How do I remove bugs, sap and bird droppings from my shiny, new car?

child wash carGary Jaffarian presents his best tips on how to remove these summer “evils” of sap, bugs and bird droppings from your vehicle’s exterior—if you prefer to do it yourself—rather than treating your vehicle to the Jaffarian Auto Spa.

We usually think of winter as being the toughest season for taking care of our vehicles—but you’re right that summer has its own challenges. The biggest challenge with bugs, bird droppings and sap is that they really stick to the vehicle’s exterior like a sap on windshieldmagnet. Washing them off is much more tricky than your everyday dirt and road debris.

Whenever possible, try to remove these pesky forms of debris as soon as they happen before they dry up. If you have a garage, use it in the summer too as it protects your vehicle from such items as well as limits harmful UV rays that damage the exterior paint. .

Here are the best tips to cleaning your vehicle’s exterior:

1. Soak the bugs, sap or droppings area with a hose. Ideally wash your vehicle in the shade. Don’t blast your car with a high-pressure setting on the hose or a pressure washing nozzle, as this could damage the paint. Soak the troublesome spots thoroughly,man wash car then rinse off the debris. You may need to repeat the process. Apply a generous amount of car wash soap. Combine one part soap with three parts water in a large bucket until it’s sudsy. Dip a soft sponge or absorbent cloth into the soap solution and spread it across the car’s exterior. Preferably use a specialty car wash product, not household soaps or cleaners (Ivory soap is ok). Household soaps may contain ingredients that can damage your vehicle’s paint. It’s a good idea to go ahead and wash your whole car, just in case there are a few spots you’ve missed.

2. Scrub away the sticky gunky debris. Use smooth circular motions on the most difficult part of the mess. Keep wetting the sponge as needed and continue scrubbing until your exterior is spotless. Make sure to check for insects in less noticeable areas, like the grill, headlights, mirrors and the base of the windshield. Baking soda is safe andBugs on Toyota mixed with water can be a good paste to take off bugs and gunk. WD-40 or other oil-based removers are alternate ways to remove sticky gunk. It can also reduce the appearance of scratches in a car’s paint. You may want to purchase a special product for bug and tar removal.

3. Clean the wheels and covers. Use a separate cloth or sponge to clean your wheels and purchase a spray cleaner special for the wheel covers. Be careful not to transfer substances like sand, brake fluid and grease from your wheels to your vehicle’s exterior.

4. Clean the windows carefully with a razor blade or box cutter if sap is stuck to the windows and did not come off easily with soap and

5. Rinse and dry your vehicle. Once you’ve washed your vehicle, spray it off with the hose to remove any remaining traces of soap or debris. Wipe water off with a microfiber towel or squeegee, then let the vehicle air dry. Don’t skip the final wipe down—especially if your town has hard water, it can leave behind stains that can permanently damage the paint.

6. Wax your vehicle. If you’re really ambitious, wax your vehicle every 2-3 months.

While it requires a lot of time, patience and products to remove these tricky substances from your vehicle, there is a simpler way—bring it to the Jaffarian Auto Spa—and treat your vehicle and yourself to a vehicle that looks like new inside and out! We even have coupon specials online for detail packages.

Enjoy this last month of summer!

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

Where do you recommend for summer day trips or overnights for a family with children?

Gary Jaffarian recommends both fun and educational places to visit as a family.

Though you didn’t indicate how old your children are, I’d be happy to highlight a few different places to travel around New England with children of various ages. Before you leave for an extended road trip, please be certain to be up-to-date on your vehicle maintenance. If you are not sure, please come see us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s Service Department. You can even book an appointment 24/7 on line.

I’ve chosen one place in each of the six New England states:

Be a Boston tourist—There is so much to do in our great City of Boston! People spend so much money traveling all over when there is so much to see right here! My suggestions for Boston day trips include:
JFK Library and Museum
Boston Children’s MuseumCharles River
Museum of Science
Walk the Freedom TrailBoston Duck Boats
Ride the Swan boats
Take a Duck Tour
New England AquariumNE Aquarium model-shark-1260x900
• Walk along the Charles River

There is so much history and so much to learn in Boston and summer is the best time to visit. Millions of people from all over the world visit Boston every summer. There are a lot of low-cost and free things to do in Boston! You can also visit Old Ironsides docked at the USS Constitution Museum.

New Hampshire
Storyland is in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on Route 16, six miles north of North StoryLandConway in Glen and 150 miles from Boston and about 124 miles from the Haverhill area. There are loads of fun rides for young children including an antique German carousel, Alice’s Tea Cup, Roar-o-Saurus, Bamboo Shoots, a water ride, Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach, the Crazy Barn, a Buccaneer Pirate Ship and my favorite—Antique Cars!

Portland—a beautiful area to visit for a day trip or to vacation. The Portland Waterfront offers so much including great food, shopping in the Old Port area and ferry rides out to local islands. There is a Children’s Museum and Theatre where they are currently showing Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz. There is also an Arts District, a Museum of African Culture; and the nearby Casco Bay Lighthouse. Just south of Portland, you can visit Palace Playland at Old Orchard Beach which is a beautiful beach with plenty to entertain kids of all ages. Greater Portland offers plenty of outdoor adventure, parks, and hands-on fun that suits every family member. You can plan a family outing that includes a day trip to a wildlife park, a visit to one of the state’s many fairs and festivals that cater to active kids and family entertainment, or a trip to one of the coast’s many sandy beaches where kids can play and cool off in the ocean waves.

Rhode Island
Block Island—a secluded island with a great beach and two light houses along with Block Islandsome quaint shops and inns—can be accessed from a regular or high-speed ferry ride from Narragansett or Newport—both great places to visit. This is a perfect weekend trip. Southern R.I. has some of the best beaches, without the crowds of the Cape. Block Island is a great place to rent bikes or mopeds to tour a beautiful, scenic island 12 miles off the R.I. coast. This kidney-shaped island has been designated by the Nature Conservancy as “one of the 12 last great places in the Western Hemisphere.”

Mystic Seaport—This is an easy day trip to the place made famous by Julia Robert’s first Mystic Aquariummovie “Mystic Pizza” and the restaurant is still there. This quaint seaport town is known for its shops and restaurants and its great Mystic Aquarium. You can board the largest Viking Longship or the Sabino Steamship. You can rent a row boat or sailboat to sail around the harbor. My favorite place to visit is the Olde Mistick Shopping Village off Route 95 before you get into the downtown area. It’s a shopping village that is set up like a quaint village from years ago. A lot of the shops are so unique—you never know what you’ll find there.

Stowe—Lots for families to do including taking a guided tour of the Ben & Jerry’s ice Stowe-kayakcream factory and sample the flavor of the day; visit the Trapp Family Lodge from the Sound of Music fame; watch the colorful balloons take to the air during the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival held in July; take a dip in Foster’s natural swimming hole; hit the “links” at the Stowe Golf Park, a beautifully landscaped and contoured miniature golf course; or tour the nearly 600-foot granite quarry, watch artisans carve stone, and try your hand at sandblasting your own stone souvenir at Rock of Ages. Who knew you could have so much fun in Stowe when it’s not ski season!

Wherever you decide to go, please post a photo and share with us on our Jaffarian Automotive Facebook page. We love to see where you and your family explore during these summer months (and don’t forget to include your pets and your vehicle in the posts!) Hope you have fun and safe travels for the rest of the summer! Oh boy, it does go by so quickly! Make every day of summer family time count.

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

Is there anything new coming out from Volvo?

Gary Jaffarian explains that the 2018 XC60 and S90 are the newest models with amazing safety features and technology, not yet seen in any other vehicle, including semi-autonomous driving.

The newest CrossoverXC60

We are very excited about the new 2018 XC60 which arrives this fall. It looks like a miniaturized, more athletic version of the XC90.

The drivetrain is available in 3different models: a 250-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder (T5); 312-hp, turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder (T6); and a 400-hp plug-in hybrid with four-cylinder engine and electric motor (T8). According to a review on, “The redesigned XC60 adds new styling, technology and a few exciting safety updates that advance Volvo’s safety technology further along on the road towards autonomous driving.” (Volvo is planning to market self-driving “autonomous” vehicles to the public by 2021 and is considered a leader in this technology.)

The large touchscreen first seen in the XC90 and S90 is available in the XC60 with XC60 insideredesigned screens and graphics. There are also updates to the Volvo On Call mobile app, which has the ability to send navigation directions to the vehicle from a calendar or helping to locate your vehicle after it’s been parked.

A new safety system called Steering Assist has been added for 2018. Steering Assist is used by several of the XC60’s safety systems — including the City Safety system, which helps to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and other large objects. The blind spot warning system also uses Steering Assist to prevent a lane change that will result in a collision, and the new Oncoming Lane Mitigation systems uses it to help prevent head-on collisions.

Volvo’s Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous driver assistance system that will handle the steering, acceleration and braking at speeds of up to 80 mph will also be available. This is truly an advancement in safety and technology.

This is also the first Volvo model with a “CleanZone” It removes pollutants and particles from the outside environment to keep the air fresh inside. Now that’s a real differentiator from the competition!

The newest luxury sedanVolvoS-90 Momentum

Volvo’s newest luxury sedan vehicle is the S90 and it is available with three different engines and is available as a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Two of the models are available with an in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and two models are both turbocharged and supercharged. Its contemporary design and beauty rivals any luxury sedan on the market and includes all the top safety features for which Volvo is best known throughout the decades. Their new models are a far cry from the old boxy vehicles, but the consistent reputation remains that Volvo makes perhaps the safest vehicles on the market today. The S90 is a finalist for North American Car of the Year. (Last year it was Volvo’s XC90.)

The basic S90 Momentum model includes: volvo-s90-luxury-sedan-technology-f1-all_d

• Dual Visible Tailpipes w/Chrome Sleeves
• Front Grille that is in a high-gloss black
• Pilot Assist – Semi Autonomous Drive System w/Adaptive Cruise Control
• Dark Flame Birch Wood Inlays
• 9-inch touch-screen display
• Leather upholstery
• CleanZone technology filters dust, pollen, particles, and odors while automatically monitoring pollutant levels. Now, the air you breathe inside your car is actually cleaner than the air outside.

Volvo is just an amazing company— combining the best of technology, safety, innovation, technology and design. What will they think of next?

Call or book a test drive on line at Jaffarian Volvo. Volvo is now offering test drive incentives such as $50 gift cards. There are also special incentives for both purchasing or leasing these luxury vehicles. We have nearly 20 of the 2018 models in stock already.

Have a great week and come see us for some great summer specials!

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

What is happening with the self-driving vehicle experiments?

Gary Jaffarian updates us on the research and development of self-driving or autonomous vehicles of which Volvo is a leader.

Volvo autonomousThere were international symposia in Germany last month and one in San Francisco in March that brought together designers and engineers of autonomous vehicles. As you know, advanced driver assistance systems and fully automated driving vehicle technology is not new. Since the final meeting of the Eureka Project in Paris in 1994, it’s been clear that fully autonomous self-driving vehicles are set to become a reality, yet 20 years later the final stages of testing, validation and fail-safing pose a significant challenge to the automotive industry.

The rigorousness and thoroughness of the testing processes need to be conducted at an altogether higher level than ever done before to satisfy safety requirements. The IEEE (a professional association of electrical engineers) also held their annual symposium to discuss the advent of driverless vehicles. This undertaking is bringing together leading IT professionals, engineers and automotive manufacturers to collaborate.

IEEE driverless-car-B3

I wrote about Volvo’s research with driverless vehicles in 2016, with the premise that driverless vehicles offer a level of safety by eliminating human error in favor of electronics. While there will still be a driver behind the wheel, the technological achievement is amazing and will be a major feat, surpassing in our industry the invention of the automobile.

In June of 2016, Boston was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a focus-city for policy and pilot development of autonomous vehicles. The first experiment held in Boston earlier this year and monitored by a Cambridge company, NuTonomy Inc., was the first public trip by a self-driving car in Massachusetts, and it concluded — without incident — an hour later. While their CEO said the experiment went perfectly, it was unclear if the engineers in the vehicle had any input on the control of the vehicle.

NuTonomy Inc. launched the pilot program on an industrial park’s 3 miles of roads, using a car guided by artificial intelligence software and fitted with cameras and other sensors, including a laser-based technology that detects nearby objects.

The company, a startup using technology developed at MIT, is also testing its systems as part of a self-driving taxi project on some public roads in Singapore.

According to The Boston Globe, don’t expect to see NuTonomy’s self-driving cars zipping through the Boston anytime soon. NuTonomy will complete 100 miles of test drives at the park in daytime and in good weather before progressing to more difficult nighttime and poor-weather tests.

After another 100 miles under those conditions, the company can request to expand its tests to outside the industrial park — again, first in daytime and in good weather — to the surrounding South Boston Waterfront. NuTonomy said it has tested its cars at night and during light rain and snow at its other locations. In its application, NuTonomy said its self-driving cars “are programmed to prevent any collision or other motion that would create a risk to human life or health.” The company plans to limit speeds to 25 miles per hour.

While the only injury reported in any of the world-wide autonomous driving tests is a sprained wrist, the tests and technology is moving ahead steadily, but slowly. Volvo is one of the leaders in autonomous vehicle testing and is planning to test 100 of their autonomous vehicles in Sweden this year with ordinary drivers and they are seeking volunteers in the United Kingdom to test these vehicles. With Volvo’s focus on safety, they are piloting an S60 model to be autonomous with the same rigorous safety systems that they have in all their models.

Participants in the trial will have to be sober and competent to take over controls at any time. Volvo claims its Drive Me system can handle a range of driving conditions including “smooth commuting to heavy traffic and emergency situations” although its test roads will be without pedestrians, cyclists or on-coming traffic. Volvo has taken a slightly different approach to automated vehicles compared to most car manufacturers and technology companies, including Google. Its first tests were on roads by railways where drivers could join a line of cars that would autonomously match speed and follow the lead train car. Volvo is aiming for a 100% safety record before any of these vehicles are released to the public.

Volvo is also testing autonomous XC90 vehicles this year in Europe. They believe that their first unsupervised autonomous vehicles will be in the market by 2021. “What makes our approach to autonomous driving so unique is that we focus on people – not just on technology,” said Volvo officials.

Based on these experiments and ongoing research, I still don’t expect we will see any autonomous vehicles marketed commercially until sometime between 2021 and 2030. Stay tuned as this is going to be interesting!

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

I’ve seen ads about Jaffarian “protecting your wallet.” How do you do that?

ProtectWallet Grpahic (002)Gary Jaffarian explains how protecting your wallet is part of the Jaffarian way in serving our customers. He outlines the many ways in which Jaffarian can save you money.

First let me explain that Jaffarian Volvo Toyota is all about building relationships. Throughout our 75+ year history of four generations in the automotive business, we see families come back and trade in a vehicle, some telling us their parents or grandparents bought from Jaffarian. We care about our customers and we build the relationship, in part, by protecting your wallet. We do that in many ways including the following:

1. Dare to Compare—We do the homework for you and post in our service area and on our website the comparison of prices for common service appointments at various competitors and the value you get by servicing at Jaffarian. This information is updated Buying Car-signingmonthly to help our customers make an informed decision regarding the value delivered for the same service whether it be an alignment or an oil change. We Dare to Compare and are happy to do this homework for our customers.

2. Video during service appointments—Unfortunately, but understandably, many consumers wonder if they really need a new cabin filter and are concerned about being misled to spend more money than they really need to when servicing their vehicle. To address that concern, we show our service customers via a Quik Video–as seeing is believing! Our certified technicians introduce themselves via video, walk around your vehicle and point out the condition of your vehicle. The video is sent to you via text or email so you can literally see if your cabin filter is worn or if the tire treads are low and you need new tires.
Our technicians and your service advisor will tell you what needs to be done and what can wait until your next appointment or when you reach a certain number of miles. There is no pressure to do anything that is not needed for the safe operation of your vehicle. It is peace of mind and protecting your wallet.

3. Savings and Specials—We offer our loyal customers timely savings on our website with coupons and specials emailed each month to help save you money. Be sure we have your correct email as we rely on email to share monthly specials (and customer events).

4. Hawkeye Technology—this state-of-the art equipment gives you a high-tech Hawkeye alignmentassessment of your vehicle’s need for an alignment. Most of us think we only need an alignment when we are holding the steering wheel differently to drive straight. We have invested in state-of-the-art technology to check your alignment and show you the report to show you if your alignment is fine or needs to be fixed for your safety and proper wear of your tires.

5. Service Reminders—By reminding you when your vehicle needs service, we can make minor repairs before they become larger, more expensive issues. With regular maintenance, you save money over the lifetime of your vehicle and your vehicle will last longer.

6. We don’t “upsell”—Once we understand your needs and your budget, we help you Man withWalletbuy or lease the right vehicle. You know your finances and you know what you need in a vehicle. We don’t want you to leave with doubt or regret. You have a friend in the car business!

7. Committed to educating for informed decision making—in the showroom , on our website and through this weekly blog. We know our customers do a lot of research online even before they walk in the door and we are committed to sharing information and tips to help you make an informed decision that will protect your wallet. We want you to get the most out of your vehicle and that is why we offer “How Do I_____?” hoursHow do I logo to learn how to use all the technology that is in new Toyotas and Volvos so you maximize all they have to offer! We respect your time and your intelligence which is why we continue to invest in ways to improve the service and vehicle buying experience so you are in the driver’s seat and we are here to assist.

No one wants to spend their hard-earned money unnecessarily. We are committed to helping you make informed decisions about buying, leasing and servicing your vehicle. We continue to evaluate and invest in technology from video to simple white boards listing our prices to protect your wallet.

Happy summer!

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

Is there such thing as a preventable accident?

Gary Jaffarian says “Yes” to this question, and shares three tips for how drivers can prevent vehicle-related accidents this 4th of July weekend and throughout the summer.

I say a resounding yes to this question. I understand that the word “accident” implies it was not done on purpose. Accidents on the road have the second highest cause of accidental deaths and they are the most preventable! Nearly 34,000 people die in motor vehicle every year. (By the way, poisonings are the highest cause of accidental deaths).

In New England, we are approaching one of the best times of the year. Schools are out, the weather is great and we are kicking off summer with the big 4th of July weekend! I BBQ backyardwant to share 3 tips of how you can prevent accidents this coming weekend and throughout the year:

1. Designated drivers: I know I write about this a lot, but statistics show July 4th weekend can be a tragic time on the roads. We love to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks, but all too often the festivities turn tragic on the nation’s roads. But this iconic American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes, according to the NHTSA. The latest statistics available are from July 4, 2015 holiday weekend whereby 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher; and 92 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

Remember that drinking alcohol in the sun exacerbates dehydration.

I recently passed a very large beer truck on the highway with a billboard-size graphic of a serene beach scene with a bottle of beer in the sand, suggesting you “find the nearest Corona beer posterbeach.” With the long Independence Day weekend upon us, the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) reminds us that we can prevent accidents by preventing drunk or “buzzed” driving by having a designated driver or sticking to non-alcoholic beverages, which are the best thirst quenchers!

Also remember, this is not just about driving under the influence of alcohol. Have a designated driver to account for the effects of marijuana, opioids and prescription drugs.

2. Don’t text and drive. It can wait and it should wait. Texting while driving remainsTeen texting another cause of accidents that is completely preventable. Cell phones should be hands-free, if used at all. Imagine that 660,000 Americans are talking on cell phones every day while driving! All the new model vehicles we sell at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota are equipped with blue tooth, and most can even read your texts to you! Now that is an important safety measure, that will help reduce the accident rate.

3. Never leave a child or pet in a vehicle. Heatstroke is the leading cause of vehicular non-crash-related deaths for children under 14. In fact, each year, an average of 37 children have died from vehicle heatstroke between 1998-2015. This loss of life is tragic and 100% preventable.dogincar

When the outside temperature is 83 degrees, and your window is down two inches, the temperature inside your car can reach 109 degrees in 15 minutes. The color of your car’s interior can make a difference, too. While it seems like an impossible mistake to make, every parent or caregiver can potentially become distracted, and distractions often fuel this devastating situation. I’ve seen parents run into a store for a few minutes and leave a child in the car while they are sleeping, thinking it’s safe. It is dangerous on many levels. Pets also die in hot vehicles that can be up to 140 degrees inside a vehicle with the windows rolled up or slightly open. No one is immune. If you see a child or pet left in a vehicle on a hot day, call the police. You could save a life.

Every needs water in the hot temperatures to stay hydrated—particularly elderly, children and pets. The above 3 tips are largely common sense, but I hope lives are saved this coming weekend by remembering these three ways you can prevent vehicle-related tragedies. Be safe and remember to hydrate during warm weather. We all need water but especially the elderly, children and pets.

Happy Independence Day to all!HappySafeJuly4th

Ask Gary Jaffarian




Gary Jaffarian

How can I save time so I don’t spend an entire day at the dealership when buying a car?


Gary Jaffarian explains how Jaffarian has introduced online tools so you can complete most of the car buying process online. We know your time is valuable that is why you can save up to 3 hours.

Your time is valuable. Like our health, it is precious. A common frustration of the car buying experience is the time it takes to get all that paperwork completed! We understand. It is our intent to serve you as quickly as we can, while acknowledging that there are many steps to the process and we can’t skip them to save you time.

Perhaps you saw the recent article in the Chicago Tribune that lamented how the car buying experience is way behind in meeting consumer’s needs. Well, I am happy to say, Jaffarian Toyota is not behind at all!

We recently announced a suite of online tools on the Jaffarian-Toyota website to enable you–the consumer–to be in the driver’s seat. Shop for your next vehicle while watching summer re-runs! Sip coffee at your kitchen table and compare makes and models. Value your trade as you commute on the train. Complete your financing paperwork while car shop on linesitting at your deck! We want you to be have the wheel when it comes to driving the car buying process!

So what can you accomplish online to avoid sitting around in our showroom thinking of all the other things you would rather be doing?

Here are all the steps you can do on your own time, in the comfort of your own home, whatever time of day you choose:

1. Value your trade! No need to wait ‘til you come to the dealership! Use our easy online form to complete the information about your trade! Save 30 minutes!

2. Personalize payments that work best for you! Are you considering leasing or financing? Run the numbers on your own time to evaluate what works best for your budget. With our easy tools, you can run many scenarios to assess what feels best for your personal financial situation. Save nearly 1 hour!

3. Prequalify for credit–save up to 30 minutes in the dealership by getting pre-qualified for credit on your own time. This step is particularly useful for anyone with concerns about their credit score.

4. Apply for credit–save up to 90 minutes by completing the credit application online! Secure and convenient so you can organize the information you need and complete this important step on your own time!

5. Select Protection plans— review available warranties to protect your vehicle. This step will save you another 15 minutes!

6. Start shopping for your vehicle— it’s likely this is where most of us would start in the process and then go to the other steps. Do your research, save the vehicles you like andWomanInKitchenCoffeeLaptopWhite.jpg then reach out to us as you go via Chat or completing a form and we will be right there with you to answer any questions.

You are in the driver’s seat to use any or all of the above tools! Complete them all and then schedule an appointment to come see us and take a test drive! Or, complete some of them and schedule an appointment and let us help you with any remaining steps.

The important part is you drive the sales process at Jaffarian Toyota. We are here to help.

North American automotive consulting firm Capgemini in a 2016 consumer survey said 60 percent would consider buying a vehicle online to avoid dealership pressure. This is why Jaffarian doesn’t not believe in high-pressure sales tactics. However, in the same survey, 88 percent said they want to see the vehicle in person and test drive it; and 55 percent say they want to negotiate the price in person.

Time is precious, and we value your time. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in making an informed decision that best meets your lifestyle and budget.

Ask Gary Jaffarian





Gary Jaffarian

%d bloggers like this: