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Penske Automotive Group

General

Does Your Car Really Need Premium Gas?

Handsome man pours gasoline into tank of car

Got questions about cars? Joe Malick and Rodney Braun started at CarShop as service technicians years ago, and have worked with cars all their lives. We sat down to get answers that consumers often ask.

My car recommends premium gas. Should I spend the extra bucks or just go with regular?

Rodney: You want to match your octane to whatever you’re driving.

Joe: It’s what your engine is engineered to run on – that’s what you should target.

Rodney: In cars that require premium gas, their engines are set up for higher octane. Some engines, higher compression engines – like a turbo – need premium.

Joe: The ignition timing is a little bit different in those engines, also.

Rodney: In high performance engines, the higher the octane rating, you’re going to be less susceptible to engine pinging and knocks – things you hear when the fuel is burning at the wrong time.

Joe: Knocks and pings can put a hole right in your piston. They’ll give you an engine job if you let things like that go long enough.

Rodney: Don’t get too up tight about it. Putting in lower octane here or there, that’s not going to make a big difference. But long term, if you use premium gas in an engine that requires it, you’re going to get less deposits and it’ll run more optimally.

So if it says premium, the highest octane I can get?

Joe: Interestingly, not necessarily. Even though at a lot of gas stations, 93 octane is premium, a lot of times manufacturers talk premium gas, it’s 91 octane.

Rodney: So more mid-grade than super high premium in that case. That could help some people out, pricewise.

Joe: The way to know is to read your owner’s manual. Then compare to the numbers on the pump handles at your gas stations.

Rodney: Sometimes, you’ll find the recommended octane on the inside of the gas cap door.

Joe: One other thing to notice – sometimes those octane numbers are just recommended. Like I had a Nissan Sentra. Inside the gas cap door, it said “Premium fuel recommended for optimum performance.” I just put regular gas in that car all the time, and it ran fine, never had an issue. Now there are going to be other people who say, “I want every ounce of performance I can get out of my Sentra”, and they’ll put 91 or 93 in. That’s their choice.

Can I help my engine by putting premium fuel in from time to time?

Joe: Back in the old days, my Dad would say, “Fill your tank with the good stuff and go blow it out” – by which he meant go somewhere where you can get the RPMs up, just to burn off the deposits in the engine. Maybe that used to work back in the old days, when cars had carburetors and different gasses, but it’s antiquated advice today.

Rodney: If the engine isn’t running right, if you feel you have a performance problem or your engine light is on, 93 octane is not going to be a fix. The rare exception is if your engine is designed to run solely on 93 octane and you’re not using it – then it might help a bit.

Joe: People think higher octane is better gas because it’s more money, right? That’s not true. It’s just right for certain engines – the higher performance, higher-compression ones.

Rodney: A lot of people think they’ll get better gas mileage with premium, as well. Also, not true.

Joe: Again, you want to match the octane rating to whatever you’re driving.

Rodney: I think that’s where we started here.

(Credit: carshop.com)

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General

Penske Automotive Group Recognized by Forbes as One of America’s Best Employers for Veterans in 2022

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We are pleased to announce that Penske Automotive Group has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 and ranked #9 overall!

Forbes along with market research company Statista set out to identify the 200 companies succeeding in being an employer of choice for this highly regarded group.

To compile the ranking, more than 7,000 U.S. veterans were surveyed who work part-time or full-time for companies employing at least 1,000 people within the U.S. The evaluation was based on direct and indirect recommendations from employees that were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family. Employee evaluations also included other employers in their respective industries that stood out either positively or negatively. Furthermore, participants were asked to give their opinion on a series of statements related to general topics regarding their own employer, for example: atmosphere & development, image, working conditions, salary & wage, workplace, diversity, and a set of topics related specifically to the interests of veterans in the workplace.

Penske Automotive Group remains passionate about our service members and veterans, and we look forward to continuing to support them through hiring, training, and partnership initiatives.

Click here to read the full article in Forbes.

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General

Test Drive Tips – 10 Things to Look For

Cheerful Black Woman Driving Car Sitting In Automobile, Back View

Check out these 10 test driving tips before you make a final decision on your next vehicle purchase.

1. Check the Body

Walk around the vehicle and look for any noticeable dents, scratches, or rust. Small blemishes may reflect normal wear and tear, but anything significant can be a warning of how the car has been treated in the past.

2. Balding Tires

If the tread on the tires is shallow, that’s a sign that they’ll need to be replaced soon. Consider whether the rest of the car is worth that kind of additional expense.

3. Test the Doors, Trunk, and Hood

  • Open and close every door, making sure they work smoothly and close tightly. Does the lock function properly on each one? What about the child lock?
  • If the vehicle has a trunk that’s operated by the key fob, test it out. While you’re back there, make sure there’s a spare tire and jack.
  • Check the hood as well, and make sure it stays open properly. 

4. The Interior

  • Check the quality of the interior. Is the upholstery the material you want? Is it clean? Take a seat. Are you comfortable?
  • Notice small features that you’ll use on the day-to-day like cupholders, storage cubbies, and sun visors. Are they convenient to use, or will they cause irritation?
  • Check the seating for adjustability. If you’ll be needing extra storage, make sure that the rear seats fold down.
  • Spend some time with the dash. Test the climate controls to ensure the air conditioning and heating systems are in good shape.
  • You can also test out the entertainment system to make sure it’s to your liking. If you’ll be connecting to a device, check the USB and aux ports, and whether Bluetooth is enabled.

5. Special Features

  • Nowadays, some vehicles come with extra bells and whistles. Are there any you’re looking for specifically, like a sunroof or backup cameras? Make sure the vehicle has what you are looking for, and that they function correctly.
  • Looking at a convertible? Check how easy it is to raise and lower the top. Notice any storage space you’ll be sacrificing while stowing the top.  What is the condition of the top? Any discoloration, dry rot, rips, or tears?
  • Checking out a larger vehicle? Review towing capacity and storage to confirm that it will be able to handle your needs.

Once you’re ready to get behind the wheel and go for a spin.

6. Listen Up

Before you go anywhere, turn off the radio, and listen to the engine for any ticks or high-pitched idling.

7. Press the Brakes 

Do they feel solid? Test the emergency brake. Can you do this with ease? As you take the car on the road, notice any noise coming from the brakes. Pay attention to how it feels to brake from different speeds, and whether you come to a smooth stop.

8. Shift into Gear 

Is there any noise coming from the transmission? How touchy is the gas? As you begin your drive, notice visibility. Check blind spots, and whether the vehicle features blind-spot monitors.

9. Drive at High and Low Speeds

Feel how the car shifts into higher gears as you accelerate. Is it smooth? If you can take it on the highway, test how comfortable it is to merge and navigate traffic.

10. Maneuver the Vehicle

  • Try a U-turn. You’ll want to feel for the fluidity of the turn. Notice any squealing noises or thumping feelings in the steering, which could indicate issues with the power steering or suspension.
  • In a safe area like a parking lot, take your hands off the wheel and drive in a straight line. Does the car pull left or right? A strong pull could indicate poor alignment or more serious issues.
  • Parallel park. Make sure you’re comfortable with the turn radius and height of the vehicle.

Credit: carshop.com

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General

Supporting Veterans, Beyond the Racetrack

Soldier and USA flag on sunrise background .Concept National holidays , Flag Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Patriot Day.

Paralyzed Veterans of America and Team Penske have joined forces this year in support of Veteran’s Day.

Team Penske Driver Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Austin Cindric raced in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at the Phoenix Raceway on November 6th in honor of those who served. Logan won the season-finale event, securing the championship, becoming a two-time Cup Series Champion after winning his first title in 2018.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, you can show support for your favorite driver while helping paralyzed and disabled veterans when you donate to PVA.

Donations will help paralyzed and disabled veterans get high-quality medical care, career support, family support, and accessible homes, cars, and communities they need to thrive.

To donate, please visit; https://pva.org/penske-veterans-day/ and click here to learn more.

Happy Veterans Day!

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General

How to Properly Check Your Tire Pressure

Attractive young woman checking air pressure of car tire on local road side while traveling, Girl having troubles with her auto, checking wheel after car breakdown

Driving on under-inflated tires can lead to a number of problems, including decreased gas mileage and uneven wear on your tires. Therefore, it’s essential to learn how to check tire pressure to ensure the longevity and performance of your tires. Here’s a look at the recommended procedure.

 

Know When to Check

The best time to check your tire pressure is at least once a month and before long trips. Drastic changes in temperature can also affect your tire pressure, so it’s important to check the tires during and after extreme weather conditions. If you had parked your car for an extended period, it’s also a good idea to check the tires before hitting the open road.

Checking the tire pressure on your car is a simple but important task that will help ensure the safety of you and your passengers. The best way to do this is to visit your nearest gas station and use the self-service air pressure pumps. Almost every gas station has an air pressure pump at the forecourt, so you should have no trouble finding one. Once you’ve located the pump, simply park your car properly so that you’ll have no problem checking the rear tires.

 

Know The Optimum or Recommended Tire Pressure

The optimum or recommended tire pressure for your vehicle can be found in your car’s manual. You can also find this information on the manufacturer’s sticker in your car. Once you know the optimum tire pressure for your car, go ahead and check the current pressure in each tire against that number. If the pressure in any of your tires is below the optimum level, inflate the tire to the proper pressure.

 

Inflating the Tire

The first step is to remove the caps from the tire valves. Next, take your air pump and squeeze it into the valve. Be sure to push the air trigger in short bursts while reading the pressure on the gauge window. Once you reach the recommended PSI, remove the air pump and replace the cap. Remember to check the air pressure in your spare tire. This way, you’re prepared for whatever the road may throw at you.

By following these steps, you can help ensure your car has optimal performance and handling on the road.

 

(Credit: porschechantilly.com)

 

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General

Penske Automotive Dealerships Campaign to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Banner copy

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has always remained important to Penske Automotive Group.  As we close out the month, we would like to thank all our dealerships for their efforts in continuing to support the fight against breast cancer year after year.  Here are some highlights of our team members around the country who helped to raise awareness on the impact of breast cancer within our communities.

Featured Personnel and Dealerships:

Elite Technicians of Charlotte

Audi Stevens Creek

Central Florida Toyota

Jaguar Annapolis

Jaguar Englewood

Jaguar Monmouth

Porsche Fairfield

Porsche West Broward

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General

How Often Should You Change Your Brake Pads?

Selective focus disc Shock absorber on car, in process of new Sh

There’s a sense in which your brake pads are designed to wear out. However, while you want to be sure that you aren’t driving with worn pads, you also don’t want to incur needless expense, so how can you tell when it’s time to contact your dealer for replacements?


How Many Miles?

The lifetime of your pads depends on how often you use them. Received wisdom says that they usually last for between 25,000 and 70,000 miles, but within this wide range, there are a number of other factors to take into account.

How Do You Drive?

The lifespan of the pads is affected by the type of journey that you take. Taking many short trips in the car will cause more wear on the braking system and driving in heavy stop-start traffic means that you rely on the brakes more and will burn through them quicker. Towing heavy loads or carrying extra weight in the car will also cause the pads to wear down in less time.

It’s also helpful to be honest about your driving habits when deciding how to schedule a pad replacement. Drivers who “ride the brakes” will wear them down more quickly, as will those who are prone to late and sudden braking. Using engine braking and taking your time to stop over a greater distance is safer and better driving practice, but it’ll also put less pressure on your pads.

Where Do You Drive?

Some environments are more likely to cause the pads to wear down than others. Hilly roads with steep downhill slopes mean more reliance on the brakes, and a shorter interval between pad replacements. Dusty or sandy roads will cause more corrosion, while extremely warm temperatures exacerbate the heat caused by the friction of braking.

Conversely, cold or damp conditions will make the surfaces in your braking system more slippery, requiring you to apply more pressure when you brake, and wearing down the pads that way.

Signs That It’s Time to Contact Your Dealer

If you pick up on any of the following signs when you brake, your pads have worn down and you should schedule a replacement right away:

  • Screeching or squealing
  • A low rumbling sound
  • Soggy or unresponsive brakes
  • Vibrations through the brake pedal

Pads and shoes are a crucial part of your car’s most fundamental safety system and prevent expensive damage to other braking components, so it’s essential to make sure that they’re in the best condition all year long.

(Credit: porschechantilly.com)

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General

What’s the Difference Between 4WD and AWD

Young couple buying a new car in dealership

Got questions about cars? Joe Malick and Rodney Braun started at CarShop as service technicians years ago, and have worked with cars all their lives. We sat down to get answers that consumers often ask.


 

I’ve got an all-wheel drive. Is that as good as a 4-wheel drive?  

Joe: It depends on what you’re doing. 2WD, AWD, 4WD, first question we ask is what do you want your vehicle to do?

Rodney: Here’s the difference. 4-wheel drive, like a pick-up truck or a full-size SUV, most of them are electronic now. You’ve got a dial on the dash, you flip the switch, you go from two-wheel drive to splitting torque to the front and rear wheels 50/50.

Joe: An all-wheel drive is automatic. You don’t have to turn a knob, you don’t have to shift anything. You have 80% of your power going to the rear, 20% to the front at all times. When the sensor tells your car your wheels are slipping, it’s going to apply torque to the other wheels to get your traction.

Rodney: 4-wheel drives, they also usually have a low range. It’s all about torque and keeping the speed down. You don’t go too fast, but it multiplies the torque of the engine, so it’ll pull itself through two-foot snow drifts, crawl over rocks and obstacles, get out of mud, that kind of stuff. If you’re really into off-roading, you need a 4WD.

Joe: It’s not just the power. People forget it’s also the clearance. An AWD can’t do a lot of things a 4WD can, just because there’s less room for things to pass under the car.

Rodney: There are a few AWD vehicles you can lock into four-wheel drive, so it’s not constantly changing the torque from the front to the rear wheels. Some of the Subarus, for instance, they call it X-Mode. But there are a lot of people, probably most people in my opinion, who never actually use it.

Are two-wheel drives always a bad idea if you’re in a place where it snows?

Joe: Not at all. Again, it depends on how you drive. How much driving do you really do in the wintertime? Do you have a long commute or do you have to travel a lot for work? Are all the roads you travel the ones the snow plows hit early and often, or are you on a side street that sometimes takes days to get clear?  If you’re putting 5000 miles a year on your vehicle, you can probably stay with a front wheel drive vehicle, and invest in a good set of true snow tires – like Bridgestone Blizzaks – at least for the front of your vehicle in the wintertime.

Rodney: People don’t know how much difference a good tire can make. You can have an AWD, 4WD with bad tires and you’re going to be all over the road, whereas you can have a 2WD with great snow tires on the front and you’ll be driving right by them.

Joe: Here’s a story. My nephew had a Jeep Grand Cherokee. His father calls me up and says, “Joe, I don’t know what it is, but he’s out there and he’s all over the place skidding.” Well, I knew exactly what it was. The kid had the tire tread down to 2 or 3/32nds of an inch – just barely passing inspection. We put good tires on it, and I haven’t heard a thing since. Moral to this story: even if you’ve got a Jeep, one of the best 4x4s in the world, if you’ve got a street radial tire that’s down to 3/32nds, don’t expect to be living the Jeep commercial.

One more question. 2WD, AWD, 4WD, isn’t there a difference in terms of gas mileage?  

Rodney: You probably give up a little gas mileage with an AWD versus a 2WD version of the same vehicle.

Joe:  But it’s a lot less than a 4WD vs. a 2WD truck. I’ll bet all the money in Rodney’s wallet right now, the difference between a front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive medium crossover, like a Honda CRV, the percentage is going to be a lot less than a 4WD full size truck and a 2WD truck.

Rodney: In the truck, you add a lot more components and a lot more weight. You’re putting a big front wheel drive axle in the truck, you’ve got a big transfer case, you’ve got a front drive shaft that’s really big, whereas in the AWD units, they’re already front wheel drive, you’ve got a small little transfer case on the transmission, some kind of smaller rear drive shaft and they put differentials in the back, rear axles that are minimal additional weight.

Joe: It’s going to be less of a decrease in gas mileage in all AWD midsize vehicles vs. a full-size truck or SUV.

(Credit:Carshop.com)

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