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Used Car News, Tips & Tricks

Take a look at our blog to learn more about used cars

Upcoming Car Show Dates in Chicagoland

Looking for a quick round up of the upcoming car show dates in Chicagoland? 

Well, for beginners, car shows originated back in the early 1900s. Motor cars had just entered the world, the entire concept was in its infancy. During this time, it was curiosity that got people out in thousands to witness how exactly these mechanised carriages worked. The century also marked the birth of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA). Ever since, CATA has become the nation’s oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It was in 1935 that CATA produced the first edition of the Chicago Auto Show. Ever since there have been several car shows in the Chicagoland area.

The purpose behind most of these car shows is largely charity along with gaining some publicity for concept cars and any new launches by car companies. Right from collecting funds for a noble cause to contributing towards the betterment of a particular strata of society, car shows try hard to achieve both, their sales targets as well as complete their social responsibility.

Here’s a look at the upcoming car show dates in Chicagoland and what they have to offer:

Oak Lawn, IL on Sunday, July 10,2016

Venue: Ed Napleton Honda

Time: 9.00am to 5.00pm

Cause: This extravagant car show is to offer support to the Armed Forces Worldwide.

Registration Rates: $15 for prior registration. $20 for registration on the day of the show.

Entertainment, Food and Beverages: Available

Event Presented by: Napleton Honda

Highland Park Car Show - Sunday, July 10, 2016 in Highland Park, IL

Highland Park, IL on Sunday, July 10,2016: Blue Oval Performance Car Club Show & Shine Car

Venue: 1333 Park Ave West, @ Highland Park Ford-Lincoln

Cause: To raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & NW Indiana.

Criteria: Open to all collector and special interest vehicles.

Awards: Participants’ choice and spectators’ choice trophies.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 in Cicero, IL

Venue: 3501 South Laramie Ave, @ Hawthorne Race Course

Time: 4.00pm to 10.00pm

Features: World recognised car competition showcasing numerous customized rides, top car crews and teams, stage shows and foot tapping music.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 in Glendale Heights, IL

Venue: 414 North Ave, 13th Annual Sunrise Chevrolet Car Show. 

Time: 9.00am to 12.00noon.

Awards: Top 30 to be awarded in different categories.

Same day registration. No Fee.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 in North Chicago, IL

Venue: 3001 Green Bay Rd, Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Centre

Car show to honour veterans.

Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Volo, IL

Venue 27582 Volo Village Rd, @ Volo Auto Museum, Illinois Camaro Club- Volo All Camaro Car Show

Registration: Required. Pre-register to avail of early bird discounts. Registration included goodie bags, dash plaques, 2 admissions to Volo Auto Museum on the day of the show and a chance to win an award.

Features: Food, music and raffle prizes.

Purpose: Funds raised goes to 3 charities- Maddie’s Mitten March; Honor Flight Chicago and Home of the Sparrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Roselle, IL

Venue: 333 E. Irving Park Rd

Registration: 9.00am to 12.00noon.

Awards: 3.00pm

Features: Food on site.

Sunday, August 28, 2016 in Geneva, IL

Venue: Third Street, 2016 Geneva Concours d’elegance

Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm

Awards: The Coveted “Benz” trophies.

Features: Superb collection of antique, classic and modern motor cars.

Beneficiary: The Living Well Cancer Resource Centre.

Sunday, August 28, 2016 in Crystal Lake, IL

Venue: 5220 Northwest Highway

Time: 10.00am to 03.00pm

Registration: Required. Pre-registration $20 +$5ea. For registration after 31st July-$25 + $5 ea.

Features: Awards and trophies to be won.

Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Maple Park, IL

Venue: Main Street, 5th Annual Maple Park Car Show

Time:8.00am to 03.00pm.

Registration: 08.00am to 12.00noon. Pre-registration fee is $10 before September 3rd or $15 at entrance.

Features: Car clubs, dash plaques, participant voting, American Legion Breakfast Buffet from 07.00am to 12.00noon. Food and beer garden to go live from 11.00am onwards.

Beneficiary: Maple Park Fun Fest.

Friday, October 14, 2016 in Joliet, IL

Venue: 1437 N. Larkin Ave @ Thomas Toyota

Time: 5.00pm to 9.00pm

Features: Raffle prizes, dash plaques, awards for best of show.

Bookmark this and head to any of these shows to see what’s on the road!

10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland

Are you looking for a list of 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland? Chicago is the third most populous city in the US. The city has various entertainment centres such as parks and zoos, shopping centers, museums, and their various sports stadiums.

But if you are a resident of the city and would like to get away from your hectic schedule and stay within the Chicago Metropolitan Area, or Chicagoland, then we have a great list of 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland.

  • Indiana Dunes – the National Lakeshore lies 15 miles from the shores of Lake Michigan. It has a world of fun to offer. There are things to do for both the bird lovers and the active hikers. The miles and miles of trail over the dunes and the prairies near the forests. The whole place is beautiful, historic, and unique which makes it a great weekend getaway in Chicagoland.
  • Crystal Lake, IL – This is the perfect place to go for a picnic on a weekend getaway in Chicagoland. Both children and adults will find plenty of things to do here. The public beach here is one of the biggest attractions. The hiking trails and the playgrounds for the outdoorsy people can only be matched with the calm restful aura of the beach. Crystal Lake is fifty miles from Chicago NW.
  • Cedarburg – A 113 miles away from Chicago, this place is for history buffs and shopping lovers. The main street consists of many boutiques, restaurants and chocolate shops. The history of this town is admirable and something to take the time to get to know. It’s also a place to find great art, and as we said, there’s always a sale somewhere! The Cedar Creek Winery is a must visit and is the main reason for it making it to the list of 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland.
  • The city of Grand Rapid, Michigan – this place is filled with the creative energy of artists; great restaurants, nightlife, and natural beauty form an integral part of its charm. The various sources of entertainment are clubs, museums, theatres and restaurants.
  • Red Arrow Country – this place is 110 miles from Chicago. It is one of the best venues for apple picking and winery tours. If you are looking for a relaxed getaway from all the stress of the routine life, then Red Arrow Country is the best choice.
  • Milwaukee – Milwaukee is one of the 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland. There are art and music festivals are all through the year. There are diverse avenues for entertainment. You could either visit the brewers at the Miller Park or take a nice bike ride at the Harley-Davidson museum.
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – This lake is close to eighty miles from Chicago. The reason why Lake Geneva is a part of the 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland is that it is not seasonal. Be it summer or winter, the place has a lot of reasons to visit. A nice walk along the shores or a cruise on the boat, you have great options!
  • South Bend, Indiana – South Bend Indiana is 95 miles from Chicago. The Fighting Irish originate here. Water sports at the St.Joseph river is just as fun as it is adventurous. A weekend of shopping and dining makes the South Bend a good reason to be amongst the top 10 Great Weekend Getaways In Chicagoland
  • Beloit, Wisconsin – Do you want a weekend of just relaxation with nothing else to do but eat and sleep? Beloit is the place to visit. The old-fashioned drinks to wash down the heavy portions of food is a marvellous way to spend the weekend.
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin – 67 miles from Chicago, a weekend of Jazz concerts await you at Kenosha. Heavy breakfasts and a trip to the War Museum and your weekend is set.

The Daddy of all Faires, the Mini maker faire comes to Palatine, IL

The Maker Faire has arrived in Palatine, IL. ! This is a smaller version of the Maker Faire which retains all the fun of its parent version. The main focus will be on DIY, creativity and activity based learning. The Faire will feature and encourage local makers, inventors, artists, tinkerers, startups, hackers from the whole of Midwest to showcase their skills to the people of Illinois. The aim of Maker Faire is to inform, connect, entertain, and encourage students and makers of all ages to showcase their technology as a community. This event is one of its kind, which takes fun and creativity to the next level. It is the place to be for tech enthusiasts, parents, kids and anybody who is in love with science and technology. There is more; the online registrants stand a chance to enter into a random drawing and win several prizes made by the members or donated by the sponsors. Do not miss it if you are in Illinois.

Here is a list of the famous makers at Mini Maker Faire Palatine, IL.,

  • GoDroneX
  • Wildcat Makers
  • Art Bots
  • Chi Bots
  • Toool Chicago
  • Workshop 88
  • Virtual Reality
  • MineCraft
  • Trossen Robotics
  • Knights of Tech

Palatine Mini Maker Faire

Palatine Mini Maker Faire is calling for participants who have zeal and innovation to take technology to a different platform. You should certainly apply if you are currently doing any one of the following:

  1. Creating gadgets, software, art / craft stuff or any new stuff
  2. Want to show off your own innovation / creation?
  3. Teach others how to make create or make something new?
  4. Sells products which are conceptualized and created by you

If the answers for all / one of these questions are YES, then please don’t waste time anymore and register right away in the below link:

The Palatine Mini Maker Faire being hosted by Quest Academy. Quest academy is one of Chicago’s reputed elementary educational Institutions. It is a preschool -8 private school known for its outstanding contribution to innovative student programs which is also a pioneer in STEAM education. Daniel Rezac is the Director of Academic Technology at Quest. The Academy works towards creating opportunities of innovation for the entire student community in Chicago.

Quest Academy’s west campus is being given an entirely different look and feel by GoDroneX by creating an amazing drone obstacle course. There is a Drone race taking place right here to the delight of all viewers. Technology and innovation is going to take a whole new level, here at The Mini Maker Faire, Palatine, IL.

The Mini Maker Faire team has assembled an impressive line up of sponsors and backers who are ensuring that they put together the best show for everyone. The title sponsors for the event are industry frontrunners who are looking for new tech and innovations to support.

The Maker Faire was founded by the editors of Make and Craft magazines in 2005. Since the, the faire has showed in the cities of Austin, Detroit, New York and many others. A few new locations of the Mini Maker Faire are Ann Arbor, Sebastopol, Aspen, Kansas City, and Boston. In 2015, the Maker Faire celebrated its tenth annual show in. They also have another flagship event in New York, which was started 4 years ago that featured around 600+ makers and 80,000 attendees.

The links for tickets and registration is available at

Keep checking for news and updates on The Maker Faire in the following:


The Sun Is Out - Get Your Car Ready For Summer With These Tips

Summer equals sun and heat. Summer doesn’t affect just you; it takes a toll on your vehicle too. Just as winters bids adieu, summer takes over with its heat and humidity and you’re left wondering how on earth a vehicle can deal with any of these climactic extremes. With periodic maintenance, not only do you reduce the chances of mechanical failure but also increase the life of your vehicle and resale value.

Get your car ready for summer with these tips. While some require a professional mechanic, others can be done at home.

Check your Air Conditioning

Have your air conditioning system thoroughly checked by a qualified mechanic for cleaning or replacements. Newer cars these days come with air filters that clean the air entering the air conditioning and heating system, thereby reducing the accumulation of dust.

Cooling System

The most common cause of car breakdowns in the summer is overheating. The level, concentration and condition of your car coolant should to be checked periodically. You need to completely flush out your cooling system and refill it once in every 24 months. If you are doing this yourself, please wait till the radiator cap cools down before you remove it. The ideal coolant composition should be a 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water.


Read your car manual to know how frequently the oil needs to be changed. If you own a tow trailer or make frequent short trips or long trips with heavy luggage, your car oil may need to be changed every 3000 miles.

Engine Performance

Get Your Car Ready For Summer by checking your engine performance. Always change your filters such as air, fuel, PVC, etc, more frequently during dusty conditions. You may face problems like hard starts, stalling, rough idling, decrease in power; it is always recommended to get these corrected at a reputed shop.

Windshield Wipers

When your windshield is dirty, it not only hinders your view while driving, but also poses a safety hazard. Your wipers need to be in good condition to be able to clean all the dust and grime off your windshield properly. If your blades are old, get them replaced and always use windshield washer solvent.


Check your lights frequently. Have the bulbs changed if necessary. Keep the lens clean by clearing out the dirt and insects, periodically. Never use a dry rag if you want to keep your lenses scratch free.


It is always recommended to rotate your tires every 5000 miles to get the best out of them. The best time to check your tires is when they are cold and when you decide to go on a long drive, always ensure the spare tire and the jack are in good condition. Check the threads of your tires for uneven wearing or cupping and also check the side walls for nicks and cuts. If you feel a pull towards one side, get your wheels realigned.


Check your breaks as frequently as mentioned in your manual. But if you notice any noise, grabbing, pulsation or longer stopping distance, get those brakes checked ASAP. Break problems should be corrected immediately for your own safety.


Get Your Car Ready For Summer by making sure your car battery is in good condition always. Check the battery fluid levels, scrape away any corrosion but be careful to not let the battery acid or the corrosive deposits touch you. Always wear protective gear for your own safety.


Always carry flares, first aid kit, your technician’s number and a flash light with you.

Get Your Car Ready For Summer With These Tips and enjoy the weather. Let the wind blow through your hair as you have a fabulous and safe summer.


Get These 5 Luxury Car Jewels on the Cheap!


Who hasn’t gone glassy-eyed when you see a very expensive luxury car that’s completely out of our reach?  Daydreaming has proven to get us nowhere in our pursuit of the untouchables!  Well daydream no more, my friend!  Check out these 5 luxury cars you can get for cheap!

MB 03 S55

  •        2003 Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG


When you’re looking for a supercharged option, look no further!  This 5.4-liter 24-valve V8 boasted 500 horsepower and a long list of amenities!  Of course, what would you expect with a price tag of almost $150,000 when it was sitting on the dealer’s lot?  After the model got a reputation for being unreliable, prices dropped like a rock!  Most of these repairs were easily fixed, but the PR damage had been done.  Even with the high-mileage models, its sheer luxury value is unmatched!


  •        1997 Aston Martin DB7


If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, the Aston Martin DB7 just may be for you!  This supercharged inline 6 cylinder 335 horsepower beauty is truly a work of art with its classic lines!  When it was new, it would have set you back close to $200,000 for a fully loaded Volante!  Nowadays, they can be had for a much smaller amount… did I mention MUCH smaller?


  •        1999 Jaguar XK8


At just over $100,000 when new, the XK8 was supposed to be Jaguar’s mainstream luxury coupe after the ever-popular XJS model.  It featured a 4-liter V8 engine and had a convertible option.  If you’re pining for a British beauty in your garage and you don’t mind doing some TLC on your own, you won’t find a sexier model!


  •        1980 Porsche 928


The Porsche 928 always played second fiddle to the 911, but it’s not to say it deserved that spot!  This is certainly another luxury jewel that was over $100,000 when new!  Be aware, parts for this Porsche will become harder to find as time goes on, after all it’s well over 30 years old already!


  •        1992 BMW 850i


The 1992 BMW 850i was the automaker’s first V12, 6 speed coupe that just fizzled.  At the time when it was new, no one seemed to be interested in buying beast coupes.  Maybe rolling out with a dated look and a $150,000 window sticker just didn’t help either!

So now that you’re armed with a list of these overlooked beauties, no more picturing yourself in an overly priced luxury car!  Check Craigslist, eBay, and your local classifieds for one of these 5 luxury cars you can get for cheap and be the envy of all the neighbors!


Use These 6 Tips to Clean Your Car Like a Pro


Maintaining that beautiful glow from the dealer is important to any car enthusiast.  The surface of your car needs proper care just as the vital parts and these 5 tips to detail your car like a pro can help you make your car look like new again!  Techniques that were once only used by professional detailers have become available to all car owners.

car with cleaners on it

  1.   Keep those carpets and floor mats in great condition by using an air compressor to blow dirt from the edges and every crevice onto the center of your carpet to easily vacuum it out.  A stiff scrub brush can help loosen dirt from your floor mats before you vacuum, as well.


  1.   Next, take a look at those dirty wheels!  Be sure to use a nonacid product to clean your wheels and tires.  Professional detailers use special acid-based solutions to strip residue from new tires and clean the brake dust that accumulates on wheels, but they do so with extreme care!  When used improperly, these cleaners can damage painted wheels or those with clear coatings and cause them to pit and oxidize.  Always remember to clean wheels and tires before washing the rest of your car.


  1.   The best wash for your car is a hand wash.  Taking your time to hand wash lets you inspect your car’s surfaces for any damages or blemishes.  A carwash solution is the best product for protecting and showing off your car’s finish like a pro.  The pros caution to never use dishwashing detergent to wash your car.  It strips the protective wax coating and helps to expose your car to nicks, scratches and stains.  When you’re finished washing, they say to dry the surface of your car with a rubber-blade squeegee to prevent the minerals and dirt left when the water evaporates.


  1.   Now it’s time to protect that beautiful paint job!  When it rolled out of the factory, your car’s paint was protected by a clear coat, but over time it wears off leaving your paint exposed to harsh elements.  This is where wax does its job by protecting your paint from stains and scratches.  The choice of paste wax or liquid wax is simply a matter of personal preference and what you’re used to using.  They will both protect your paint equally well.


  1.   The next suggestion to detail your car like a pro is to keep that wax protecting your beautiful paint, plan to give your car a good waxing every season.  The pros say to forget the old tricks of telling when a car needs to be waxed, just set your schedule and stick to it to ensure your car’s paint is always protected.


  1.   After washing and waxing your car, clean your windows last to be sure to get all the dirt and grime from all of your other steps.  Look for a glass cleaner that does not contain ammonia.  Ammonia is terrible for vinyl upholstery and your instrument panel.  To get the best look from your glass, use a microfiber cloth to buff your windows.  This ensures that all of the cleaner residue is removed, which causes streaks and spots on the windows.  One of the pros tips: reach the inside of the rear window by using the back of your hand with the microfiber cloth.  This allows you to reach much farther down the glass.


Nothing tells the age of a car more than a paint job that hasn’t been taken care of.  With these 5 great tips to clean your car like a pro, you will not only keep your car looking beautiful, but you will help protect it for years to come!  



Samsung Connect Auto Brings The Internet to Cars of Old

Connect Auto

When it comes to technology, the automotive industry is one of the best places for the latest and greatest to be showcased.  The best new innovations in automotive technology are often unveiled either at a large automotive show or in a new vehicle model.  


While the Apple and Google giants are fast at work with integrating their Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into various new car models, another big name in the technology industry has shifted its focus in the other direction.  


Samsung Connect Auto, the company’s first connected car initiative will first be implemented in not brand new cars, but used models.  


The Connect Auto device gets plugged into the car’s OBD (On Board Diagnostic) port, which is typically located on the driver’s side of the cabin, either below the steering wheel or in the footwell.  Once plugged in, the “black box” can then begin monitoring the vehicle’s function and give updates on efficiency.


Injong Rhee, Samsung executive vice president and mobile communications head of research and development of software and services, noted collaborations with partners and experts of various fields as crucial to carrying out Samsung’s “vision of bringing IoT technology to people’s everyday lives.”  IoT refers to “Internet of Things,” the network of entities and objects that are interconnected via their abilities to collect and transmit data.


The Samsung Connect Auto will utilize its own 4G LTE data connection to communicate with the cloud-based server.  This also serves as a WiFi connection that allows passengers with compatible devices to stay connected while on the road.


Connect Auto is powered by Tizen, Samsung’s own OS.  As is the case with Apple products, the device will ultimately be opened to developers as a means to create additional services.  Real-time alerts will be sent to users as a tool to help improve driving behavior and fuel economy.  It also uses algorithms and geo-fencing to rate drivers.  Just as peace of mind gained from Samsung’s KNOX mobile security platform, the same happens with the Connect Auto’s ability to notify predetermined contacts, as well as accident concierge services, in the case an accident does occur.


Another feature will be a Find My Car application which will allow users to quickly locate their vehicle in the middle of the most crowded of parking lots.  On the corporate front, Samsung Connect Auto can also be utilized to gather info on fleet vehicles.


With AT&T as the current frontrunner for the first telecom company partner of the system, you can expect a Connect Auto launch sometime in the second quarter of 2016.


Figuring Out What You Can Afford Is The First Crucial Step In The Used Car Buying Process

used car checklist

Buying used cars is widely acknowledged as the most financially smart way to purchase a vehicle.  Even though this is the case, the process of buying a used car was for a long time a humbling experience.  With limited access to pertinent info, used car buyers were more or less at the mercy of the salesmen and dealerships they were working with.  Indeed, there is some backstory to the bad rap the “used car salesman” gets.  


Nowadays the story is vastly different.  With information typically a click or two away, consumers can be fully prepared when setting foot in the dealership.  As is the case with any large purchase however, your success largely hinges on a choice you make right at the outset: whether or not you do your homework.


Knowing the Difference Between What You’d Like To Spend and What You’re Able to Spend


Speaking of a few clicks away, one of the first things you need to do is visit an online auto loan calculator.  Of course if you’re planning on paying cash, this can be bypassed.  In either case, what you need to figure out is what the maximum amount of money is that you can comfortably pay.  Then you need to stick to that number and not waver.


Another difference brought about by access to information is the preparation you can have for financing.  The most conventional way to secure financing is at the dealership after you make the deal for your car.  This works fine, however you should also know that you can easily nail down your financing before you even visit the dealer, through a bank or credit union, for instance.


Furthermore, you need to make sure you remember about that dreaded four letter word: fees.  No matter whether you buy new or used, tax, title, registration and insurance are always going to be part of the picture.  As a general rule, you can expect these to amount to roughly 10% of the car’s purchase price, however you should always inquire at the dealership level.  

Insurance is another thing that can make or break the price of a car you want.  The type of car you purchase can have a significant effect on the insurance premiums you pay.  Your driving record will also factor in, but generally speaking you need to expect higher premiums with higher performance cars and vehicles with 4WD.


Once you touch on all of the added costs of the car and have set your price limit, it is imperative that you stick to your guns.  Which leads us to our next point…


Find The Right Car For Your NEEDS


Without question, this is a huge pitfall for many car buyers.  Let’s face it, buying a new car is exciting.  Sometimes it’s so exciting that it’s easy to become infatuated with a specific model, even though it doesn’t meet a lot of the criteria you need it to.  The worst case scenario is when you let yourself go on a car that doesn’t meet all of your needs AND is over budget.  All too often this scenario pans out.  


Again, it comes down to homework.  Before you allow yourself to become entranced in a showroom, sit down with pen and paper and make some simple lists.  At the very least, you need to contrast a “needs” list with a “wants” list.  For instance if you work construction and are looking for a truck, having a towing or cargo capacity in line with what your work calls for would be a “need.”  Adding in the premium sound system would be a “want.”  That’s not to say that everything on your want list will get the axe--you simply need to cross check both lists together to narrow down what you need to focus on.  


Reap The Benefits of The Internet

Thanks to the vastness of the internet, the task of doing your homework in preparation for a car purchase is pretty straightforward and simple.   Literally within seconds, you can be looking at dealership websites, customer feedback websites, automotive review sites, loan calculators, and on and on…


The point is, don’t leave any stone unturned.  You’d be shocked at what a solid 45 minutes of online research will provide you with when you go into a dealership to make a deal.  Check out sites, poke around, ask questions.  In the end, your car search will be that much more enjoyable and rewarding.