Friday, March 17, 2017

How to Avoid the Top Driving Emergencies

In Minnesota, we must be prepared for anything on our roads. Drivers of any age should be ready to get themselves out of a dangerous situation, whether it’s a problem with your car, the road, or the weather. Here are some tips to help you avoid driving emergencies.

1)     Skidding on Ice or Water
Skidding and sliding is commonplace on Minnesota roads, whether it be ice, compacted snow, black ice, or water. If you do start to slip, take your foot off the accelerator, and try to glide through it. Braking too hard will make it worse, as more weight will shift to the front tires, which is usually where the skid occurs. Steer gently toward where you were wanting to go, but don’t overcompensate. The easiest way to prevent skidding is to drive slowly in those conditions, trust your ABS brakes if you have them, and give other drivers plenty of space so you have time to react.


2)     The Brakes Go Out
This usually happens when the brake pads are completely worn out. If you hear your brakes squeaking, get your pads changed or checked as soon as possible.

First, try pumping your brakes (which most people would do instinctively). If you can, downshift or put your car in neutral to naturally slow it down. If you think of it at the time, turning on your hazard lights can also warn other motorists that something is going wrong. If you still need extra power to slow you down, try gently applying the emergency brake (hand brake or foot brake will work). If you don’t have the room or these tips aren’t working, navigate toward something you can rub the side of your car along to act as friction, such as a guardrail, fence, or retaining wall. Although you’ll have serious body damage, it is much safer for you and other drivers than if you were to hit something head-on.

3)     Sinking Car
With the many lakes and ponds in Minnesota, knowing how to escape a sinking car is essential. First, know that you’ll have 1-2 minutes of floating time before the car fills with enough water to sink. Do not open the doors. When you hit the water, unbuckle your seatbelts and unroll your windows. Calmly instruct children to unbuckle (or unbuckle them quickly once the windows are open), and let them know you’ll all be exiting through the windows.

If your windows are stuck or you don’t have the power to lower them, use a window breaker tool, or pull off the headrest as a makeshift window breaker. Take this story about a woman remembering the window as her exit when she found herself in water.


4)     Flooded Streets
Do not try to cross water that is flowing. It’s very hard to judge the true depth of water, and moving water—even as little as 2 feet deep—can easily take a car with it. If your road is blocked by floodwaters, turn around immediately and find another route. If your vehicle is stalled in the water, don’t try to push your vehicle out of the water. Exit the vehicle and move to higher ground.

5)     Stalling on Train Tracks
Check for trains from both directions. If there is a train coming, exit the car as fast as possible and run diagonally out and toward the train (if you stay parallel to where the train will hit your car, you may get hit with debris from the collision). If you don’t see a train, roll down your windows or open your door first to listen carefully for an approaching train. Only then should you try to restart your car, or put it in neutral to try to push it off the tracks.

6)     Vehicle Catches Fire
If you see smoke or flames while you’re driving, pull over immediately – preferably to a space away from buildings or trees. Turn off the car and don’t try to put out any flames. Get out of the car immediately and call or wait for emergency assistance.

Some of these issues can be solved by keeping your car in good working order. At Kuehn Motors, we are here to guide you with all your car needs and buying decisions. We hope you never have to face one of these driving emergencies, but if you do, you’ll be prepared.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How to Prepare Your Budget for a New Car

Buying a car can be a memorable experience. What you don’t want to remember, however, is feeling worried about how you’re going to pay for that new car. There are several ways to make a budget, stick to it and regulate your savings efficiently to successfully manage a new car payment. We’ve gathered a list of tips to stay on top of your budget when buying a new car.


Budget Before You Buy
Most car buyers pick out a new car and then adjust their budgets based on the monthly payment. The best way to go about a new car purchase is to create a budget before you go car shopping. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re able to set aside each month. Having a budget and tracking your spending can save you money in the long run.

Save for a Large Down Payment
The larger your down payment is the lower your monthly bill will be. Typically, buyers have a downpayment of 10 to 15% of the car’s asking price. This can include a trade-in value of your old car. Follow our Car Buying Tips Pinterest Board to learn the best times to buy a car and how to get the most for your money.

Get the Most From Your Trade-in
Do your research to find out how much your current car is actually worth. Clean you car as best you can or get it detailed before bringing it in; you want it to look as close to brand new as possible. A trade-in should not have any personal belongings left in it and should be ready for the dealer’s lot as soon as you drive up. Sites like Kelley Blue Book can give you a rough estimate on how much your car is worth.

Base Your Search on What You Can Afford
If you’ve set yourself a budget for a car then it’s time to create a list of priorities. Separate your wants and needs in a new vehicle and order them in importance. You may have to make sacrifices, so it’s best to determine what is an absolute must ahead of time.


Understand the Total Price of a New Car
Your final costs at the end of the day will be higher than the sticker price. You have to take into account sales tax, license and registration fees, and any additional add-ons like extended warranties. Also, keep in mind the costs of insurance, gas and potential repair costs. Remember to leave some wiggle room in your budget for the little things.

The perfect car comes with time. Do your research and buy what you can afford. Your car payment shouldn’t be a burden to your budget. You should feel proud and excited about your new purchase. Let us help you make the process easier and make you feel comfortable during the budgeting process. Shop at Kuehn Motors so you know you’re getting the best deals around.

Monday, January 16, 2017

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Safe Driving

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that traffic fatalities in Minnesota rose 14% in the year 2015. Although 2016’s numbers aren’t out yet, you can bet that they didn’t go down to zero. Simple changes in the way you drive can make a huge difference - maybe even save a life.

Next to drunk driving, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities in traffic crashes.  This year, resolve to make the roads safe for yourself and everyone else around you. We gathered our top 10 safe driving new years resolution ideas in hopes that everyone will make an effort to lower the total number of traffic crashes this year!
  1. Never Drink and Drive. Being the leading cause of fatalities, it is most important to always remember this. It may be heard a lot but it surely needs to be said more often. Make a plan, call a cab, or stay home when consuming alcohol.
  2. Make sure you are well rested before getting behind the wheel. Tired driving is distracted driving and isn’t recognized as much as it should be.
  3. Leave enough room in front of the car. Especially during the winter months, you never know how long it will take you to stop. Make sure you’re slowing down early enough to avoid any potential collisions.
  4. Obey the speed limit. Driving too fast causes drivers to lose control over their vehicles. Being a little late to wherever you are going is not as important as your life.
  5. Pay attention to the weather and terrain. Rain, snow, sleet and hail can be dangerous on the roads. Know how to drive in every condition and make sure you have a vehicle that can handle the unpredictable Minnesota weather.
  6. Stop at that light. Yellow means slow down, not speed up! The fine for running a red light in Minnesota is $128. Smashing into a car that has the right of way will cost you much more.
  7. Focus, focus, focus! Don’t multitask while you are driving - no eating, no applying make-up, and absolutely no cell phone! Your main focus is the road and protecting yourself and the people around you.
  8. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination. Start leaving a little earlier for work in the morning so you aren’t rushing on the roads. Allow yourself plenty of time for train delays, accidents, construction or traffic to ensure you are calm and focused behind the wheel.
  9. Wear Your seatbelt. According to the CDC, seat belts cut the risk of death in an automobile accident in half. You might not like to wear it, they may be uncomfortable at times, but be sure to ALWAYS buckle your seat belt!
  10. Keep Your vehicle safe. Staying up-to-date on your car’s maintenance will not only ensure a longer lasting car but also keep you safe in the process. Check out our service center to get your vehicle scheduled for a maintenance inspection to safeguard your driving this year.
Driving a car is a privilege for all ages. It’s fun and it makes travel more convenient, but it can also be dangerous. Resolve to make your driving habits safer this year. Which resolution will you set for yourself?

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Five Best Vehicles for Winter Driving in Minnesota

Imagine you wake up in the morning and see a fresh 6 inches of snow on the ground. What’s the first thing that goes through your head? Are you thinking about the longer route you’ll need to take to work to avoid sliding down a hill? Are you changing your breakfast plans to accommodate the now longer commute? Are you sending an email to your boss saying you might be a little late this morning? These are all signs that you might need a more Minnesota-friendly vehicle.

Living in Minnesota means drivers need a car that can factor in heavy snowfalls, icy conditions, and treacherous Midwest winters. Don’t let the weather dictate how you travel; conquer the winter with a new ride! Look below for our top five vehicles to take out on the road this winter:

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The Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan is consistently ranked at the top of vehicles that drive well in winter. With a low center of gravity, this sturdily-built van will provide you with exceptional control over icy roads. With a spacious interior, the Dodge Caravan is able to fit a large variety of gear ranging from outdoor snow gear, potluck fixings, and Holiday presents.

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The Cadillac CTS
This five-passenger sporty sedan ranks high on the list of safety so consistently that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Cadillac CTS a five-star overall crash test rating. This modern and mid-size luxury car has three drive modes and optional all-wheel drive that can better grip unpredictable and icy roads.  

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The Ford Fusion
Modern and sharp, the Ford Fusion is a reliable sedan that offers both style and substance.
The newest models of the Ford Fusion offer high-tech options, sophisticated interiors, and ample room to maneuver. The safety features of this vehicle will provide you with peace of mind, including rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and active park assist.

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The Chevy Tahoe
For an SUV that has plenty of clearance over snow, consider the Chevy Tahoe. This vehicle is capable of four-wheel drive, excellent fuel efficiency, and superb traction control. Newer models of this vehicle have mastered the ability to maximize fuel efficiency while still providing control and power.

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The Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee drives exceptionally well in winter conditions, even over black ice and loosely-packed snow. With newer models boasting eco-diesel engines and eight-speed automatic transmission, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is both fuel-efficient and cost-friendly. This rugged but stylish ride is great for all seasons.

If you are searching for a vehicle this season, consider which factors are most important to you.
Options are abundant, such as four-wheel drive, traction control, antilock brakes, heated steering and heated front seats, rear window defroster and wipers, and stability control. Whichever options you choose, you won’t have to fret over a little snow anymore.  

For assistance in your search for the perfect winter vehicle, visit us at Kuehn Motors.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Kuehn Motors: A Reputation for Customer Appreciation

At Kuehn Motors, we take pride in our customer service. We aim to make our customers feel comfortable from the moment they step onto our lots in Rochester, Spring Valley, and Austin.
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We know it’s not always an easy process to find the vehicle you’re looking for. There is always a lot of online research to do before you even decide to visit a dealership. When our customers decide to visit us, we know that most of them have already done their homework and have targeted a vehicle that they like.

Customers are smarter and savvier than ever and Kuehn Motors has a lot of respect for that. We also know that the customer has high expectations of us. We love the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards every time we meet someone for the first time.

Our commitment to excellence is what makes Kuehn Motors stand out. We don’t want to be the typical cheesy car salesman who immediately puts on the fake charm and whose main focus is on the sale. We know the last thing a customer wants is to feel like they’re being pressured into a sale.  
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Our sales staff–which has some of the best experience in Southern Minnesota–is eager to match the knowledge of our customer while showing a little enthusiasm along the way.
We want our customers to browse our online inventory and to even schedule a test drive ahead of visiting us. We will look into the best financing options possible. To request vehicle information, you can call us at (877) 366-4458. We’ll be here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the purchasing process.

If you don’t find the vehicle you’re looking for right away, you can always click on our CarFinder and complete the online search form. We will use that form to alert you when your matching car arrives.  

At Kuehn Motors, we look forward to serving your best interests. It all comes down to respect. There is no one that Kuehn Motors respects more than our customers. You are what makes our jobs worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Best Ways to Transport Food this Holiday Season

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If you are tasked with the responsibility of bringing delicious homemade food to a party or office potluck this holiday season, you might be stuck with the problem of how to transport it without making a monumental mess in your car. Safely transporting food can come down to what you choose to transport it in. For example, a big bowl of punch loosely covered in plastic wrap sitting on your dashboard won’t cut it, nor will piping hot servings of casserole on less than sturdy paper plates.

Transporting Sauces, Dips, and Casseroles
Keep items like dips in their own sealed containers. Mason jars are great for smaller servings or if you plan on bringing an array of sauces, dips, or salsas. For hot dishes like main entrees, soups, and casseroles, use glass containers that double as an oven and microwave-safe containers for reheating. Again, use a sturdy lid instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to safeguard against accidents and spills. Glass or Pyrex containers are the best choices for sturdiness and easy reheating.

Carrying Cookies, Cakes, and Other Desserts
cookies-223876_640.jpgFor baked goods and pastries, pick a shallow container and layer parchment paper between goods to keep them separate. For cakes and cupcakes, it might be an excellent idea to buy containers specifically designed to carry such baked goods. This can be a particularly good option if you plan on transporting multiple cakes and cupcakes for parties, office potlucks, and other holiday or birthday events.

What else should you remember when transporting food this holiday season? Take a look below for some more tips:

  • Use containers for transportation that double as a serving dish to cut back on the tools you have to keep track of and clean.
  • Choose recipes strategically. If you are traveling a few blocks, transporting a hot dish in a sturdy container will work, but if you are traveling further, consider this method for proper food safety: Completely prepare food the day before, let it cool down completely, cover and refrigerate properly overnight, and pack it properly for your destination. This will help ensure food safety.
  • Secure a laundry basket using bungee cords in your back seat or trunk. Layer a towel on the bottom to both soak up potential spills and to insulate your food. You can also pack in all the necessary tools and keep everything in one place.
  • Bring all of your own supplies. Your party host will likely be running around caring for guests and their own meal and party preparation. Short of plates and utensils, bring your own serving tools, oven mitts, ladle, pie cutter, and whatever essential tools you might need.

For recipes to help inspire your holiday season, explore some of the ideas below:
Keep the car free of spills and your passengers safe this holiday season. For more articles ensuring the safety and comfort of your family throughout the year, visit Kuehn Motors today.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Child Seats: Transporting Your Family Safely

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With ever-changing car seat safety updates and growing kids, it can be hard to keep up with the best practices for safely transporting your family. There are certain facts and habits that can help your child arrive at their destination in comfort and security. Take a look below for our best ideas on traveling safely with your family.

Know the proper placement for a car seat
The safest place for a car seat is in the center of the backseat. Kids situated here in the center are less likely to be injured than those near windows. For families that have multiple car seats, it’s best to put one car seat in the center and the other next to it.

Know the proper time to update their car seat
Infants require a rear-facing car seat. A convertible seat with longer shells and slightly high rear-facing weight capacities will work well for transitioning kids from a rear-facing to a front-facing car seat. Depending on a child’s weight, the appropriate time to switch your child to a front-facing car seat is around age two. Recent studies have shown, however, that children under the age of 2 are nearly five times as likely to become seriously or even fatally-injured when in a front-facing seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a rear-facing car seat, as it does a superior job of supporting a small child’s head and underdeveloped neck and spine. Rear-facing seats distribute the force of a collision over the entire body. Once your child reaches certain weight and height limits, a booster seat will be the best choice for transitioning out of car seats. Just ensure that you still use a harness and the proper safety restrictions. And remember that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children ride in the back of a car until age thirteen.

Use car seat equipment appropriately
If your car employs a LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), use it to benefit the safety and security of your child. The LATCH system makes installation easier, tighter-fitting, and safer than it would be otherwise. Using the top tether of the car seat will especially limit the motion of the car seat and reduce your child’s risk of injury.

Clothing makes a difference. In the colder months, it’s important to understand the risk of putting your child into a car seat with a full jacket and outdoor winter clothing. Increasing the distance from your child’s body to the harness straps can make the safety and security of a car seat less effective.

For a safe journey, pick a car seat and a vehicle that will ensure best in security and safety for your family. To find the best car for your family, visit Kuehn Motors today.