The Rules of Car Buying for Beginners

Buying a new or used car can be an overwhelming experience, especially if this is your first time. We at Nissan of Clinton want to make the experience as stress-free as possible for you, so we have come up with a few rules of car buying that should help the process along.

  1. Do your research. We are always happy to equip you with all the information we possibly can about the vehicles on our lot, but we know that you will have more peace of mind if you get your research from an independent third party like Edmunds.com or Cars.com and then let us wow you with a test drive in an amazing vehicle.
  2. Be realistic about your budget. If you have spent time doing the math ahead of time, you’ll know what you’re comfortable spending. You don’t have to tell us the top of your budget, but be firm about it with yourself when making your selection. We also offer a wide variety of quality Nissan certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, which are gently used vehicles with many new car perks. Don’t forget to factor insurance into your monthly payments as well; secure a quote before walking in.
  3. Take your time. This is a big decision. Other dealerships may rush you to an answer, but we understand that there is a lot to consider. We’re happy to help you talk through your decision!

We’re here to make your car-buying experience as pain-free as possible. If you have any questions that we can help you with, do not hesitate to give us a call.rules of car buying

What’s That Sound? Weird Noises Coming From Your Car

When something is wrong with a friend or family member, they are able to tell us how they feel and explain what’s got them under the weather. Our cars, however, cannot express this in the same way. Thus, it is important for you to be vigilant to the sounds your car make, as they can indicate the health of your vehicle.

So what do you do if you hear weird noises coming from your car? Contact Nissan of Clinton for service—we’ll be happy to investigate and fix the problem.weird noises coming from your car

To help you narrow things down, here’s a quick guide to what those noises might mean:

  • A clunky sound when you brake can mean some part of your brake is malfunctioning or that your steering system has worn components.
  • A transmission that grinds when you shift gears can mean that your clutch is worn or needs to be adjusted. It could also indicate severe damage to your transmission.
  • Squeaky brakes can indicate that your brake pads are near the end of their life. It might also indicate that they are wet.
  • A knocking sound emanating from the hood can mean that your air filter is clogged or that you need a tune-up.

There are several kinds of noises you should follow up on if you hear them while driving. Contact our service department if you need help diagnosing them and fixing the issues that might be causing them.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Car Lovers

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many reasons, but one of the best is that it is the perfect excuse to get creative with the spirit of gift giving and present someone you care about with a truly unique gift. If there is a car aficionado in your life, you might be feeling stumped about what to go them. But never fear—we at Nissan of Clinton have a number of Christmas gift ideas for car lovers.

  • Buffing and waxing essentials: If your favorite gearhead spends countless hours every week taking care of their car, fill a bucket full of their favorite car supplies.
  • T-shirts: Amazon is your friend—the eCommerce site truly has a t-shirt for everything. Find out what your car-loving friend’s favorite brand is (probably Nissan) and get them a t-shirt that shows their love.
  • Sunshade: Sunshades are great for keeping your car cooler when it’s parked under the sun, but they can also be a fun way to express yourself. If your car lover has a favorite TV show, sports team, or other fan obsession, consider getting them a special sunshade for their car, like this awesome Star Wars accordion-style sunshade.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of us at Nissan of Clinton!Christmas gift ideas for car lovers

4 Important Fall Car Maintenance Tips

16Fall is the perfect time to perform regular maintenance on your car, especially as we prepare to launch into winter. While winter may not be as brutal here in North Carolina as it is in the northern US, it is still crucial to perform some routine maintenance in the fall to keep your car running smoothly until spring.

  • Test your lights: It’s going to start getting darker sooner. Make sure all lights—headlights, taillights, brake lights, etc.—are in working order. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out.
  • Change your oil: Changing your oil is the most crucial routine maintenance task. The changing of the seasons can serve as your quarterly reminder to check your oil level and get it changed at Nissan of Clinton when you hit your next milestone.
  • Change out your wiper blades: Fall and winter can bring some powerful storms. Make sure your wiper blades can provide clear vision for you by replacing them before you get caught in the rain or snow.
  • Test your battery: Batteries die more frequently in colder weather. Test your battery strength and replace it if necessary.4 Important Fall Car Maintenance Tips

Need help with your fall car maintenance? Bring it in to Nissan of Clinton today.

How to Beat the Summer Heat

When it starts to get hot outside, it starts to get hot in your car, too! Here are some ways to beat the summer heat and cool down your car.

Air Ventilation

Letting a little air into your car might help keep it cool when it’s parked. If you have a sun roof, open it a bit or leave your windows cracked. Just be careful of the rain!

Beat the Summer HeatSun Shades

Use sun shades on your windshield to stop sun from heating up your car. Sun shades are especially helpful when you can’t find shade on your own.

Find Shade

When you can find shade, use it! And if you can’t find enough shade to cover your entire vehicle, make sure you at least cover your driver’s seat with the shade so the heated-up steering wheel won’t burn your hands.

Use Remote Start

Many cars (including Nissans!) have remote start key fobs with A/C. Use it to your advantage by starting your car and A/C before you get in so it’ll already be cooled down by the time you get to it.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to keep your car cool, Nissan of Clinton is always here to help!

Tips for Thanksgiving Travel: The Best Ways to Enjoy the Holiday

tips for Thanksgiving travelThanksgiving can be one of the busiest travel days of the year. That’s why it is important to follow these tips for Thanksgiving travel. You’ll find the best ways to get ahead on the holiday, helping you to enjoy the time you spend with your family rather than worrying about travel. Read on for some helpful tips.

According to the Travel Channel, one of the best things to do is start planning at least a week ahead. Map out the best route by taking holiday travel into consideration, and consider the best time to leave (Sunday afternoon is the worst time to drive or fly). Also, make sure you are stocked for any long trips, including the emergency first aid kit.

Travel as light as possible. Eliminating unnecessary baggage will make the ride more comfortable for everyone, especially if you have to travel for several hours. Make a list of everything you need, and cut it to the bare essentials. If possible, see if you can arrange for laundry accommodations if you stay for several days. This will make it easier to leave some clothes behind.

Finally, relax and have fun. One of the quickest ways to ruin the holidays is to stress out. Work on delegating tasks to other family members to help ease the burden on single family members, and be sure to set reasonable expectations.

Check Out These Spring Driving Safety Tips and Tricks For the New Season

Spring Driving SafetyThe snow may be melted, but spring has brought with it a whole new set of challenges. Stay safe on the roads this year by following these spring driving safety tips:

  • Be extremely wary of rain. The first 10 minutes or so of fresh rain make vehicles prone to hydroplaning, so be sure to lower your speed.
  • You will find more wild animals crossing the road than you saw all winter, especially at night, so keep a sharp eye out.
  • Additionally, pedestrians are far more likely to take a stroll, and kids are more likely to play in the road during this warm time of year.
  • After the winter snow is gone, many roads find themselves full of potholes. Do your best to avoid these.
  • Lastly, just like the rest of the year, it’s extremely important to keep your tires inflated properly.

For more safety tips or to start out your spring season with a brand new car, visit us anytime at Nissan of Clinton.

And The Truth Shall Set You Free: Dispelling Car Myths

Car myths - cell phone at gas pump

Is using your cell phone while pumping gas dangerous? We debunk some car myths

The reason that some car myths persist is because they are so essential to the classic action-movie shootout. Think about it. How many times have you seen the protagonist dive behind a vehicle to escape a hail of bullets? Without that vehicle, he or she would be a goner, and that makes for a bad action movie.

The only problem? Vehicles don’t stop bullets.

There are some other car myths that are less dramatic but just as untrue. Take the idea that manual transmissions are more fuel efficient than automatic transmissions. Anyone who promulgates this notion is merely guilty of being behind the times. Stick shifts used to be more efficient, but thanks to advances in technology, automatics have surpassed their manual counterparts.

One old car myth has actually created a new, opposing myth. The old myth was that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Nowadays, you can do more like 5,000 to 10,000 miles. However that doesn’t mean that you never have to change your oil, as another myth insists.

What about when the protagonist shoots the bad guy’s vehicle and it blows up…is that real? No, that’s not real either. Bullets pass through gas tanks without incident. So, you can breathe easy next time you are driving past that gun range.

Tips for Driving with a Baby

Especially for first-time parents, there are a billion things to think about and remember when you have a new baby. One of the least talked about is driving safety. Besides making sure your car seat is secured, here are some tips for driving with a baby that will keep you and your little one safe.

One tip is to avoid giving your baby food or small toys while you’re driving. If they should start to choke, you don’t want to be going sixty miles an hour down the freeway.

You should also make sure their pacifier is secured to their clothing or the seat, so that if they spit it out and start crying you aren’t rooting around in the backseat looking for it.

The same goes for toys—keep your baby entertained and prevent them from throwing toys across the car.

Another important tip is to register your car seat. You’ll get information on recalls or defects promptly!

Drive safe, and above all else, keep that carseat strapped in tight!

Tips for Dogs in Cars – Always a Danger

Tips for Dogs in CarsIt’s important to remember that during the summer, temperatures inside of a parked vehicle can become extremely hot. In fact, if it’s roughly 85 degrees Farenheit outside, the interior of a parked car can shoot up to more than 120 degrees in just ten minutes.

This is why you should never keep a dog inside of a parked car in the summer. If you find yourself stuck in a sticky situation, here are some tips:

  • Ask if you can bring your dog into whatever location you are headed to.
  • Call a friend or family member and ask them to watch the dog.
  • Tie the dog up outside of the vehicle – if you are in a safe location.
  • Try to park in the shade, where the vehicle won’t get as hot.
  • If it isn’t very hot outside, and your dog will be in safe but uncomfortable conditions, offer it extra clean, cool water.
  • Simply turn around, and go home. It’s not worth it!

Do you have any other tips for dogs in cars? Let us know your ideas in the comments.