Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Getting to Know the Gears on Your Car

If you drive an automatic, you’re probably pretty familiar with a few of the gears on your car. Have you ever wondered what the 1 and 2 or H and L gears do, or when you should be using them? As it turns out, the gear switch can be used for more than just the standard park (P), reverse (R), neutral (N) and drive (D).

Although a car with an automatic transition will select gears by itself, it can sometimes be a good idea to pick a gear manually.

Lower Gears and Higher Gears

The gears on a car are a more complicated version of gears on a bike. With a lower gear, your car has more oomph – more force behind it – making it easier to drive up a hill, pull a big trailer, or quickly increase your speed. With a higher gear, the engine turns slower, but allows you to maintain a constant speed for a longer period of time.

Some newer vehicles have a gear selection called overdrive (OD). That feature, which typically defaults to “on,” makes for a speedy switch into a high gear as soon as possible, which can help stretch fuel mileage. This is similar to economy mode in many newer model cars. This mode will keep cars going at a lower RPM, meaning better gas mileage, but will give you less power for quick stops or hilly terrain.

When to Switch Gears

Driving down a steep hill is a good time to switch into a different gear, such as Lower (L), 1 or 2. This move will slow the car down without having to put too much pressure or heat on the brakes. Switching to a lower gear can also be a good idea for traveling up a hill or pulling a trailer. If you find yourself needing to pick up speed quickly without waiting for the transmission, a lower gear will react to your gas pedal instantly.

Selecting 2 means your transmission is locked in second gear. That can be a good option for starting out on an icy road, but beware: a lower gear may make driving down an icy hill more difficult in front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Check your vehicle manual for specific recommendations based on your make and model. For example, some manuals recommend switching off overdrive in city traffic or hilly terrain. Watch this video on using Overdrive and Economy Mode Override to learn more about this feature.

All of these gear selections are absolutely optional. The beauty of an automatic is that you can let your vehicle handle the gear-switching. If you have any other questions about getting to know the gears and functions in your vehicle or about a vehicle you’re thinking about purchasing, stop into Kuehn Motors to talk with our experienced staff.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Festive Ideas to Decorate Your Car For Homecoming

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As a teen, your car is the ultimate symbol of freedom and independence. If you just got a car for your 16th birthday or you drive a family car from your parents, it does not hurt to show it off a little. For homecoming this fall, your school pride will show if you utilize some of these fun ideas to decorate your car.

  • Streamers – you can use streamers taped to the back bumper of your car to create a cool effect similar to a float when you drive. Otherwise, hang them from the ceiling of your car to decorate the inside!
  • Window Markers – these are a necessity when decorating your car for homecoming! Write encouraging messages about your school and show your pride on the windows.
  • Balloons suggests, “Group several different balloons together, and tie them around the car antenna or side mirrors. You can also fill these balloons with candy, and pop them later during the parade.”
  • School Mascot Stuffed Animal – search thrift stores for a cheap stuffed animal that represents your school mascot. This would be especially easy if your school mascot was something like a bear or lion.
  • Empty pop cans – tie empty pop cans to the back bumper so they clink and clank behind the vehicle. You can even spray paint the cans in your school colors!
  • Poster Board – if you can not fit every message you want to write on the windows, buy simple poster board and attach it to the outside of the doors on the car.

If you are worried about being one of only a few who go all out for homecoming, invite friends over to decorate their cars as well. Make it a fun gathering and then all of you can ride into school homecoming week together!

If you are still hoping to get a car, check out our bargain inventory of used vehicles priced under $10k. Buy just in time for Homecoming and decorate it to show off your new ride!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Protect Your Vehicle From Sun Damage

As the summer sun beats down, your automobile can feel the burn if it is left out to the heat and elements. The surface of your car can reach up to 200 degrees on hot days, permanently affecting the paint. Sun damage to your auto paint can cause oxidation and fading, making it look worn before its time. But it is preventable; follow these tips to protect your car from sun damage.

Seek Covered Parking

Just as we do in the winter to keep the snow off, seek out parking that is covered or sheltered. Daily shade, wherever you’re parking, is like wearing a baseball cap to the beach—it’s the easiest protection out there.

Wash and WAX Your Car Often

Wash your car often, but do it in a place that is out of direct sunlight. Whenever you wash and dry your car, finish off with a good wax to protect the paint from ultraviolet damage – not to mention the effects of road dirt and pollution.

Purchase Paint Protection Film

If you can’t avoid direct sunlight and want to be absolutely certain that your car is protected, consider paint protection film. You can purchase a kit that covers part or all of your car’s exterior for the ultimate in protection. There are several brands out there to choose from, like Xpel, Invisible Mask, or Clear Mask. With this type of protection, you can rest assured that your prized car parked in the driveway year-round will be safe from the summer sun.

If you do see oxidation and sun damage, it could be restored

Some mild oxidation to your car’s paint can be fixed with a buff and wax. But, according to Jerry Hurley, of Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting, “If the clear coat starts to turn white or chalky, it needs to be repainted.” Check with your local auto painting or auto repair shop to see if they can make your paint look shiny again.

Be sure to enjoy the summer weather and your favorite vehicle, while taking care of its paint and exterior. If you notice your good times are taking a toll on your vehicle, stop into Kuehn Motors for a wash, wax, and interior clean from one of our highly-qualified technicians.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Preparing to Sell Your Car: Do-It-Yourself Detailing

Looking to sell your vehicle but not sure if that PB&J stain in the back seat will be the selling point or not? How about that weird smell coming from under the back seat? These definitely will not be ideal features for your buyer, but have no fear - there is a solution for that. For those who don’t really know what detailing your vehicle entails, here is a simple guide from essentials to getting the job done.

Grab the Essentials

For a full list of suggested tools to detail your car like a pro, the DMV website is a great resource, but the essentials are listed below:
  • A Vacuum Cleaner with multiple attachments - these are to get into the tiny crevices that you think no one will notice, but they will.
  • Rags for different surfaces - Having a rag for wet and dry surfaces, along with one for whipping windows will help keep from pushing dust around.
  • Cleaning Products - upholstery cleaner, carpet cleaner and all-purpose cleaner (for those pesky unknown stains).
  • Q-tips, Cotton Swabs and Toothbrushes - for the tiny areas you won’t be able to get with a rag.
  • A Can of Compressed Air - this is a bonus and can really come in handy for those small, hard-to-reach areas.

Getting Started

There are plenty of tips and tricks to help you get started, but don’t underestimate the power of a good deep clean. When you sell your car, whoever is buying it will want that “new car” feeling, even if it’s only new to them. There are a few things that are more important than others, though. gives a good description of what you need to do to better your chances of selling your vehicle:
  • Clean the Cup Holders - Though it may seem trivial, this is one of the first things that your potential buyer looks at. Giving it a fresh look will help increase your chances of impressing the buyers.
  • Get into the Corners - Even though you may not think the corners are a big deal, your potential buyer will. How you maintain the inside of your car can be perceived as how you well you keep the car maintained overall. So make sure you show them you took care of your car overall.
  • Deep Clean the Fabrics - When inspecting a car to potentially purchase, buyers always look for imperfections in the upholstery. Getting rid of minor stains and making your car look spotless will help you big time.
  • Do a Final Vacuum - Get the last few crumbs under the floor mat and anything else that you may have missed. One last vacuum could be the difference between a sale or not.

These are just a few ways to help better your odds at selling your vehicle and could be what helps you get closer to your next vehicle. If you don’t have time to detail your car yourself before putting it up for sale, you can always contact our service center and we can get the job done for you. To make an appointment, visit

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preparing to Sell Your Car: Getting More for Your Used Vehicle

Do you have your eye on a new ride but need to sell your old vehicle before you can take the plunge? Getting a new vehicle sometimes depends on getting the best trade-in or sale price on your old ride. Not only will small additions help you to sell your vehicle, but estimates you can get up to 21% more for your vehicle because buyers are willing to pay for cleanliness, confidence and a quality vehicle.

New Tires Can Go a Long Way

Getting new tires, especially in Minnesota, can help value your car tremendously. No one likes the idea of buying a car and then having to put more money into it; in fact, it can drastically lower the value of your car. Having a car with brand new tires also gives the buyer confidence that you took care of your vehicle.

Take Care of Small Maintenance Issues

Small maintenance projects like changing the oil, replacing the air filter and any lights that have burnt out, and filling any low fluids are easy and cheap ways to make your car have the “new” feeling for the person who could potentially be buying it. Plus, most of these things can be done without the help of a mechanic with little to no tools! has a full list of car maintenance tips that can be done yourself and are typically inexpensive. also suggests these small, routine maintenance projects before posting your vehicle online.

Be Prepared for the Buyer

Everyone knows someone who has gotten burned by buying a used car from a private owner. There is no warranty and most of the time you don’t know the person who you are buying from. This is why so many people are skeptical when buying a car from private owners. Be prepared for the buyer and show them that you have nothing to hide with maintenance and vehicle records on hand as well as offering to bring to a certified mechanic if they would prefer to have a third party look it over. This is usually pretty inexpensive and could end up helping you clinch the sale.

Soap and Water are Your Friends

Last but not least, get out the soapy water bucket and dust rag and clean your vehicle inside and out. A clean car looks better and will help value it so that you can get more money and they will be happier and more confident with their purchase. To get the job done like a pro, check out this article from

These are just a few ways to get more for your vehicle and get you one step closer to your new ride. Visit our website to value your trade-in through an official Kelley Blue Book Quote, and start your journey to a new ride!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Best Places to Watch Fireworks on the Fourth

By the end of June we usually have some sort of idea as to our plans for celebrating Independence Day. Whether it is heading up to the lake, spending the day with family or a town celebration, there are usually fireworks of some sort involved throughout the day or evening. If you don’t have your plans set, check out our list of Fourth of July celebrations happening all over Minnesota!

Austin, Minnesota - Freedom Fest

If you prefer to stay local, check out Freedom Fest in Austin, Minnesota. With celebrations like a street dance and a parade throughout the weekend and a giant firework display at dusk, you are sure to find something for all ages. The giant sledding hill at the Bandshell makes for the perfect spot to relax and watch the show. Also, make sure to grab some grub from all the delicious food trucks and enjoy the music going on all day.

Rochester, Minnesota - Silver Lake Park

Another fun thing to do locally with the family is to head over to Silver Lake Park for Rochester’s July 4th Concert and Fireworks Display. The best part is that the concert is free to the public. Riverside Concerts will be presenting Chuck Blattner directing the Rochester Concert Band as the evening’s main event. The fireworks display will follow the concert that evening.

Other city celebrations going on over the weekend include:

Don’t worry if you will be out of town for the weekend, Minnesotans everywhere love to celebrate Independence Day. Explore Minnesota lists all the Fourth of July parties that will be happening this year according to city. After all, what better way to enjoy the end to a great day than laying out a blanket on the grass while watching Fireworks fill the sky!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Best Summer Cars On the Lot at Kuehn Motors

Although the last few May showers haven’t made it feel much like summer, it really is right around the corner. That means it’s time to take the top off, roll the windows down and open the sunroof. In Minnesota, we only get 4-5 short months of beautiful weather, so we need to enjoy it while we can.

The best way to enjoy the short-lived summer sun is with your summer shades on, the radio turned up and the breeze running through your hair. To fully enjoy this scenario, though, your car needs to cooperate. We have compiled the three vehicle categories that best capture the spirit of summer.

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Pictured: Ford Mustang Convertible

The Summer Cruiser

This is the car you take to weekend events like the family grill-out, baseball games, and pretty much anywhere you want to cruise to while enjoying the weather. The summer cruiser sets you apart because of the way you look and feel while driving it. The best cruisers for summer include vehicles like the Dodge Charger. If you’re looking for something a little more on the convertible spectrum, you might try the classic Ford Mustang Convertible or the super-sporty Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Road-Trip Hauler

The road-trip hauler is the vehicle you take to family reunions, camping, or on that yearly family vacation. This is the vehicle that you can stuff five suitcases, two duffel bags, a cooler, the dog, and the rest of the family into for the long haul across state lines.

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Pictured: Ford Focus SEL Hatchback

If you’re looking for a good road-trip vehicle with more space, try a GMC Acadia or Dodge Durango. If you’re looking for something a bit smaller with better fuel economy, the Ford Focus SEL Hatchback or Ford Edge might be better options.

The Off-Roader

The off-roader is the vehicle you take to the cabin or lake while pulling the old boat behind it. This is the vehicle that’s durable with big tires, perfect for a little summer fun and off-roading.

For every terrain or adventure you take, there is a vehicle to best suit your needs. For the perfect off-roader for your lifestyle, check out a Jeep Wrangler, or Dodge Ram.

Didn’t see your ideal summer ride on this list? Kuehn Motor Company has new vehicles arriving daily. Check our website and view by category, brand, model, and more. There’s still time to get into the perfect summer ride!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Preparing to Sell Your Car: Determine the Value of Your Vehicle

In our last blog post, you learned how to gather the correct paperwork needed to sell your vehicle. When it comes time to market your vehicle, you run into an important question; “How much is my vehicle worth?” Luckily, there are numerous tools and tips you can use to determine the value of your vehicle when you are ready to sell.


Determine Your Car’s Condition

Understanding the condition your car is really in is important to the appraisal process. Most people overestimate the value of their vehicle and can be unaware of maintenance needs. Kelly Blue Book supports getting an inspection report so you can be forthcoming with the condition of the car to potential buyers. If you are selling to a dealership like Kuehn Motors, an inspection report provides proof of your trade-in’s value.

Get An Online Appraisal

The value of your vehicle can be estimated online by a few different tools. offers an easy-to-use appraisal tool which gives you the value of your vehicle if you sold it to a private party as well as the amount you can expect as a trade-in at a dealership. Kuehn Motors also offers a unique tool in conjunction with Kelly Blue Book to give you the value of your vehicle on our website.

Compare Like Models For Sale

The last tip to help you determine the value of your vehicle is to research similarly listed models in your area. A great tool to do this is on They have an instant market value tool which appraises your car against other vehicles listed for sale in your area. All you need to do is complete information in their search engine and hit “search listings” to see which vehicles in your market’s area are comparable to yours.

Determining the car's true condition, seeking an online appraisal, and comparing similar vehicles on the market now will help you evaluate your vehicle's worth. Now that you know how to gather necessary documents and determine the value of your vehicle, it's just about time sell!

Tune into our next blog to learn how to make your car look it’s absolute best before you sell.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Preparing to Sell Your Car: Gathering the Correct Paperwork

Selling an old vehicle doesn’t have to be a difficult task. If you gather all the correct paperwork and stay organized there’s no doubt that the process will go over smoothly. We’ve put together a list of the necessary paperwork to get you one step closer to selling your car!
  • The Title - The first thing you need to do after selling your car is sign the title and give it to the new owner. Both you and the buyer will have to fill out information on the title. Learn more about transferring your title to a new owner here
  • Maintenance Records - It’s important for buyers to know they are getting a reliable vehicle. If you have maintenance reports, gather them into one place. If you don’t have any records, most mechanics will keep paperwork on file and you can request a copy from them.
  • Bill of Sale - A bill of sale is a good idea for both buyers and sellers. Although it is not required with the sale of a car in Minnesota, it can still be beneficial, acting as a receipt for the transaction. It can also protect the seller in the event the buyer fails to register the vehicle.
  • Release of Liability - When there is a change of ownership of any vehicle, it is required that you notify the DMV. This can protect you from being liable for any accident the new driver gets in before the car is legally switched over. Find more information on
  • Warranty Documents - if your car is still under a manufacturer’s warranty or you purchased an extended warranty for your vehicle, include these documents with the sale of your car. If the car needs any repairs, the new owner will feel confident that the warranty will cover the cost.
  • As-is Documentation - If there are no warranties left on your vehicle, make sure the new owner is aware. As-is documentation basically tells the buyer that they are buying the car with all issues - known and unknown. They will be responsible for any repairs or issues that may arise with the car over time.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get everything gathered or you’ll catch yourself scrambling at the most undesired time. Sell your car with ease and ensure the process is complete effortlessly!

If you need any further assistance, or if you’d rather have a professional handle the selling of your car, contact your nearest Kuehn Motors. We are always happy to help!


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?