Archives for Kia Service

Why Don’t You Have to Change Your Car Battery Regularly?

Changing a battery

Changing a battery

Knowledge is power, they say, and knowledge about your car can often save you time and money when you’ve got car troubles, even if it may seem like it’s just trivia.

The car battery is one of those pieces of automotive engineering that many drivers probably don’t think about unless it’s giving them trouble. A typical car battery is a DC battery formed by what is called a voltaic cell, where chemical properties are taken advantage of to create a potential difference between two solutions.

It’s not much different from the batteries powering your remote control, but then why don’t you find yourself having to change your car battery every few months?

Well, you have your alternator to thank for that. Quite a few people have heard of the alternator, but I bet if you asked them to tell you what it did, those who tried to answer would probably just say something like, “it alternates.”

The funny thing, though, is that they would be right. The alternator generates an alternating current from a series of coiled wires (like you would see in an electromagnet), which then gets split into two different direct currents that are used to charge your battery and power your electronics.

So your car battery is constantly being charged while you’re driving, ensuring that you hopefully only have to replace it every once in a while. If you find that your lights get dim or that your power accessories only work sporadically, you might want to look into your alternator; frequently it’s the cause of electric issues when people are worried about their batteries.

Now, if you drive a hybrid car, the situation is a bit different. Hybrids generally have a lithium ion battery that, while benefiting from an alternator, really needs a little something more to keep a full charge. That’s where regenerative braking comes in.

Regenerative braking is a process by which your hybrid car converts the friction from braking into electrical energy, and you should be glad for it. It’s one of the many things that keeps hybrid batteries lasting upwards of 10 years. If you think a normal battery is costly to replace, a hybrid is much more expensive.

Some simple physics knowledge is all it takes to know one of the many ways science helps you save money while you drive.

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Let Pat McGrath Kia Help Winterize Your Car

Winter Weather ConditionsAs your Kia dealership near Cedar Rapids, Pat McGrath Kia does more than just sell you some of the finest new and used vehicles in Iowa. We’re dedicated to helping you out every second you’re behind the wheel, and part of that includes making sure your car isn’t hurt by harsh Midwestern winters.

Winter Car Care Tips

You probably thank the stars for road salt every time you brave the roads in the winter, or at least you should be. The stuff really does save lives, but boy can it do a number on your paint job. The best way to ensure that your car’s paint stays intact is to use a high quality wax or sealing agent.

While wax certainly is tried and true, paint sealant is a better option. This practically magical liquid offers amazing long-term protection for your vehicle, and an acrylic-based sealant has a lifetime of up to a year and serves as body armor for your car. You won’t get the same shine as with a wax, but adding a carnauba topper can up your shine a bit.

There are other options too, but you’ll find that at some point you’ll have to choose between protection and appearance.

For your wheels and tires, they make a wheel glaze that is something like a protective wax on your wheels that keeps brake dust from sticking to your car. Adding a tire gel is a way of keeping the rubber in your tires hydrated, ensuring it stays flexible, rather than becoming brittle in the winter. It may seem obvious, but make sure your tires are inflated to proper pressure levels. Air offers less pressure in the winter months, which means that if you don’t fill up your tires, they won’t be up to snuff.

Finally, your windshield wipers are one of the components that keeps you the safest while you’re driving. Cracked rubber wiper blades don’t do nearly as good of a job as they should at clearing snow, salt, and grime from your windshield, so be sure to switch your blades out for winter-friendly ones.

If you have any questions or are looking for products to help winterize your vehicle, contact our service center today!

Visit Pat McGrath Kia Today

Remember to stay safe on the road this winter, and if you’re in need of a new car, come test drive one of our great models here at Pat McGrath Kia. Don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page to stay up to date on inventory updates and specials.

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How to Avoid Auto Repair Scams

kia logo

At Pat McGrath Kia, you’ll find we have an excellent assortment of new and pre-owned vehicles, and treat our customers with care. Here at your local Kia dealership in Hiawatha, our service department is dedicated to getting you the best customer service. We have affordable repair and maintenance service, and a huge inventory of parts. We know how to deliver superior and dependable auto repairs — but would you know how to recognize that you’re being scammed? Repair shops are often the bread and butter of auto dealerships, and many will use less-than-reputable tactics to get you paying more than you should. With these few tips, you’ll be able to spot dodgy mechanics a mile away.

Know What to Look For

With costs determined by parts and labor, it can be hard to determine if a service center is overcharging you — but you can figure out what body shops other auto experts endorse.

As cars are wont to do, let’s say some part or component has failed and now it’s time to take it to a dealer. How do you know if you’re getting a competent repair shop? There are ways to find out:

  • Bureau of Automotive Repair keeps records of if a shop has a license to repair autos as well as any complaints about the service.
  • Auto Club has a recommendation list for repair shops. Check other independent organizations.
  • Visit the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE. They organize volunteer testing and certification of auto technicians. Shops that have the “Blue Seal of Approval” will have it displayed throughout the facility.
  • Also, there are technicians that are useful in all areas, and they are called Master Technicians. A high-quality shop will have at least one person with this title employed.

Come to McGrath Kia for Repair and Maintenance!

When it comes to your vehicle, we know you want the best service; that’s why you should trust our certified technicians to handle your vehicle with care and love. It’s important to us to use authentic Kia parts to keep your vehicle running in top condition. And best of all, when you let us fix all your maintenance problems, you’ll find no scams here. We’re conveniently located at 1020 N Center Point Rd in Hiawatha. Click here for directions and hours.

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Auto Maintenance Helpful Tips

Top Car Maintenance Mistakes


Auto MaintenanceMcGrath Kia, your Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha Kia Dealer is happy to provides one of the best on-site repair shops While we love to see our customers in for maintenance, we also love to save you money by offering any tips that might keep you from paying for any unnecessary work on your vehicle, so here are a few things that many drivers these days simply don’t realize about modern auto service.

Tune-Ups Just Don’t Exist Anymore

There was a time when you needed to have your car in for a tune-up. Everything needed to be timed, tightened, tuned, and lubed, and all the belts and valves and seals and spark plugs needed to be checked over. But that’s all changed thanks to computers; any car manufactured in the last 20 years has a computer that’s making sure all of those things are working within the same tight margin of error that before required a mechanic to check up on every few months. Taking a car in for a “tune-up” now mostly consists of a mechanic plugging a device into the car’s computer and checking for error codes that point to where there might be problems. Your warning lights let you know when anything’s off, and more often then not that’s when you need to take your car in.

The Oil Change Myth

Even though we are happy to change your oil whenever you like, you probably don’t need an oil change every 3,000 miles. That’s just the truth with modern cars; they run cleaner and more efficiently than cars of days gone by. Check your manufacturers warranty before making the trip to have your oil changed every 3 months, because your car may be able to run for 5,000 miles or more if you have synthetic oil in your car, sometimes as much as 15,000 to even 20,000 miles before you need an oil change.

Tires Wear Out

This one is the opposite of oil; sometimes tires wear out even if you haven’t worn through the tread. Tires are only good for about 5–10 years, so if you don’t drive very much or if you’ve purchased used tires, it’s good to check how old the tires actually are because the decaying rubber can cause tires to fail while driving.

McGrath Kia serves Cedar Rapids with new and pre-owned cars, exceptional service, and a full-service repair shop. Come visit our dealership whenever you want to talk about how to best maintain your vehicle; we look forward to seeing you soon!

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