

#6. Safety Triangles

Reflective red triangles are a winter necessity that you should keep stocked in your car. If you’re stuck or stranded and waiting for help to arrive (which, let’s face it, can take hours in bad weather conditions), you want to protect yourself and your vehicle from other drivers. 

This is especially true in low-visibility conditions. Using reflective safety triangles is a smart way to alert drivers to your presence and steer clear of your car. 

#7. Hand Warmers

While driving with gloves will surely help keep your hands nice and warm, the extra - oftentimes heavy - fabric can interfere with your grip and control of the steering wheel. For an easy, inexpensive fix, you can pick up a few sets of hand warmers to stash in your car. 

To use:

You simply unwrap the warmers from their packaging and hold them tight for a minute or so. 

The heat that radiates from the warmers will quickly get rid of any chilly fingers and ensure your hands remain toasty for the remainder of your commute. 

#8. A Warm Blanket

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, getting stranded is certainly not synonymous with the word “enjoyable.” But, during the winter months, it’s a much larger issue than just being an inconvenience. If you break down and there’s chilly weather outside, your warm car will quickly begin cooling down. 

There’s a possibility that you may have to tough it out for a few hours before help arrives and it’s essential that you’re equipped to stay warm. A thick or fleece blanket is a perfect item to keep in your truck in case you’re faced with an unexpected, but dire, need for one. 

Now that you have some ideas for how to make your experience driving during the winter months much more comfortable and safe, it’s time to do some shopping, so you can add these accessories to your car. Do you feel more prepared for the winter road conditions? 

Putting a Remote Start in Push-to-Start Car: Is It Possible?

Putting a Remote Start in Push-to-Start Car: Is It Possible?

Is it possible to put a remote starter in a push-to-start car? The answer is a resounding, yes!

For many years, drivers kept warm by relying on their Compustar remote starters to start their vehicles in any kind of weather. The Compustar remote starter is a fantastic aftermarket addition to your car or truck.

In this article, we look at how you can use a remote starter on your push-to-start vehicle and the mistakes you can avoid when shopping for one so you don’t get yourself into a pickle. 


How Do Keyless Ignitions Work?

Keyless ignition systems are convenient and, while once a luxury, are now available on most new vehicles. The keyless ignition system first appeared in the late 1990s to early 2000s. And, like many advanced features, they were only available on luxury brands such as Cadillac and Mercedes.

The way the keyless system works is by using a fob that you keep in your purse, pocket, or anywhere it'll be close to the vehicle when you're ready to start it.

The fob emits a low-frequency signal and sends it to the vehicle's computer. When you push the start button in the vehicle, the computer validates the signal and starts the engine.

In addition to keyless ignition, these systems are usually equipped with keyless entry, as well.

Keyless ignition systems are particularly convenient for drivers with disabilities, such as arthritis, which makes it difficult to grip and turn a key. 

Although these systems aren't yet considered standard features, they are available on most vehicles as an option.


So, How Do You Install A Remote Starter In Push-to-Start Car?

Since vehicles with push-to-start technology are becoming more and more popular, you might wonder if it's possible to add an aftermarket remote starter to your keyless ignition system if it didn't come with one installed from the factory.

The good news is, yes, you can do it. The bad news is that installing one of these systems is more complicated than putting on a vehicle that still uses a key ignition.

 remote start install

Choosing a Properly Integrated System

For best performance, you must get a high-quality remote start system that's compatible with your vehicle. While these devices can be pricey, it's better to spend the money on something that's going to work versus something that's going to give you problems.


When installing these systems, you must make the proper electrical connections and route the wires safely and securely so that nothing comes loose.

If you're not handy with tools or have a limited understanding of electrical systems, it's best to get your starter installed by a professional.


How Will It Work?

One question many people ask is if their push-to-start system will work the same after they've installed the remote starter. And the answer is that the vehicle should work the same, and you shouldn't notice any difference.

However, depending on the system you choose, you might notice a few differences in how you interact with the car. For example, in some instances, the user might have to use the button on the starter that unlocks the vehicle if you start it with the remote. 

Also, depending on the model, the car's engine might shut off when you open the door to get in. Simply turn the vehicle on via the push-to-start system and drive as you would if that happens.

In most cases, you won't notice anything different about how you interact with or drive the car.


Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Remote Starter

The world of remote starters is vast, with many brands available and features from which to choose. And with so many choices, it's easy to make mistakes when purchasing a unit. 

Here are the most common mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.

Range Versus Transmitter Power

When buying a remote starter, you will see the package advertise the range at which the starter works. You will often see numbers like "500-foot range" or "1,000-foot" range. Remember that the manufacturers have to put these measurements on the package, but they're imperfect numbers. 

In ideal conditions, yes, you should get the range listed. But they often don't account for RF interference, walls, or other obstructions.

Now, you may never need to start your car from 1,000 feet away, but you will want to start it from inside a building. This is where transmitter power comes in and why it's more critical in most cases than range.

Look for a remote starter that has plenty of transmission power and don't focus so much on the range.remote start for keyless entry

Getting a Cheap System

You can get a remote starter for as little as $79.99 that comes with a link to a YouTube video or a DVD showing you how to install a remote start yourself because it isn’t too complicated if you consider yourself somewhat handy. 

Since most people don't know which brand of remote starter is the highest quality, it's ideal to read reviews carefully and don’t be afraid to speak to the retailer to ensure you get one that's most compatible with your vehicle. 

You can tell a lot by how a retailer responds to your questions - customer service and professionalism are key! 

Not Getting Enough Features

The last mistake people often make is not getting all of the features they want. Some people go for the cheap option of just a remote starter, but then later wish they'd gotten one with more functions such as a trunk release or rear window defroster activator.

Again, talk to high-quality retailers to find out what they would recommend for you. You're always better off spending a little more to get a high-quality system than going for a cheap system and regretting it later.

Getting a remote starter for your push-to-start vehicle is a big decision and one you shouldn't take lightly. Make sure to do plenty of research and ask a lot of questions before taking the plunge. It's an excellent aftermarket add on for your vehicle and will certainly make your life more convenient. 

The History of the Ford Transit

The History of the Ford Transit

The Ford Transit is one of those vehicles that almost everyone has at least heard of. These van-style vehicles are very common today, but a lot of people don’t know that Transits have been a popular vehicle option ever since the mid-’60s. 

The Ford Transit has a rich history that spans over fifty years! Let’s go back in time and take a look at the evolution of the Transit. In doing so, we can discover how it became what it is today, and why you might consider purchasing one yourself. 

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the history of the Ford Transit. Let’s start from the very beginning, all the way back in 1965, when the original Ford Transit was unveiled.


The 60’s

1965 Ford Transit

Before the release of the official 1965 Ford Transit, there was the “Tanus Transit.” This vehicle is largely forgotten today, but it gave many vehicle owners a taste of what was to come with the official Ford Transit.

Tanus Transit owners loved this vehicle for its unusually substantial amount of storage space. This was especially the case in Europe, where the Tanus Transit was most popular. 

The 1965 Ford Transit was far more similar to the modern Transit that we all know today. Initially, this vehicle from Ford was manufactured in Berkshire. However, the Transit’s rapidly growing popularity demanded expansion.


The 70’s

1978 Ford Transit

The Mark II Transit was launched in 1978, and it came with a host of improvements that covered the Transit’s cosmetics as well as its engineering.

This model of the Ford Transit was far more reliable than its predecessor. Additionally, it was far more comfortable and convenient for the user. Thanks to these improvements, the Transit Mark II made a name for itself.

Had the 1978 Transit Mark II not stolen the hearts and minds of all that drove it, the modern Transit as we know it may very well not exist. 

Ford Transit


The 80’s

1986 Ford Transit

In 1986, the world was introduced to the second generation Ford Transit. The 1986 Transit came with several feature modifications that made it more closely resemble the Transit we know today. 

Primarily, this included a more modernized and aerodynamic body.

This change in the Transit’s aesthetics was the first of many. Over course of the next thirty years, the Transit would slowly evolve, becoming what it is today. Additionally, the Ford Transit would soon begin to see technological advances that would only continue to improve over time. 


The 90’s

1994 Ford Transit

The 1994 Ford Transit was much like the 1986 Transit in terms of its appearance. However, this Transit model came with several newly-introduced features. 

These modernized features would reappear in the 1995 Transit, to be released only a year later. The 1994 Transit acted as a transitional model with which Ford would field-test these features.

A few of these newly added features included airbags, electric windows, airbags, central locking, and air conditioning. These convenient features are present in almost all vehicles today, but at the time, they were considered revolutionary. 


1995 Ford Transit

By 1995, the Ford Transit was already one of the biggest names in the world of transportation. The 1995 Ford Transit was launched in celebration of the Transit’s 30th anniversary, and it was aptly named “The Hallmark.”

Chances are, you haven’t even seen one of these in person. That’s because only 600 of them were made, making the Transit Hallmark something of a special collector’s items. 


The 2000’s

2000 Ford Transit

In the year 2000, the modern era of vehicles really started to take off. Consequently, the 2000 Ford Transit features several improvements over the previous 1995 and 1994 models. 

First of all:

It featured a top speed of 90 mph, which was very impressive for a commercial vehicle of this time. Plus, Ford made improvements to the Transit’s air conditioning, central locking, and airbags. 

Furthermore, this was the first time that a Transit model was available in multiple variations. The 2000 Ford Transit came in both a medium and tall option. The latter provided extra space, while the prior was more fuel-efficient and practical for the average family.

Ford Transit History


2006 Ford Transit

The 2006 Ford Transit was a lot like the 2000 Ford Transit. It was more of an upgrade on the previous version that it was a totally new model. In fact, most of the changes that were made were purely cosmetic.

This model was called the Transit Sport Van, and it came with alloy wheels as well as a sporty set of racing stripes. 


The 2010’s

2013 Ford Transit

In 2013, Ford launched the fourth generation Transit. This is when the Transit really became what it is now. This model received improvements across the board, from aspects as simple as steering to upgraded stereo systems. 

Several variations of the 2013 Ford Transit are still being made today, including the Courier, the Connect, and the Custom. There are a wide variety of Transits and Transit-inspired models to meet the needs of a wide variety of drivers. 


The Ford Transit’s Rich History 

As you can see, the Ford Transit has a rich and colorful history. It started strong with its initial release in 1965, and it proved that it was here to stay in 1978 when it adapted so well to the ever-changing vehicular climate. 

Ford’s ability to adapt and change with the times never really relented, which is primarily why we still see new Transit models today. The success of the Transit is directly related to the success of Ford as a company. 

Their high standards and attention to detail are apparent when you take a close look at the Transit in its various iterations. Time after time, they managed to stay ahead of the curve, making the Ford Transit a name that everyone knows.

Thinking Of Buying A Used Toyota Tacoma? Consider These Things Before You Do

Thinking Of Buying A Used Toyota Tacoma? Consider These Things Before You Do

The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular midsize trucks on the road today. And it’s no surprise because Toyota has been making small trucks for more than 40 years. What a history! 

If you long for a Tacoma but are put off by the price of a new model, this article will show you why buying used makes great financial sense, and what to look for if you go down that road so you can make this decision fully prepared. 


Why You Should Consider Buying A Used Car

Everyone likes to save money, and this is the biggest reason to consider buying a used car versus buying new. Today’s cars are well-built and last much longer than their predecessors back in the 60s and 70s. With advances in technology comes more knowledge. 

It’s not unheard of for a vehicle to reach 200,000 miles if it’s properly maintained. So buying used is a great way to get a valuable, reliable machine for much less than the price of new. 

Here are a few other things to consider when purchasing a used Toyota Tacoma. 


Buying Used Minimizes Depreciation

According to some experts, the average new car depreciates about 20 percent as soon as you drive it off the lot. And if that weren’t bad enough, most cars lose another 10 percent of their value in the first year of ownership. That’s 30 percent of their value lost in only one year!


Let’s say you buy a car that costs $30,000. In just a year, you’ve lost $9,000 in value. Buying a car that’s only a year old allows you to avoid that value drop. And while getting a used car that’s only a year old is difficult, it’s easier if you go for a car that’s two to three years old.

Also worth considering is the fact that, in many cases, you can drive that used car without much more loss in equity. Some experts, such as Phillip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at say that depreciation evens out at about two years in, and then increases about year five. 

And with cars being more durable today than ever, it’s far more economical to buy a car that’s two or three years old and then drive it until the wheels fall off.


Buying Used Reduces Insurance Rates

When you buy a new car, a large portion of the cost that you must factor in is insurance. If your vehicle is financed, you have to carry full coverage on it which is quite expensive. However, with a used car, it’s not uncommon to drop some elements of your insurance like theft and collision making the rate much cheaper. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more expensive the car the more expensive your insurance. 


Take Advantage of CPO Programs

Certified Pre Owned is a program in which many dealers participate. The CPO guarantees that your used car is in ‘like new’ condition. Cars qualifying for the CPO program are typically low mileage, well maintained, and are in excellent shape. 

In many cases, you won’t be able to tell a Certified Pre Owned vehicle from a showroom new one. See if your local dealership offers this program by heading to their website. 

 buying toyota tacoma

Access To The Vehicle History

The ability to check a vehicle’s history through avenues like Carfax and AutoCheck gives the buyer more peace of mind. It’s better today buying a used car when you know if there are any issues in its past like collisions, floods, and major repairs. You can even find out how many owners your vehicle has previously had. 


What To Consider When Buying A Used Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma comes in a variety of body styles and with many options packages. This large selection of features and styles makes finding the perfect used one for your needs and tastes easy. Whether you need something fuel-efficient or something with V6 power and ready for off-roading, there’s a Toyota Tacoma out there waiting for you. 

So here’s what to watch out for when buying used: 


During your test drive, make sure the electronics work properly. Check the power windows, locks, steering controls, climate controls, and the stereo. If the vehicle comes with Bluetooth, check that too. 

Also, look at the LED display and see if there are any dead pixels. Play with the volume knob and make sure the volume responds as it should. You don’t want to find out this later. 

Check Underneath

Be sure to listen carefully for odd noises like whining or thudding, which may show a problem with the rear differential. You can test for a worn-out rear differential by driving in a tight circle and listening for anything out of the ordinary. Any odd noises coming from underneath could indicate a problem, and if you hear something, have the vehicle checked by a technician before you purchase it.

Check the Transmission

If you’re looking at a truck with an automatic transmission, watch for symptoms of slipping or hard shifting during regular use. Sometimes, all the truck needs is transmission fluid, while other times, the transmission is damaged. 

While transmission problems are rare and appear more so in the earlier models of this generation, it’s still something to watch out for. 

Examine the Paint

It’s well-documented in the Toyota community that particular trucks have paint quality issues, such as bubbling. While it’s not a widespread problem, and it’s easily fixed with a new paint job, it’s still something to watch for when buying used.

Watch For Vibration At Low Speed

In addition to paint problems, some Tacoma models suffer from vibrations at low speed, roughly 15-25 MPH. The weird aspect of this is that you can test drive identical models, and one will have the issue while the other one will not. To check for this, drive at the above-listed speeds to see if it vibrates.remote start for tacoma

 After Market Accessories

Say you want a newer model Tacoma with all of the fancy options, but don’t want to spend the money. You don’t have to pass on the perfect truck because you can easily add a lot of these features later after the purchase. 

For example, remote starters are standard on most new trucks, but if you get an older model without one for a reasonable price, adding a remote starter is easy and instantly increases the value of the vehicle. Many sites offer remote start kits so you can install it yourself. 

A new vehicle is a considerable investment, and while buying new is a thrill, you can see how it’s often better to buy used in many cases. If you’re in the market for a Toyota Tacoma, we hope this article showed you that you can get a great truck with plenty of life left and what to look out for when searching.

How to Add Resale Value to Your Toyota Highlander

How to Add Resale Value to Your Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlanders seem to always be in demand and for good reason. They are rugged enough for the off-road and elegant enough for the paved road. They are fun, fuel-efficient, and spacious. But maybe you are at a point in your life where you need/want to part ways with your Highlander. If so, then this article will help you get the most resale value for your Toyota Highlander.

Increasing your Highlander’s Resale Value

There are some basic things you can do before you sell your Highlander that will increase its resale value. For instance, keep the mileage down. If you are planning to sell within a few months or a year, try to drive it sparingly, especially if your car is close to hitting a milestone. A car with 97,000 miles sounds a lot better than a car with 100,000 miles. Those three thousand miles can add up to a lot of money.

Take care of all scheduled maintenance to avoid unattractive noises and operation defects. You can find the factory suggested maintenance scheduling in the owner’s manual.

The cosmetics of a car have a direct impact on asking price, so be sure to invest in the way your car looks. If you can, park your car in a garage or covered parking spot. The sun and the elements can wreak havoc on your paint job. Oxidation can peel the paint away and rust the body. Here are a few more simple ways to keep your Highlander looking good:

  • Make simple cosmetic repairs like replacing broken taillights and cleaning the housing of your headlights. Bright and shiny headlights instantly make a car look newer.
  • Keep the dog out. We all love our dogs, but in the months leading up to a car sale, be sure to limit the rides you take with yours. Animal odors are difficult to get rid of and pet stains can knock off hundreds off your asking price.
  • Detailing and waxing your car can go a long way in helping your vehicle look newer than it is. You can do parts of it yourself too. Washing and waxing your vehicle is relatively easy. So is taking the mats out and going over them with a vacuum.
  • Drive carefully, and avoid collisions. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but you can take precaution by doing small things like not parking near a bunch of loose shopping carts at the grocery store.

Pro Tips for Adding Resale Value

There are also some proactive things that you can do that can add resale value to your Highlander that most owner’s don’t know about. For instance, keeping record of all repairs, maintenance, and upgrades you have had done on your Highlander can add value to it. We recommend keeping a folder of all invoices, factory notices, warranty papers and receipts for all auto-related purchases you have made. Keeping the owner’s manual to give to a new owner is also a plus that could bump up the price.

A lot of people ignore the letters they get from the Toyota manufacturers but doing so can cost you a lot when it comes time to sell your Highlander. Make sure you look through these letters and handle any open recall notices they have sent you. Even if they seem insignificant, getting these problems taken care of is pivotal if you want to get a reasonable price for your vehicle. Besides, they are free. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to show to potential buyers that your Highlander has been well taken care of.

Why not turn a couple-hundred-dollar investment into a couple-thousand-dollar payoff? That’s what installing a remote engine starter will do for your old Highlander. The average price to install a remote start into a Highlander is between 250 and 400 dollars. They are a luxurious touch to any car that adds convenience and a modern feature to older vehicles. You can typically sell a vehicle that has a remote start for at least $1,000 more than one without a remote start.

remote start for highlander

Things to do Before Selling your Highlander

The first thing you are going to want to do before putting your car up for sale is to gather all pertinent paperwork. This includes the title, registration, and any lien release documentation. The DMV can print any of this out for you if you lost them. Repair shops can sometimes re-print invoices for work they have done on your car for a minimal fee as well.

Here’s a little tip that will help you set a bottom-line price for sale negotiations; go to a local dealership or two and ask to speak with their used car manager. Tell them you are looking to sell your Highlander and ask them to evaluate it. You can use the figure they give you as a bottom asking price when selling your vehicle.

Look up your Highlander year and specific model on Kelly Blue Book as well. This will give you a realistic idea of what they are going for right now.

If you can afford it, take your Highlander to a professional car detailer. Getting a car detailed inside and out before a sale will immediately add validity to whatever price you are asking for it.

Making cheap repairs is a good idea too. Things like replacing missing trim pieces, stereo buttons, worn-out shifters, old headrests, and other minuscule cosmetic maintenance is a smart investment. The general rule of thumb is to keep these minor repair costs under $20.

Finally, consider timing - when you sell your Highlander matters. Highlanders typically sell for more in the winter when 4WD is a concern on buyers’ minds. Trucks and SUV’s usually go for cheaper in the summer when convertibles and compacts are more what people are in the market for.

Last-Minute Tips

You generally want to make your Highlander look as presentable and modern as possible. For this, we again emphasize investing in a remote start. It is a very cheap way to add thousands of dollars of worth to your vehicle and can entice a buyer with its decadence into paying your asking price.

Be sure you do things like top off your fluids, fill any underinflated tired, shine your wheels, and treat your leather upholstery. A savvy buyer will be on the lookout for all of these things and use them against you if they are not in order.

What to Look for When Buying a Prius

What to Look for When Buying a Prius

If you are in the market for a hybrid vehicle, you have probably considered a Toyota Prius. The Prius is by far the most popular hybrid vehicle in the US. That is partly because it was one of the first.

The Toyota Prius was first introduced as a concept car in Japan back in 1993. The first official generation mass-produced Prius hit the market in 1997, and since then there have been three more generations of Prius (4 in total).

Another reason why you see so many Prius’ on the road today is that Toyota makes them. Toyota has been dominant in the American market for both traditional and hybrid vehicles for generations. They have become known for reliance and durability.

Of course, there is the obvious “green” factor. Right around the time that the Prius came on the scene, America was buzzing with the term “going green.” People were becoming more aware of what is happening to the environment and seeking new ways to do their part to reduce our carbon footprint The Prius fit the bill like a glove. It came around at the perfect time with its 50MPG rating (2010 models and newer).

Just because a car is popular does not mean that you should go out and get one without knowing the facts. So if you are thinking of buying a new or pre-owned Toyota Prius, let us tell you what you should know.

What Does a Prius Cost? 

One of the first questions you will have to ask yourself is whether you want a new or used Prius. You will want to know the price differences between new and used to help inform your decision.

The average price for a brand new Prius is around $24,000. However, that price is just for the base model. If you are looking for a new Prius with all the bells and whistles, you are looking at a median price of $32,000. The price of a used Prius will depend on the age of the model. 

For instance:

The average price of a used 2016 model Prius is about $20,000. The price goes down significantly if you take a look at first-generation models, which can range from five thousand to nine thousand dollars.With used cars, the price will also depend on the condition of the vehicle, mileage, and location. 

Like the idea of a pre-owned Prius? The next section will give you some important information before buying.

A Brief Education on Buying a Used Prius

The first thing you are going to want to consider: 

Make Sure You Like the Way it Drives

Is that a Prius doesn’t drive like a regular car. The main thing people have trouble adjusting to is the lack of engine noise. Usually, when you put your foot down on the gas, you hear a correlating sound from a combustion engine. That isn’t the case with Prius’. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the sometimes noiseless way a Prius drives before you buy.

Decide What Features You Want

Next, you will need to decide which features you want. Take into consideration things like standard 2009 Prius models don’t have rear passenger side-curtain airbags. They do, however, come standard with all-wheel ABS systems. Other common standard features for this model include: keyless door locks, heated mirrors, trip computers, audio controls on the steering wheel, and remote start.

The newer generation Prius XLE models also have newer features like rain-sensing wipers, lighted exterior door handles, and parking assist.

buying a prius

How Long Do They Last?

Prius’ also tend to last for a long time. Most owners can get close to 200,000 miles out of their Prius’. So let’s say you get a used Prius that has 100,000 miles on it. If you maintain it well you can conceivably get another hundred thousand miles out of it.

Consider the Different Generations

Be aware of the common problems associated with the model you are considering as well. Many people complained about the first generation Prius because it was very small and offered little in the way of interior space. The second generation had several recalls – the most dire of which involved the intermediate steering extension shafts that had faulty metal splines.

Find Out All You Can About the Battery

Getting as much info as you can on the battery is also very important. Typically Prius’ come with battery warranties for eight years or 100,000 miles and ten years or 150,000 miles. Ask the previous owner if the battery was ever replaced and how much longer the battery is covered under warranty. This is important because it usually costs between $2,500 and $3,000 to replace the nickel-metal-hydride Prius battery. Prius batteries have been known to last 12-15 years so be sure you know what year you are buying.

How are Repair Costs & Maintenance?

Finally, you should be aware that Prius’ tend to be more expensive to repair compared to non-hybrid cars. One study showed that the average repair cost for a hybrid was 8.4% more expensive than non-hybrid repairs.

However, Prius’ typically don’t need repairs as often as non-hybrids. They are easier on the braking system (a common and costly mechanical problem), and they don’t need oil changes as frequently as non-hybrids. Plus, a significant reason why Prius’ cost more to repair is because of a lack of cheaper after-market parts for hybrids. Hybrids are relatively new, so mechanics who know how to repair them are relatively scarce. Both of these factors that drive up the cost of Prius repairs will improve over time. As more third-party manufacturers make parts and more mechanics are trained to repair hybrids, the cost of repair will only go down.

Keep these factors in mind when you are shopping, and you are sure to avoid regretting your decision to buy a Prius.

How Much Does it Cost to Put in a Remote Starter?

How Much Does it Cost to Put in a Remote Starter?

If your vehicle doesn’t have a remote starter system, it’s worth considering adding an aftermarket one for the convenience and security it offers.

Remote starters are standard on most newer vehicles because of the many benefits they provide, including:

  • Warming up and cooling down your vehicle to make it comfortable depending on the weather
  • Ability to use your smartphone as a control for your car
  • Adds additional security for your car
  • Adds resale value to your vehicle

If your vehicle didn’t come with a remote starter, don’t worry because adding one is easy and inexpensive, and we look at how you can do that right now.

Cost of a Remote Start System

An aftermarket remote starter is like any other aftermarket product in that they range in price depending on the features you want. A basic remote start system can be purchased for as little as $99, but that only gets you remote start and maybe unlocking capabilities. However, if you want more bells and whistles like additional FOBs, longer range, a smartphone app, etc., prices can go up to $300, which still isn’t bad.

However, the cost of the unit itself is only half the equation when determining the overall cost of a remote starter installation. Next up, we look at putting the starter in yourself versus having a professional do the job.

Self Installation

Installing a remote starter system yourself is the cheapest option since all you’re paying for is the cost of the remote start system and not the labor. While you may have a few extra expenses such as tools and electrical tape, these are insignificant and won’t add much to the total cost.

However, installing a remote starter isn’t for everyone; people who aren’t handy or don’t enjoy working on vehicles are likely to have a rough go at installation. And while there’s a wealth of information online and tutorials one can follow, these jobs are best left to people with a little ‘know how’ because of the potential to damage your vehicle’s electrical system if you get something wrong. Also, depending on the year in which your vehicle was purchased, you could invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty by installing a remote starter yourself. 

So, if you’ve decided to do it yourself, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Make sure you get the necessary tools for the job and have them laid out before you begin. The last thing you want is to stop what you’re doing to hunt down or have to go buy the tool you need and break your concentration.

Make sure all of your electrical components are working before installation, so you don’t have to guess if the system you need went out because of your facility or if had been out before. 

Most reputable aftermarket remote starters come with detailed instructions, however, if you get stuck, there are plenty of online video tutorials that should get you back on track.

cost of remote start

Professional Installation

If you’re not handy, or not familiar with electrical systems and don’t want to risk damaging your vehicle, the best way to get your remote start system installed is to take it to a dealer or to a professional. Having the job done by a professional ensures the job is done right and that all systems will be in working order. Also, many newer vehicles with anti-theft systems require those systems be bypassed when you install a remote starter which is best done by a pro with a working knowledge of a vehicle’s electrical system to ensure the installation doesn’t disrupt the anti-theft device.

So, how much will it cost? Well, the short answer is, it depends on your location and the shop doing the install. 

As mentioned, the cost of the unit itself can run anywhere from $99 to $300 and more, which isn’t bad. However, the price jumps considerably when you take it to a dealer or pro because you have to pay for their labor.

Estimates vary from place to place, but in general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $199 to $699 for installation. But remember, that gets you a professional job that’s done right, and sometimes the work is warranted for a period. 

A remote starter is a superb device that no driver today should be without; it offers security and convenience. And the good news is you can purchase one for very little money and put it in yourself if you know what you’re doing or are good at following directions. However, for best results, take it to a dealer or a pro to ensure no damage is done to your electrical system, your vehicle warranty remains intact, and everything works for the best result.

Check Out These 8 Aftermarket Accessories to Add to Your Jeep Wrangler

Check Out These 8 Aftermarket Accessories to Add to Your Jeep Wrangler

There’s nothing quite like owning a Jeep Wrangler. The combination of style, off-road performance, and value is tough to beat. And, while your Wrangler has plenty to offer right off the showroom floor, there are plenty of things you can add to make it more fun to drive and more convenient to use.

In this article, we look at a few things you can add to your Jeep Wrangler.

Aftermarket Top

Whether your Wrangler came with a soft or hard top, ditching the factory top for a new one is a great way to customize your vehicle while adding some visual flair.

There are plenty of aftermarket tops with tinted windows and made from materials to be more durable than the stock top. You can even opt for a top with additional roof racks for those adventurers who need some extra storage space.


Few things will make your Jeep Wrangler stand out more than a new set of high-performance wheels and tires. If you’re an avid off-road driver, a collection of beefy Mammoth wheels and tires like Super Swampers are a must have not only for the sake of performance but to make your Jeep stand out from the crowd. With so many wheel/tire combinations to choose from, you can create virtually any look you can dream up. If you’re looking to add new wheels and tires, you will want a lift kit to give you extra clearance when off-roading, and to give your Jeep that aggressive look.


For hitting the trail, diving through the mud, and driving off-road, you want to ensure your valuable Wrangler is protected from the inevitable nicks, dents, and scratches with some armor protection. You can add armor to the front, undersides, quarter panels, and the rear. While you’re at it, consider adding skid plates, light guards, roll bars, and other body protectors to keep your Wrangler looking new while even after running it hard.

Remote Starter

If your Wrangler didn’t include a remote starter from the factory, this one is a must-have. A remote starter allows you to warm up or cool down your Jeep so it’s the perfect temperature when you get in regardless of the weather, and to quickly lock and unlock the vehicle. And today’s remote starters come with advanced technologies such as Bluetooth and interfaces for your iPhone or Android phone. Many remote start systems built for Jeep Wranglers are “plug ‘n play” and require little wiring or tearing up of your vehicle.

remote start for jeep

Exterior Mods

Another way to add functionality and visual flair to your Jeep Wrangler is by getting some aftermarket exterior mods such as side steps, doorless mirrors, replacement grille with a mesh insert, door handle covers, bumper steps, and fender flares. And while you’re at it, consider adding some custom vinyl graphics to trick out your Jeep even more.

With the aftermarket exterior mod scene, the options are unlimited with how custom you want to make your Jeep.

Interior Add Ons

If you’re a serious off-road driver, one ‘must have’ are a set of durable, all weather floor liners for the snow and mud. Don’t forget to pick up a mat for the rear too.

Like exterior mods, you can stylize your Jeep, so it’s like no other with interior mods like seat covers, replacement center consoles, shifter knobs, and to really trick out the interior, custom lighting.

Performance Winch

For serious off-road enthusiasts, a performance adds on you can’t go without is a dependable winch. The risk of getting stuck in a mud bog or stranded is too significant, no matter how experienced you are and a rugged winch is the perfect tool to save the day. This is especially useful for those who like to adventure alone and need that extra security in case they get stuck.

Performance Supercharger

Okay, while this one might be a little extreme for the price, but the addition of a supercharger adds much-needed power, which is vital if you’re running a vehicle with bigger wheels and tires. Depending on the system you choose, you can see as much as 300ft/lbs of torque and 325WHP. And, some people report a slight increase in their gas mileage when adding one of these systems.

Installing one of these bad boys is an all-day job, but the benefits may be well worth it.

There are few vehicles as iconic as the Jeep Wrangler, which traces its roots all the way back to WWII. And it’s why it’s remained so popular throughout the years. And today, with all the aftermarket add ons and upgrades available, there’s no better time to be a Jeep Wrangler owner.

What is a Plug and Play Remote Starter?

What is a Plug and Play Remote Starter?

Remote starters are common on most new vehicles, but if your car didn’t come with one, you’re missing out on convenience and security. Consider the following benefits:

  • Starting your car on a cold morning without going outside and having it heat up so it’s comfortable, and the windows are defrosted when you’re ready to go.
  • Getting the air conditioner turned on when it’s blazing hot outside so you don’t burn yourself on the steering wheel or other hot interior components.
  • Finding your vehicle in a crowded lot among similar looking vehicles. 
  • Added security of a car alarm to protect your valuable vehicle from theft.

If your vehicle didn’t come with a remote starter from the factory, you’re in luck, because there are a variety of aftermarket systems to choose from at prices most people should be able to afford.

What Types Of Remote Starters Are Available?

Lucky for you, if you have a vehicle made within the last 10 years, there’s a good chance you can find a high-quality remote starter to work with it. While prices vary, you can go for something basic to fit a modest budget that gets you just remote start capability and little more, or you can opt for a model with all the bells and whistles that includes additional key FOBs, a long-range, LED screens, and smartphone capability. 

Plug and Play Remote Starters

If you want to get the benefits of having a remote starter but don’t want to pay a remote car starter dealer or a professional to install it, consider getting an aftermarket plug and play system for your vehicle. The advantages of a plug and play system are that they’re made for your specific vehicle and since that’s the case, don’t require a lot of wiring like a lot of the cheaper models do; this is ideal if you’re not handy or good at reading wiring schematics. Most experts say if your vehicle was made after the mid-2000s, you should have little trouble getting a plug and play system to install. Vehicles older than say, 2005, probably need an aftermarket starter, in which case you’ll either have to have it professionally installed or do it yourself if you’re comfortable.

plug and play remote start

How Much Does A Remote Starter Cost?

While prices differ, you can find a high-quality remote starter for $200-$300, but that doesn’t always include labor if you’re having it professionally installed. Also, the cost of your system depends on the features you want. If you want a basic, no-frills unit you can get one for under $100. However, if you’re spending the money, consider getting the best you can afford because the more features you get, the more useful and convenient the system will be.

What Features Should You Look For?

If you’ve taken the plunge into the world of remote starters, consider getting the best one you can afford with as many features as you can get. Features to look for are:

  • Transmitter Range: The transmitter range is important because it allows you to start, lock and unlock the car from a great distance. While you may say your car is always in the driveway, you might find yourself having to park way out in the parking lot at the mall, and having a way to start the car from inside is convenient when it’s cold or hot outside. Look for a transmitter that has a range of at least 800 feet and go for a 1-mile one if you can.
  • Engine Speed Sensor: A high-quality remote starter should sense the engine RPMs because if it doesn’t, the system doesn’t know if the engine is on or not. Sometimes, the engine won’t start the first time you hit the button. Without an engine sensor, you will think the car has started when it hasn’t. 
  • Two Way Remote: A two-way remote is better than one way because it tells you the vehicle has started, which is important if the vehicle does not turn on for whatever reason. 
  • LCD or LED Screen: Having a large, LCD or LED display allows you to see additional information about your vehicle including the inside temperature and how long the vehicle has been running. It can also alert you if you’ve left your door or trunk open.
  • Smartphone Capability: If you use a smartphone, getting a remote starter that allows you to check vehicle status and even start your car from your phone is a great feature.

As you can see, getting a remote starter for your vehicle isn’t as tough as you would think, especially if you have a plug and play system that requires little work to install. If you have a late model vehicle, finding a system that works should be no trouble at all.

What To Do Before Selling Your Mazda

What To Do Before Selling Your Mazda

For every vehicle owner, there comes a time when they have to, or want to, upgrade to a newer model. So, when it’s your time to get rid of your Mazda, you have two options: trade it in for a new one or re-sell it. Trading it in is less hassle, but you don’t get as much for it as you would if you sold it to another owner. And since Mazdas hold their value, re-selling it is often the better option.

In this article, we look at the things to consider when re-selling your Mazda to another person.

Research Your Market

Before selling your vehicle, you must find out what the true value of your car is. You can do this in one of several ways including checking out the Kelley Blue Book value and by researching how much other used car dealers are selling your car for.

Also, researching the market tells you whether the vehicle you have is a hot seller or one that dealers are finding tough to unload.

Keep in mind that vehicles like family cars and sedans might not seem exciting or exotic, they seem to always be in demand for families who need a convenient method of transportation. Also, be aware that selling vehicles such as convertibles or sports cars are better sold during the summer months.

Don’t Overprice Your Vehicle

If you’re looking to sell your vehicle to get money to put towards a new one, it’s understandable that you want to get the most money you can, however, putting to high a price on your car ensures that it will sit around with no takers.

Again, look at the market and see what other similar models are selling for and then price your vehicle accordingly.

Also, take note of some basic psychological tricks that car dealers and companies use when setting prices. Most prices end in 995 as in $9,995. Now that vehicle costs $10,000, but seeing $9,995 is more attractive for people.

Lastly, leave a little wiggle room in the price in case you get someone who wants to haggle. You can do this by asking slightly more than what you’ll settle for so you can come down if needed and still meet your price.

remote start mazda

Detail The Car

The old saying, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ is just as true when selling cars as it is for anything else. So, before you put your car on the market, give it some curb appeal by giving it a good wash and detail to make it look as clean and like new as possible. Wash it, wax it, clean out the junk from inside and vacuum, and don’t forget to give the tires a nice coat of Tire Wet to make them shine. If you don’t know how to do this or don't have the time, take it to a professional detail shop for a thorough cleaning.

Make Sure It’s Mechanically Sound

Another important thing to get done before you sell your Mazda is to make sure the car is in good working condition, and that includes new brake pads, topping off the fluids, a fresh oil change, and by getting a tune-up. Also, have your mechanic give the car a good inspection to find out if there’s anything seriously wrong and address any issues before putting it up for sale. A potential buyer will want to test drive the vehicle before buying and the last thing you want is for something to go wrong. Lastly, if you have kept your maintenance records, it’s a good idea to have those handy to show a buyer so they can have confidence the car has been taken care of.

Add Some Upgrades

Depending on the vehicle’s age, consider adding some value to it by performing some upgrades to get a better price. One upgrade to consider is adding a remote starter, which can make or break the sale in today’s market. Many people want vehicles with remote start systems and you can have one installed for under $300, and once completed, instantly adds value to your vehicle and makes it more attractive to buyers.

Other upgrades to consider are replacing your foggy headlights with clear lenses and replacing worn wiper blades with fresh ones. Remember, these upgrades add value to your vehicle and it’s always more attractive to a buyer to get a vehicle that they don’t have to put money into after the purchase.

With a little market research and a little money spent, you should have no trouble selling your Mazda to another party and getting the price you want. Make sure your vehicle is clean and running well, and you should have no trouble making the sale.