Archive for August, 2018
The Mazda CX-5 fits perfectly in the middle of the automaker’s crossover lineup. It’s not as big as the Mazda CX-9 and not quite as compact as the Mazda CX-3. Regardless of its size, the 2018 Mazda CX-5 upholds the safety standards that are so important to Mazda. Last month, the vehicle was recognized by being named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. That is one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed upon a vehicle. The IIHS stipulated that Mazda’s Adaptive Front Lighting must be equipped to the vehicle to obtain the Top Safety Pick+ status. Let’s explore what Adaptive Front Lighting is and does. (more…)
There’s so much to keep track of when you first purchase your Mazda. It’s a very exciting time, but with so much happening it’s easy for some things to get lost in the shuffle. One of the things that is likely to get lost in all the excitement is a solid understanding of your warranty. Still, the warranty is a very important part of vehicle ownership since your vehicle may need repairs during the course of ownership. Additionally, many vehicle owners don’t really understand what the warranty covers and does not cover. Understanding how it works will help you make the right decisions when you do purchase a car and help you know what you can rely on in the event that something happens. (more…)
When the time comes to get a new car, deciding whether to buy or lease it is a tough
decision. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, and trying to determine
which route is best for you can be both challenging and confusing.
The number of drivers who choose to lease rather than buy their new cars is increasing,
and those who lease instead of buy don’t make their decision based on nothing. There
are several reasons why many drivers decide that leasing their car is the better, most
cost-effective option for them.
1. Lower Monthly Payments
The average monthly payment for a driver who is leasing a car is approximately $100
less than the monthly payment for someone who is paying off a car loan.
That average $100 monthly difference adds up to a savings of about $1200 per year—
or more. If your lease is three years long, you can expect to save close to $4000 on
monthly car payments.
2. Fewer Maintenance Costs
When you own a car, maintenance costs add up over time. When added on to monthly
car loan payments and exorbitant gas prices, regular maintenance costs can be a major
burden on the average car owner’s finances. If you have a lower budget and choose to
purchase an older used car to save money, you’ll probably have to spend money on
repairs even more frequently.
Leasing a car helps you avoid maintenance costs for multiple reasons. First off, leasing
a car allows you to choose a new car model with parts that are up-to-date and in perfect
condition. It’s unlikely that the brand new car you lease will break down enough to
require major repairs within the span of a two to four year lease. When you lease a car,
you might not even have to pay for unavoidable regular tune-ups. Most of these minor
services—like oil changes and tire rotations—should be covered under the factory
warranty of your new car for most or all of your leasing period.
3. More Flexibility
Car enthusiasts who get excited about the prospect of driving the newest model on the
market love the freedom and flexibility leasing cars affords them. Many drivers on a
budget are unable to afford the full cost of a new car. That leaves them with the option
of agreeing to a long loan and high monthly payments or settling for a less exciting, less
attractive used car model.
Leasing a new car allows drivers on a budget to enjoy the excitement of picking out a
new car based more on how much they like it than on how much it costs. It opens up
the option of driving more expensive, attractive car models to drivers with a budget that
can’t accommodate the cost of buying a new car themselves.
Plus, leasing a car requires much less commitment than buying one. When you buy a
new car, you’ll probably drive it for at least six years to get your money’s worth before
trading it in for a new model. The average car lease length, on the other hand, is only
about three years. If you’re someone who gets antsy quickly and likes to buy a new car
frequently, leasing a car gives you the opportunity to try out a new model every couple
of years without wasting your money.
4. No Depreciation Worries
One of the most frustrating realities of buying a brand new car is its rapidly depreciating
value. The value of a new car begins to depreciate immediately—in fact, it is estimated
that a new car’s value depreciates by 50% as soon as you drive it off the car dealership
lot. The rapid, significant depreciation of a new car’s value can pose a serious problem
for new car owners and cause them to lose money when they eventually want to sell
When you lease a car, you don’t have to worry about its depreciating value. The value
of a new car depreciates the same way whether you buy it or lease it, but drivers who
lease their cars don’t lose money because of that depreciation. The only payments you
have to think about when you lease a car are your agreed upon monthly leasing
payments, which means you don’t have to worry about how much value your car loses
5. Tax Benefits
A lesser-known advantage of leasing a car rather than buying it is the tax benefits you
can get from leasing. Many drivers—especially those who are self-employed, commute
long distances, or have to drive frequently for their job—choose to lease a car because
their job allows them to write off their monthly lease payments as tax deductions.
Writing off your lease payments as tax deductions can significantly reduce your taxable
income and lower the amount you have to pay in taxes each year. Not all drivers are
eligible for these write offs, though. Make sure you confirm your eligibility before leasing
if tax benefits are a deal breaker for you.
When you purchase a new Mazda, you will be given the opportunity to make other additional purchases to enhance your new vehicle. It may seem overwhelming to make even more choices with such a big purchase, but you don’t want to miss the chance to add valuable features to your vehicle.
One add-on you should strongly consider is AVAS. AVAS is a GPS system. GPS means “Global Positioning Service.” GPS systems use satellites to give geo-spatial positioning. GPS is used in navigation apps like Google Maps, but AVAS goes a step further and helps protect your vehicle at all times. AVAS has a simple user interface so that you can readily take advantage of the benefits.
Here are some of the great ways you can benefit from AVAS:
Service Interval Reminders
Remembering all the important service intervals for your new vehicle can be intimidating and feel like a daunting task. Even though many service repair centers will now email you when your vehicle is due for service, we all get so many emails in a day that we can feel overwhelmed by them and sometimes miss important ones. With AVAS, notifications will come directly to your cell phone. Not only that, you’ll be able to immediately and easily schedule service right from the notification and receive exclusive discounts to help you go ahead and take that extra step.
AVAS is also deeply concerned with your safety. As soon as a recall notice appears for your vehicle, you’ll be alerted so that you have the time to take care of it. If you rely solely on the manufacturer for these notifications, you may not receive it for months as they rely on a slow and outdated postal system. Stay safe with AVAS.
Extra Protection for Teen Drivers
Being a parent of a teenager presents enough challenges on its own, but when they start driving it can be especially frightening. They are eager for independence and the chance to finally have some control over when and where they go places. As a teenager, there is little as exhilarating as the new found freedom of driving. But for parents it can be scary to let go and watch this happen. Adults understand how many threats there are on the road as well as how untrustworthy teens are at this stage of driving. They may find themselves speeding before they know it or not fully paying attention to the road.
AVAS can help with this. Parents will enjoy the features that notify them when the vehicle is exceeding the speed limit so that they can get in touch with their teens and remind them to take it a bit more slowly. Additionally, you can create zones so that if your teenager goes past one of them you are alerted. They aren’t going to stay home forever and watching them grow up is bittersweet. With AVAS, however, you can gain some extra peace of mind.
Speaking of peace of mind, another huge benefit that AVAS offers is the capability of knowing where your car is at all times. While incredible advancements have been in automobile technology that curtails car theft, nothing is foolproof. That’s why it’s extremely helpful to be alerted when your car is moving without your authorization. AVAS simply sends a quick text message to your phone to let you know so that you can choose how to take care of the issue.
Get Rewarded for Driving
Do you have a significant commute? Have you ever wished someone would pay you for all those miles traveled? With AVAS, you get rewarded for driving. Just do what you always do and drive and you’ll be entered into several drawings to win prizes. There isn’t a single other GPS system that will reward you for what you do everyday.
Drawings for prizes are held every month, quarter, and year. Members don’t need to make any extra effort to enter the drawings; they are entered automatically.
In addition to these drawings, AVAS members will receive exclusive discounts from dealers. Instead of having to make the effort to hunt for the best deal in town, AVAS members can rest assured that they are receiving the best deal available. Deals include up to $200 off service, $200 off parts, and even new purchase savings.
Additionally, you can view the past trips the vehicle has taken, be alerted to low battery status, always see the current location, and get other detailed reports on the vehicle.
Being able to automate so much of your vehicle’s care will relieve you of a lot of stress in your life, give you peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your loved ones, allow you to feel confident about the care of your car, and assist you in making sure you know where your vehicle is at all times.
Curious to learn more about AVAS? Contact us today! We’ll be happy to discuss it in more detail with you.
Understanding car safety crash tests, what they are, how they work, and why they’re important is key if you value safety and structural integrity in your car. Car crash tests are real-life imitations of car accidents that are performed using real cars and dummies. After each test, the physical damage to the crash test dummies involved in the test is assessed. These special crash test dummies are built specifically to react to car accidents just like a human driver or passenger would in terms of physical injury. Car crash tests provide an accurate picture of how safe a certain car is and how likely it is that a driver or passenger in that car would sustain a serious injury or even die in the case of an accident.
Who Performs Car Safety Crash Tests?
There are two main organizations in the United States that perform crash tests: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The NHTSA and the IIHS are the two most reputable and well- known organizations that test the safety of different cars on the market through crash tests. These organizations assign safety ratings based on how a car and the crash test dummies inside of it respond to different crash simulations.
What are the Different Types of Car Safety Crash Tests?
There are multiple types of car safety crash tests that the NHTSA and the IIHS perform in order to accurately assess the safety and structural integrity of a car. The NHSTA and the IIHS intentionally perform different tests in order to provide car buyers with as many details as possible about the safety of a certain car.
NHTSA Crash Tests
The types of crash tests that the NHTSA performs include: frontal crash tests, side barrier crash tests, and side pole crash tests. These tests are designed to imitate the types of car crashes that are responsible for the most deaths and serious injuries on the road. In addition to these tests, the NHTSA also performs rollover tests that assess how likely a car is to roll over on the road and how it responds in the case of a rollover. All crash test dummies wear seat belts in these safety tests, and tests are only performed between vehicles within the same weight class.
Frontal Crash Test
The NHTSA’s frontal crash test assesses how a certain car would respond in the case of a head-on collision with another vehicle. This test is performed by crashing a car moving at 35 MPH into a fixed barrier. It uses two crash test dummies: an adult male in the driver’s seat and a small adult female in the passenger seat.
Side Barrier Crash Test
The side barrier crash test simulates an intersection-type crash scenario in which one car crashes into the driver’s side of another car. In this test, a moving barrier crashes into a stationary vehicle at a speed of 38.5 MPH. The crash test dummies used in this test are an adult male in the driver’s seat and a small adult female in the backseat on the driver’s side—where the vehicle is hit.
Side Pole Crash Test
The NHSTA’s side pole crash test simulates an accident caused by a vehicle crashing into a standard telephone pole on the driver’s side at a speed of 20 mph. This test uses one crash test dummy: a small adult female in the driver’s seat.
IIHS Crash Tests
The IIHS performs frontal offset crash tests and side impact crash tests that are very similar to the frontal crash and side barrier crash tests performed by the NHSTA.
In addition to these tests, the IIHS also performs tests that asses the safety and structural integrity of other parts of a car. They use crash tests to evaluate a car’s bumpers, roof strength, head restraints, and electronic stability control.
How are Cars Rated and What do These Ratings Mean?
The NHSTA and the IIHS use different rating systems for the cars they crash test. Understanding these rating systems is important, especially if you’re in the market for a car. If you don’t have a thorough understanding of how cars are rated and what these ratings mean, you might end up accidentally settling for a car that isn’t safer and less reliable than you thought.
NHSTA Rating System
The NHSTA uses a simple, 5-star rating system. One star is the lowest rating a car can receive and indicates that driving that car puts drivers and passengers at a high risk of serious injuries or death in the case of a crash. A 5-star rating is the highest possible rating by NHSTA. Cars rated with five stars are considered the safest cars on the market.
In addition to their star rating, NHSTA also mark cars with a question-mark symbol if they discover any notable safety concern in that car through the tests they perform.
IIHS Rating System
IIHS rates cars they crash test with one of four ratings: good, acceptable, marginal, or poor. This rating system is pretty self-explanatory. Good is the highest possible rating, and poor is the lowest.
Recent statistics suggest that a driver involved in a frontal crash in a car with a ‘good’ rating is almost 50% less likely to die or sustain a serious injury than a driver in a similar car with a ‘poor’ rating. In the case of a side impact crash, the driver of a car rated ‘good’ is approximately 70% less likely to die or be seriously injured than a driver in a similar car rated ‘poor’.
If there is a universal food, it has to be pizza, right? Sorry to all of the lactose intolerant readers out there. Well, for the most part, pizza is a top food option for everybody. You can do anything you want to your pizza. Don’t like onions? Don’t put onions on it! Do you like pulled pork? Throw some pork and barbecue on that ‘za! The El Monte area is home to some fantastic pizza parlors. Check out some of our favorites below. (more…)
An ideal road trip is exciting, full of new experiences and carefree adventures. Unfortunately, spending days on end trying to navigate your way across the state or even across the country isn’t always as glamorous as it’s made out to be. Especially if you’re someone who is prone to travel anxiety, the thought of a road trip might fill you with more stress than excitement.
Planning and embarking on your upcoming road trip doesn’t have to be so stressful. Keep reading to learn how to pack smart, plan well, relax and have fun to make the most of your road trip no matter where your destination takes you. Pack up your Mazda and get going with these tips to make the most of your road trip.
1. Pack Only the Essentials
Try to pack light when you’re headed on a road trip. Overpacking can make your car feel uncomfortably squished, and no one wants to spend hours on end in a crowded, claustrophobic car. However, there are certain things that are absolutely essential to bring with you on any road trip.
A few essentials you might not think to pack include: a paper map, a flashlight, and over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen. A paper map will be your savior if your phone dies in the car or you’re driving through a low-service area. You’ll thank yourself for bringing a flashlight if the lights inside your car malfunction at night, or if you have to get out of your car in the dark in an area that is not well-lit. Headaches and muscle soreness are common side effects of riding in a car all day long for multiple days in a row. Having painkillers on hand in the car helps provide the quick relief you might need.
2. Get a Car Trash Can
If you don’t already have a trash can in your car, get one before your next road trip. It’s amazing how quickly trash accumulates when you spend so many hours in the car every day. Having a trash can available in your car encourages all passengers to dispose of their trash immediately and prevents piles of trash from collecting in your backseat. Plus, emptying a small car trash can when you stop at a rest stop or gas station is much more convenient than rooting around the entire car trying to round up loose trash to throw away. Search our site for other Mazda accessories to use on your trip!
3. Embrace Tourist Attractions
Don’t worry about being “basic” by stopping off at popular tourist attractions along your road trip route. Doing and seeing silly, tourist-y things will likely become some of the most memorable moments of your trip.
Plus, roadside attractions targeted at road-tripping tourists are usually right by the main highway; you won’t have to deviate too far from your route to enjoy them. So if you get the urge to take pictures in front of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas or the Paul Bunyan Statue in Minnesota, don’t hesitate.
4. Turn Off Your GPS
Using the GPS on your smartphone is the most practical and accurate way to get where you want to go on your road trip. However, when you take a break from the highway and want to explore an unfamiliar town or city just for fun, try turning off your GPS and driving without direction.
Relax and give yourself the opportunity to explore your surroundings more freely. You might be surprised at the interesting places you discover when you’re not mindlessly following automated directions to a specific destination.
5. Bring Snacks
Gorging on silly snacks in the car is half the fun of any road trip. Be carefree with the snacks you bring, and don’t worry too much about whether or not they’re healthy. In addition to fun junk food and sweets, however, make sure you pack some fruit and healthy protein as well to keep energy levels high.
Before you hit the highway each morning, stop off at a gas station or grocery store to restock your daily snacks. When you see little food stands and markets on the side of the road, take the time to stop and buy something interesting that you might not normally consider. It’s tough to feel stressed or agitated in the car when you have a pile of yummy snacks to try in front of you.
6. Skip the Motels
In the past, motels offered the most convenient, cost-effective accommodations for road-trippers. Now, Airbnb is giving classic motels a run for their money. Some Airbnb rentals are even cheaper than budget motels.
A motel might offer you a bed to stretch out on and the hot shower you’ve been craving, but there’s nothing particularly notable or interesting about staying in a Motel 6 right off the highway. Plus, staying in identical chain motels night after night while you’re road
tripping gets very stale very fast. Take advantage of Airbnb and similar companies to find charming rental options that are more personal and offer a more authentic feel for wherever you’re staying than a chain motel ever could.
You can find tons of Airbnbs virtually anywhere you go. Choose between multiple housing options—including a cost-effective single room within a house, a private house or apartment, or a guest house—to find the one that best fits your budget and needs. Every Airbnb is totally unique, so you’ll always have a new and exciting accommodation that you can look forward to exploring every night during your trip.
7. Don’t Rush It
Planning your road trip carefully is important to minimize the stress of your trip and make sure you actually make it to your final destination in a timely manner. However, you should also try to leave some room in your road trip schedule so you don’t feel rushed. Whether you hit more traffic than you expected or find a roadside attraction you just can’t resist exploring, your road trip progress is likely to get delayed at some point. Plus, some of the most memorable parts of your trip will probably end up being spontaneous activities that you didn’t even plan.
Sticking to a rigid timeline takes away your opportunities to make these memories and raises your stress levels. If you need to get to your final destination by a very specific date, hit the road a full day or two earlier than you think you need to and spend your extra time leisurely exploring.
If you have spent any time at all looking around a Mazda dealership, you may have noticed a that the MX-5 Miata comes in an RF form. What does that RF stand for? It’s actually pretty simple. So, the RF means “retractable fastback.” That is in reference to the car’s hard convertible top, as opposed to the standard model’s soft top. There you have it! Other than that, there aren’t any notable difference between the two models. Now, check out some pricing details of the upcoming 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. (more…)
If you’re like most other people who commute to and from work every day, the time you spend commuting in traffic is likely the worst part of your day. While your dreaded commute might be an unavoidable chore, you shouldn’t resign yourself to spending it in misery. Don’t let your daily commute be a draining waste of time that depresses you and saps your energy before your day even really begins. If you maximize your commuting time the right way, the things you can learn, enjoy, and accomplish on your way to and from work every day can actually boost your mood, energize you, and change your life for the better.
1. Add Value to Your Commuting Time
One of the most frustrating things about a daily commute is the feeling that the time you spend commuting adds absolutely zero value to your life. Unless your commute is particularly lengthy, you’re probably not getting paid or are getting paid very little for the time you spend commuting. Most people while away their commute doing nothing but staring at the traffic in front of them and end up getting to work/returning home feeling like they just threw an hour or two of their life into the trash. The value of your commute doesn’t have to be financial. Even if you’re not getting paid for your commuting time, you can add value to it in other ways. Add intellectual value to your commute by listening to a podcast that teaches you about something new or helps you learn a new skill or language. Make it socially valuable by calling a friend or relative to chat while you drive if you commute by car, or strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger if you’re using public transportation. Boost your own mood and add emotional value to your commuting time by doing something that makes you feel happy—like listening to a cheerful playlist or a just-for-fun audiobook— that you might feel guilty indulging in at home where you feel like you should be doing something more productive. Adding value to your commute in some way helps you shake off the miserable feeling that you’re wasting hours of your life every single day.
2. Get Out of the Car
More than 75% of commuters drive to and from work alone in their car. Despite the fact that the vast majority of commuters choose this mode of transportation, driving by yourself is by far the worst way to commute. Using public transportation (like a bus or train), riding your bike, or carpooling are three alternative options that can help you
make the most of your commute. Commuting via public transportation eliminates the stress of driving, and gives you the freedom to focus your attention on something other than the road—like reading, writing, or even getting work done. Even better, try riding your bike to and from work. Your commuting time will double as exercise time, and getting your body moving will naturally boost your mood and energize you for the day ahead. Plus, biking to and from work also helps you significantly reduce your carbon footprint. If you absolutely can’t avoid commuting by car, at least make an effort to carpool to and from work instead of driving by yourself. Not only does carpooling with a friend or coworker add social value to your commute, it also slashes your driving time in half and gives you a chance to relax as a passenger sometimes instead of shouldering 100% of
the driving responsibilities.
3. Prepare for Your Day
Avoid feeling like you’re wasting time on your commute by using your commuting time to prepare for the day ahead of you. Set yourself up for a productive day by thinking about what you want to accomplish that day and making a realistic to-do list—either on paper or in your head—of essential tasks to prioritize. If you’re not driving, knock a time-draining daily task out of the way before you even start your workday by catching up on emails while you commute. This way, you’ll feel motivated and ready to start getting real work done as soon as you arrive.
4. Be Present
Experts claim that one of the most effective ways to boost your happiness and increase your life satisfaction is to practice the art of living in the present at all times. Staying focused on the present is a lot more challenging than it seems. Humans naturally tend to dwell on the past and the future, which can sap joy away from the present.
Your daily commute offers you a stretch of time that is virtually distraction-free to practice living in the moment. If you’re driving, you obviously need to pay attention to
the road, but you can still practice being present. Focus on relaxing, measuring your breathing, using all of your senses to observe what’s going on around you, and avoiding
thoughts about the past or the future. If you can master living in the moment during your commute, it will be much easier for you to stay focused on the present in the rest of your life as well.
5. Put Yourself in the Right Mood
Use your commute to and from work to put yourself in the right mood for the rest of your day. Arriving at work feeling drained makes productivity very challenging. On your way
to work, wake up and energize yourself by listening to lively, upbeat music or a funny podcast. When you’re headed home after work, you might be feeling weighed down by the stress of your workday. Avoid taking that stress home with you by engaging in a calm activity—like reading/listening to a book or listening to a relaxing playlist—to alleviate stress and start winding down for the day.