GoldenCircle Blog

Thank You Heroes!


Golden Circle Ford Lincoln
& Bolivar Ford are ready for Memorial Day with one of the BIGGEST SALES OF THE YEAR! We want to say “thank you heroes!” This offer goes out to those who’ve served and protected us. Eligible Occupations that qualify for incentive:

Active & Retired Military

911 Dispatchers

  • NEW! 911 Dispatchers are now eligible!

Police

  • Police Officer
  • Sheriff/Sheriff’s Deputy
  • Correctional Officer
  • State Trooper
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officer
    (Example: Customs, Homeland and Security, etc.)

Fire Department

  • Fire Department
  • Career Firefighter
  • Volunteer Firefighter

EMT

  • EMT
  • Paramedic

NO Payments For Up To 90 Days

For qualifying Military & First Responders customers*

PLUS an additional $1000 on all Ford Vehicle Lines

For qualifying Military & First Responders customers*

PLUS 0% Ford Financing

On all Tier 4 Ford Escapes, Explorers & F-150’s

 

 

*See Dealer for details & exclusions. New retail only, customers granted a Tier 2 or better rate through a Tier enhancement program are not eligible for the Deferred First Payment Program.

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Union University Scholarship

Enter for a chance to win a $1000 Scholarship!

Golden Circle Auto Group has teamed up with Union University to offer one lucky Union student $1,000.00 in scholarship funds for the 2019 school year. The student will be chosen from the submissions on June 4th, 2018.

Here’s what you’ll need to enter:

  1. Valid Email
  2. Valid Phone Number
  3. Valid Union University Student ID or other form of enrollment.

Once you have this info, you’ll be asked to write a short,one page essay. The essay topic will be:

What has your vehicle taught you about God?

Click HERE to submit your information and Essay. Good luck and thank you for your submission!

(Disclaimer: must present this to the Union University enrollment office).

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Fireworks Safety Tips!! Happy 4th!!

The 4th of July (Independence Day) is a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the good ole USA as an independent nation.  People celebrate the 4th of July by grilling, attending events and shooting fireworks.  Fireworks can be dangerous if not handled properly.  The National Council on Fireworks Safety posted these tips below.

Recommended Safety Tips

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

Be safe and have a happy July 4th.. For more information on Firework safety click here!

For some great 4th of July recipe ideas click here

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9 Road Trip Essentials

It’s vacation time and time to hit the road, but before you do check out these road trip essentials that you might need.  I know you want a stress free journey so you want to make sure you have everything that you need to make your trip a success.

More Resources:

How To Avoid Summer Driving Risks

What Kind Of Road Tripper Are You?

1) First Aid Kit

Accidents do happen so we want to be prepared.  It could be a bee sting or a scraped knee, so a first aid kit is a great way to ensure the safety of your family.

Not sure what to put in your first aid kit.  Here are some ideas:  pain killers, bandages, motion sickness medicine, anti bacterial cream, alcohol wipes etc.  Click here to view recommendations for first aid kits.

2) Navigation System or App

Back in the day when we took a trip we would have a Rand McNally map in our vehicles.  You can still actually purchase these on Amazon.  Click here to see one.  With all the technology these days all it takes is a push of a button to navigate you trip and are the best way to avoid getting lost.

If you system don’t have a built in Nav system, you can always use your cell phone and google your destination and map it.

3) Spare Set of Keys

This is buy far one of the scariest things that can happen.  Have you ever lost your keys or locked them up in your vehicle.  So it would be a good idea to let someone other than the driver carry the extra set of keys.

4) Jumper Cables

Sometimes your battery doesn’t give you a signal that it is going dead.  They can die rather quickly even on a new vehicle.  We usually keep a set of jumper cable in our vehicles for these occasions, but now they new thing is the jump starters.  Jump starters can revive your car battery without having to hook up with another vehicle.

Be care and not leave any lights on or the your tail gate open to avoid draining the life out of your battery.

5) Inspect Spare Tire

Double check your vehicle and make sure you have a spare tire.  That would be a bad thing if you had a flat tire and went to look for your spare and you didn’t have one.  Make sure your spare has the proper air in it and is not leaking anywhere.  Make sure when you have your vehicle serviced and tires check that you have your service department check out your spare tire also.

If this does happen to you, if you have a can of fix-a-flat this will work too to air up your tire.

6) Chargers/Cables for Your Electronic Gadgets

Make sure before you start out on your road trip that you have all of your electronic devices charged.  Also make sure that you bring along the proper chargers and cables for a recharge.

Another idea is to have a battery pack along in case you have too many devices and cannot plug them in all at once.  This can be  great for additional power outlets.

7) Clean Your Car

Don’t you just love to get into a clean car.  Whether you are traveling with your kids on a road trip or if you are traveling for business it is sometimes hard to keep your vehicle clean.  Be sure to take along napkins, paper towels and cleaning wipes to keep your car in good clean condition.

8) Road Tripping Snacks

Don’t forget the snacks.  Traveling with snacks and drinks can save you time and money when traveling.  This can be half the fun of your road time by loading up on your favorite treats.

9) Music

Be sure you have your playlists up to date on your electronic devices.  If you don’t have a playlist, you can always stream some great music from Pandora.  And if all else fails you still have the FM radio.

If you have some road trip essentials that you carry that I haven’t mentioned let us know about them.

Happy Trails!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Tips to Help You Stay Cool During Summer

Staying cool in the summer can be a real chore.  Summer has come in with a vengeance this year and you don’t want to suffer any heat-related illness.  The heat can make you feel uncomfortable and can put a damper on your summer fun if you don’t take precautions.  The best defense against any heat-related illness is prevention.  Here are some tips to help you survive the summer heat and still have some fun doing it..

Other Resources:

Summer Driving Risks

Air Conditioner

Fans cannot provide the proper cooling that you need in high humidity.  It just blows hot air around.  Air conditioners can be lifesavers and provide proper cooling.    Remember to properly maintain your cooling system to keep them performing at top cooling power.  If you do not have air conditioning consider going to a public place.

If you can’t get to a public place you can reduce the temp of your home by keeping your curtains closed during the day which will help reduce the heat from coming through your windows.  Keep your light outs as much as possible because they do give off heat.  Also wait until the coolest part of the day to turn on your dishwasher or do your laundry.  The appliances do generate heat.

Protect Your Skin

Make sure you protect your skin with sunscreen if you are going to be out in the weather.  You may also consider wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing which helps air circulate on your body.  Cotton clothing is recommended for summer weather.  Keep in mind your head, eyes and skin by reapplying sunscreen often.

Schedule Activities Carefully

If you have to be outside try to stay out of the sun when it is at the highest points during the day.  This happens around 10am and 4pm.  The morning or late evening is the best time for outdoor activities, especially for kids.

If possible schedule your activities inside, such as public libraries, museums and other public buildings.  A great place would be a local indoor ice-skating rink or maybe a movie theater.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated is essential to help your body regulate your true temperature.  Drink plenty of water especially if you are participating in outdoor activities.  Caffeinated drinks could increase dehydration so you should stay away from them.  Another thing to avoid is alcoholic beverages as they tend to impair your judgement which could impair your balance leading to possible accidents and injuries.

Go Swimming

Sometimes the only way to cool off is to get wet.  Go to your neighborhood pool at the park if you don’t have one in your back yard.  You can always turn on your sprinklers and play with the kiddos.  A cool shower or bath is another good way to cool down.  Swimming is fun and can help protect you from dangerous heat.

Don’t forget about your 4 legged friends.  They have trouble in the heat also.  Make sure they have plenty of water and a cool place to be.

Hope these tips help.  Don’t let the heat beat you.

 

 

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How To Read Vehicle Warning Lights?

Are you confused on how to read the vehicle warning lights on your dashboard?  Don’t feel alone.  Lots of people have trouble with this one.  You never want to see one of those unfamiliar lights show up on your vehicle dashboard when you are getting ready for a road trip or just a trip to the store.  Your dashboard may be different and the symbols have different designs.  Consult your owner’s manual.  Below is a summary of the top dashboard lights to look out for.

First, let’s talk about the color of the lights on the dashboard.

Red means stop.  There is something serious going on.  You should get to the nearest service center.
Yellow/Orange indicates something is ready to be serviced or possibly repaired.  Drive with caution.
Green/Blue is just a visual clue that a system is on, for instance, your low beam is on.  No need for concern.

Transmission Temperature

This warning light means that your engine is overheating or the coolant level is low.  This is very dangerous and can lead to a minor problem and can damage your engine.  If this happens turn your engine off.  Let it cool off and get checked out by a professional pronto!

Check Engine Light

This light usually indicates a problem.  Your car’s engine computer is telling you something is wrong.  Do not ignore this.  It usually indicates a problem with your ignition, fuel or emission system.  Have a diagnostic test run to see what your problem is.

Oil Pressure

This warning light indicates your oil level or oil pressure may be low.  If you continue driving with this light on very far you engine could stop running while  you are driving.  This could cause an accident if you are on a busy road, and also, can damage your engine.  Check your oil level, if low fill it up, and get to the nearest service center.

Battery

This light often comes on when your battery is not charging.  There could be a few things that cause this to happen.  Your terminal cables may be loose, alternator isn’t working, or your battery life is out.  Don’t turn off your car.  You might not get it started back.  Head to your nearest service center and get it checked out.

ABS Brakes

This light indicates that you may have a problem with the hydraulic system or the brake fluid level is low.  This is something you don’t want to gamble with.  Safety comes first.  Your ability to stop could be impaired.  Get it checked out ASAP!

Tire Pressure

If this light is on and stays on it usually indicates that at least one of your tires is low on pressure.  Check the pressure in all four tires and add air where needed.  Find where the leak is coming from and have it repaired.

Power Steering

This warning light indicates that there could be something wrong with your steering system or possibly just needs some power steering fluid added.  When you fluid is low it can cause your steering to go heavy where it takes more effort to steer the vehicle.  Have it checked out ASAP.

Have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis.  Check your owner’s manual to learn more about your vehicle.  There are more warning light that may pop up that I didn’t cover.

Happy Motoring!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tire Rotation Can Save Your Tires

Tire rotation can extend the life of your tires.  Rotating tires is one of those freebies that you should consider for tending your tire life.  Tire rotation can also be beneficial in several other ways.  One way is it can provide performance advantages.  A lot of warranties on tires require you to rotate your tires.  It is recommended to rotate every 3,000 to 5,000 miles even if they don’t show signs of wear.  I always rotate my tires when I have my oil changed.  This is also a good time to have your tires re balanced if you have a vibration in your vehicle.  Have your service department to also inspect your tires for any damage.

Tire Rotation allows each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle’s wheel positions as possible.  Rotating tires will not correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures.

You are at an advantage when all 4 tires wear together.  You can get a new set of tires without being forced to buy just one or buy in pairs.  Buying tires in sets of 4 help maintain the original handling balance of your vehicle.

Below is an example of a 4-tire rotation pattern to follow.

Be sure to include tire rotation into your annual tire maintenance.  If you have any questions about tire rotation click here!

 

 

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What Are The Advantages Buying New vs Used Vehicles?

The car buying process is a nightmare for most.  Trying to decide on whether to buy a new vehicle vs used vehicle can get confusing.  Lots of questions come up in the car buying process.  Should you buy new or used is a simple one.  Below I discuss some advantages of both.

 

Advantages of Buying New

Build Your Own– You can spec out your new car exactly how you want it.  If you don’t want to wait for it to be build, you can get the dealer to perform a dealer search for one that has the bells and whistles that you are wanting.

It’s New, not Used- It hasn’t been in any accidents.  Don’t smell funny.  Has no wear or tear.  No history.  No miles except for test drives.

Warranty – New car warranty hasn’t been touched and is the best warranty you can buy.  You can buy warranties on used vehicles or you could also go the certified route, but the new car warranty you don’t have to pay extra.

Latest & Greatest Gadgets – If you are a techy geeky person and like to keep up with the latest technology the new car route is the way to go.  Your selection will be better in the new car showroom vs trying to find gadgets to put on a used vehicle.

Safety – Safety equipment is up to date with all the vehicle laws.

FinancingLower financing rates are offered by banks because the new vehicles are worth more and haven’t depreciated out.

Maintenance – If you are buying one of the high luxury lines, sometimes free maintenance is included for a certain amount of time or certain mileage.

Advantages of Buying Used

Depreciation – Cars lose value with each passing month and mile.  The steepest decline happens right away.  One thing you don’t have to worry about is that first ding or rock chip in the paint.  The previous owner probably has already taken care of that for you.😄

Price –  A used car is going to be less expensive than the new one.  As stated above, the previous owner has already taken the hit on the depreciation.  The used car price can possibly allow a buyer to step up to a nicer mode.

Insurance – Insurance rates is being affected by the age of the vehicle, just like financing.  Rates tend to be less expensive on a used vehicle.

These are only a few of the advantages of buying new vs used.  The choice is yours.

Comment below and let me know your thoughts on the subject.

 

 

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Tips To Keep Your Car Sparkling Clean

If you are like me you want to drive around in a sparkling clean car.  Sometimes it is hard to keep your car that way especially with all the rainy weather we have been having lately.  You don’t have to be an expert at detailing to keep your car clean.  Below I will discuss a few tips to help you with keeping your car clean and fresh.

How To Keep Car Smelling Fresh

Don’t you just hate those car fresheners that you buy that hang on your rear view mirror or stick on your air vents?  Watch this short video to see a cool way to keep your car smelling fresh as a daisy.  You can also use it to debug your head light and windshield to keep them sparkling clean.

How To Clean Stains

If you drive your car regularly and eat and drink in it you will eventually spill something and then you will have a big fat stain on your seat or on your carpet in the floor board.  Here is a quick tip to help remove those ugly stains.

How To Clean Your Car Vents

Car vents are very hard to clean.  Watch this video below.  Such a great idea.  You could use this trick when you are sitting and waiting on your kids to get out of ballgames.

Do you have a routine to keep your car clean?  All these things you should have laying around the house and makes keeping your car sparkling clean a cinch.

Happy cleaning!!

 

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Requirements To Finance A Car

Vehicle loans are a billion dollar industry.  There are lots of different lending institutions where car buyers can obtain loans.  Such as banks, credit unions, auto manufacturer financing and a plethora of others lending institutions.  The criteria to finance a car are similiar for all financial institutions such as, income and credit history.

Loan Application

To get the process started to buying a car you must complete a loan application.  The loan application will require a variety of information.  Some of the things required are your name, Social Security number, date of birth, occupation, sources of income, gross monthly income and information about your debt.

Proof of Income

To qualify for a car loan you will be asked to provide proof of income.  You can confirm your income over time with your employer pay stubs and your bank statement.  Sometimes collateral is required.  The lender may request additional information regarding credit card agreements, mortgage and other loans you may have.  The lender will also need the car’s invoice, proof of registration and possibly a certified emissions inspection report, depending on where you live.

Proof of Insurance

To be approved for a new car, your lender will require proof of insurance.  You can get his by contacting your auto insurance company in advance or you can make the phone call from the dealership.  You cannot purchase a vehicle without this information.

Proof of Identity

Your proof of identity can be in the form of a photo identification with your signature.  Some lending institutions request you to provide a utility bill with your name and address as it appears on your photo ID, as well as, current bank statements.

Proof of Residence

To show proof of residence, you can provide a utility bill or a bank statement with your name and address.

Trade-In Documentation

If you are trading in a car for the purchase of a new car or pre-owned, you will need the title to the car and registration that you are trading.  This can speed up the process and approval of you loan.  If you still owe on your trade-in you will need to provide the pay off balance to the lending institution.

Credit History

When you fill out a finance application your credit report will be pulled at that time to evaluate your credit history.  If you have less than perfect credit there are many lending institutions that extend credit to people with low credit scores.  Your interest rate will depend on your credit score.  For example, if you have bad credit and your credit score is in the 500 range, the lender will classify you as a high-risk borrower and your interest rate wil be higher than that offered to a borrower with a high credit score.

Down Payment

The lending institution in some cases may require a down payment, depending on your credit worthiness.  You will be considered a better credit risk if you put money down you the car.  Whether you have bad credit, good credit or no credit at all you will probably be required to put some money down.  In some instances you may need a co-signer.

If you have more questions about documentation or how you can apply for a loan for a car, click here!

 

 

 

 

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