Yes Butler Ford, There Is A Santa Claus

Mustang-reindeer-grillThe other day, our marketing department was having a (holiday) spirited debate. When, we wondered, should we wait to celebrate the Holiday season until after Thanksgiving, like Nordstrom’s just made news for doing? Or should we embrace the near-freezing temperatures and begin our festivities? As it turns out, two customers at Butler Ford settled the debate for us.

These two particular customers, Jim and Bertie, were from the North. More specifically, they were from the North Pole. Our jaws dropped. We were sending a Super Duty to the same place kids send their Christmas lists? Were Jim and Bertie the Claus family in disguise? Would it be more appropriate to list the F-250’s 385 horsepower in terms of reindeer-power?

As it turned out, the couple that was kind enough to answer our awe-struck questions denied being Mr. and Mrs. Claus (not that we’re convinced), and it would perhaps be more accurate to say they were from a North Pole, not the North Pole. The town of North Pole, Alaska is technically 1,700 miles south of the earth’s magnetic pole, but there may not be a place on earth that looks more like the North Pole than our guests’ hometown.

North Pole, Alaska is small town with a tremendous amount of holiday character. Boasting Christmas-themed architecture and more than a little Christmas spirit (there is a non-profit organization in town that responds to children’s Santa letters,) Jim and Bertie have called the North Pole home for over 40 years. Yet just like we always imagined the Clauses would like to do during the off-season, Jim and Bertie are preparing for life as snowbirds, and their Super Duty will journey with them as they adjust to life far away from the Arctic Circle.

We love hearing our customers’ stories, and our two guests from the land of caribou and candy canes made our day. We guess it’s officially okay to start decking the halls, even if we don’t put our carols on until Thanksgiving.

Million Mile Cars

What does it take to get a car to the Million Mile Mark? A few brave souls have made the mark a few times over. One Volvo owner coaxed his beloved car over 3 million miles! It’s pretty amazing what regular maintenance and a strong passion and love for your car will do! Here’s the list:

1. Peter Gilbert’s 1989 Saab SPG

Peter is a Wisconsin salesman who has put way more than a million miles on his meticulously maintained 1989 SPG than someone living in harsh Wisconsin winters would have thought possible.

2. Guy Newmark’s 1964 Porsche 356

Porsche-356-e1430319818385Here’s a car that’s not quite to the million mile mark, but for all intents and purposes, needs to be included in this list. “Blue” clocks in at way over 800,000 miles. We’re not sure anyone loves their car as much as Guy loves his Blue. This gorgeous Porsche made such a stir in the automotive world that Petrolicious did a full-blown YouTube feature on the car and its owner back in 2013.

However, just a few months later, Blue was stolen from Guy’s San Pedro, Calif., home. Guy was crushed, as you can imagine. Fortunately the car was recovered with only minor damage not long thereafter, and Guy has since returned to daily driving this seemingly indestructible work of art/machinery.

3. Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800s

1966-Volvo-P1800S-e1430320772768Irv Gordon spent an entire year’s salary on this gorgeous Volvo back in 1966 and has racked up more than 3 million miles on it since then! This car and its owner were awarded a Guinness World Record for “highest vehicle mileage” in May 2014. As far as we can tell Irv is still behind the wheel of this beauty, gunning for the 4 million mile mark! Whoa!

Is it just us or do these cars look so much better than a car with a million miles should look?We, as an automotive group, are always stressing the importance of regular maintenance and if this article doesn’t make you a believer, we don’t know what will! Guy, the owner of “Blue” the Porsche, said he takes his car in for oil changes every 3,000 miles without fail.

If you’re curious about what other cars made the million mile list, click  HERE.

Five Perks of Hybrids

Hybrids and energy-efficient vehicles are the future. They’ve made huge strides in recent years in technology, form and function. In fact, there are more than 40 different hybrid models available for sale in the U.S. today.

So, have you wondered how exactly hybrids are different from their gasoline counterparts – and what makes these innovative vehicles so amazing?  Here are what we refer to as the “Five Perks of Hybrids:”

1) Hybrids have a gas engine and an electric motor (aka a “hybrid” powertrain system). The electric motor supplements the gas engine when gas isn’t as efficient, which means it uses less fuel.

Many hybrids don’t need to be plugged in to recharge the battery. However, there are a new breed of hybrids like the Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi that are called “Plug-in
FordEnergiPlufHybrids.” These innovative vehicles boast larger batteries and more powerful electric motors. This combination allows the car to run in all-electric mode under more circumstances and for greater distances. To charge the larger battery, it’s most efficient to plug the car into an outlet, but it still will run as a conventional hybrid when the EV (Electric Vehicle) battery is dead.

2) The “feel” and sound of a hybrid is distinctly different from a normal car. 

Hybrids are a lot quieter. This is due to the electric motor running more often than the gas engine, which cuts the engine noise down to zero. According to Matt Mocabee, Butler Internet Coordinator and Ford C-Max Energi Owner, “This makes it a lot easier to hold conversations in your car.” In regards to feel, Butler Acura Product Specialist Patrick Ormerod and Ford Fusion Owner says “It’s incredibly smooth and responsive.”

3) Hybrid braking can feel different.

With some hybrids, when you take your foot off the brake pedal, you can feel the two different brake systems working. This is called regenerative braking. For a more detailed explanation of this amazing process, click HERE.

4) Hybrid vehicles brakes can last longer.

Regenerative braking is pretty amazing. It not only helps recharge the battery, but it also slows the car and saves the brakes in the process!

5) Many hybrids sacrifice cargo space or flexibility to make room for the battery. Batteries are what we consider a perk!

Most cars aren’t engineered solely as hybrids, so manufactures had to find someplace to store the extra battery. This results in a bit of decreased storage room, but when you think of the money staying in your pocketbook and not gushing down your gas tank, it seems like more than a fair trade-off.

M-Ford-C-MAX-Energi-1The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help you figure out the fuel economy of YOUR hybrid or the hybrid you have your eye on. They list fuel economy numbers HERE. This also calculates the estimated annual fuel cost of each car based on driving 15,000 on $3.70/gallon gas.

The fuel efficiency and resulting financial savings are huge perks and the reason why many people purchase these fantastic vehicles. The public is also becoming increasingly concerned for the health of our planet and saving valuable fossil fuel, so perhaps this is one of the most valuable “perks” of a hybrid.

Curious about a hybrid now? Want to take one for a spin? The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi are waiting for you at Butler Ford in Ashland!

Extend the Life of Your Vehicle and Keeping You Safe

We’re always looking for tips that can extend the life of your car AND keep you safe! My Ford Magazine is a great resource and they’ve posted an excellent article about your shocks and struts – and why this is important to you!

Below are great tips to protect your car in winter and spring driving conditions and what to look for if your shocks and struts are not the best they can be and you need to be ready for those summer road trips!

1. REDUCED BRAKING ABILITY
When your shocks or struts become worn down, your vehicle “jounces” more over bumps, which means it bounces up and down. This makes braking more difficult and could significantly increase your stopping distance. So take note: If your vehicle is taking longer than usual to stop, or if it is nose-diving when you do so (another sign of decreased traction), have your vehicle checked at any of our four service locations. A suspension check is part of the multi-point inspection included; during the inspection our technicians will ensure that all possible pothole-related damage is assessed, and you’ll have less to worry about.

2. LESS CONTROL ON CORNERS
Watch out for an exaggerated “body roll” when you turn corners—this is when you feel yourself and your vehicle tilting a bit more than normal, which can be a sign of damaged shocks or struts. If that’s happening to you, take your vehicle in for a suspension check right away, because excessive body roll can affect your ability to safely steer around obstructions in the road.

3. ROUGHER RIDE
Getting jostled on your journey is not only uncomfortable, it can affect your ability to safely control your vehicle. Try a quick bounce test at home by pushing down firmly on the front and rear of your vehicle. If the car moves up and down more than once or twice, have your shocks and struts checked at any of our four service centers.

4. TIRE WEAR
When struts or shocks are worn out, your tires wear out faster. A damaged strut or shock can also contribute to quicker wear on the other steering components of the vehicle, like rods and wheel bearings. If you notice a rumbling or increased vibrations at higher speeds, have a Ford auto technician look for “cupping” on your tires, which is a type of scalloped wear pattern associated with struts and shocks. Cupping happens when your car jounces up and down, leaving indented scuff marks on the tires, and is a big red flag that your suspension needs repairing.

5. MORE HYDROPLANING & SKIDDING
Worn shocks and struts can affect the way your wheels engage with the road, especially when roads are slick. If your vehicle is sliding or hydroplaning frequently, get your suspension checked out now—before more April showers arrive.

Our Ford and Acura service centers are located at 1899 Highway 99 N in Ashland and can be reached at 541-482-2521. Our Kia dealership is located at 4950 Crater Lake Avenue, 541-776-3088 while our Hyundai dealership is located at 5000 Crater Lake Avenue, 541-245-5335. Call for an appointment today if you notice any of these issues with your vehicle.

USA Made “Pulse” Brake Technology Available at Butler Dealerships

So what exactly IS “Pulse” brake technology? We were so smitten by its incredible safety appeal, we just installed it in our vehicles this week! Butler is the first in the valley (actually one of the first West coast!) to do so. Pulse
DSCN1200Safer Braking Technology ® (Pulse) is truly the leader in safer braking technology. Pulse is the only pulsing third brake light that meets regulatory requirements for use in all 50 states. Other third brake light safety technologies utilize flashing lights. What’s the difference between flashing and pulsing? Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations restrict flashing lights to emergency vehicles. This award-winning rear-end collision avoidance technology causes the third brake to pulse four times in a row, each time you  brake, more effectively alerting the driver behind you that you’ve stopped. Additionally, Pulse is proudly designed and manufactured in the USA and each unit is hand-tested twice at the manufacturer before being shipping to us.

Why install this? Is it worth it? Here are some sobering statistics:

  • Rear-end collisions account for nearly 30% of all traffic accidents, and almost a third of those are deemed to be a “total loss” by insurance adjusters, according to the DOT.  With over 2.5 million occurring each year in the US, everyone knows someone close to them that have had their lives significantly affected by a rear-end collision. The statistics show, that the time it took to read this blog, four rear-end collisions have occurred somewhere in America.
  • In the last five years, rear end collisions have increased significantly. In fact, the number one cause of death now in traffic accidents is now attributed to “distracted driving” rather than “reckless driving.”
  • According to a 1992 study by Daimler-Benz, if passenger car drivers have a just a half-second of additional warning time, about 60% of rear-end collisions can be prevented. An extra second of warning time can prevent about 90% of rear-end collisions.

I actually just witnessed a rear end collision where a pedestrian was crossing the street at a designated crosswalk and the car in the lane beside me stopped, but the driver behind that car was distracted on her cell phone, and slammed right into the back on the other car. Thankfully, the pedestrian was not hit, but both cars suffered significant damage that might have been avoided if the driver in front had a rapidly pulsing third brake light to alert the driver behind.

So, how can Pulse Safer Braking Technology ® make things safer on our roads?

  • According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), 90% of rear-end collisions could be avoided if the trailing vehicle had just ONE SECOND of warning.
  • DOT and manufacturer studies have demonstrated that Pulse increases the reaction time of the trailing driver by almost 50%!
  • DOT studies have also shown that a distracted driver is 60% more likely to notice you stopping or slowing with Pulse on-board.

DSCN1197As pictured, all vehicles equipped with Pulse receive a sticker alerting other drivers and raising awareness of this life-saving technology. Do recall the ubiquitous “Baby on Board” signs? They are visible and these stickers are very similar.

I can’t help but think the unfortunate accident I witnessed yesterday could have been avoided with Pulse. Qualified technicians at Butler Ford just installed this technology on my little three-door hatchback Ford Focus and I already feel safer! I’m not certain my little Focus (or me!) would survive a rear-end collision with many vehicles.

You can bring your vehicle, regardless of make or model into our shops at Butler Ford, Butler Acura, Butler Hyundai or Butler Kia to get Pulse installed for just $299. Just make an appointment with any of our service departments and we’ll get you in ASAP. In Ashland, call 541-482-1489 and in Medford call 541-776-3088.

Butler Auto Group is ONLY dealer right now in the valley with this technology in all of our vehicles (except our Acuras, but the option to install is available.) Click HERE for more information and check out this great testimonial video.

Why is Tax Season Good?

Tax season is here! Why is that a good thing? Many of us have already received our refunds and are investing money Ford-F-150_2015back into the economy through automotive purchases. A win-win for the economy and the consumer.

So what vehicles are the most sought after?  The 2015 Ford F-150 and Acura TLX proudly sit among the top sellers in a January auto sales report, according to Edmunds.com.

“Momentum is especially strong for our F-Series pickup, with the all-new F-150 the hottest product on our dealers lots in January,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst. Ford reported that the new aluminum-bodied F-150 is averaging just 12 days on the lot. High-end Platinum and King Ranch F-150 models are “turning even faster, averaging just nine and 10 days, respectively,” Ford said.

Ford posted a 15 percent sales increase in the U.S. in January, with sales of 178,351 vehicles.

Photographer: Benedict Redgrove;Acura’s revamped Acura TLX was a top performer as well. Consumers grabbed 2,892 TLXs in January, “easily besting the combined sales of its two predecessors in January 2014 by 27.9 percent,” the company said. The TLX replaces the Acura TL and TSX. A sure winner for 2015.

Check out our vast selection of F-series trucks and the gorgeous Acura TLX’s HERE. We’ve got plenty of both these winning vehicles in Ashland, come by and check them out! Turn lemons into lemonade with this tax season!

 

The First Flying Car is Here!

If only we could get to places faster than the speed of light….well this might just be possible, soon, very soon.

Yes, you read that correctly. The first flying car is slated for sale sometime within the year.* According to the classic movie, Back to the Future, we should all have flying cars by now, right?

For the amazing low price (yes, this is a bit of sarcasm) of just  $279,000 you could be the proud owner of the Transition, appropriately named right?  Terrafugia is a small, privately held American corporation that is already working on second model called the TF-X, according to their website.

While we don’t have any flying cars available here at the Butler Family of Dealerships, we just received a shipment of powerful new Ford Roush Mustangs that will certainly make you feel like you’re flying — and this will do just fine for many of us!

*According to motorauthority.com. Click here for the full article and check out this dynamic flying car video: