Top 10 Ways to Battle WNY Winter Roads

We've all battled snow- and ice-covered Buffalo roads here are a few tips from the experts  on how to stay safe.


1. Tires make all the difference.

To have adequate snow traction, a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread, according to The Tire Rack. (New passenger-car tires usually have 10/32-inch of tread.) Ultrahigh-performance "summer" tires have little or no grip in snow. Even "all-season" tires don't necessarily have great snow traction: Some do, some don't. If you live where the roads are regularly covered with snow, use snow tires. They have a "snowflake on the mountain" symbol on the sidewall, meaning they meet a tire-industry standard for snow traction.

2. Don't leave before you can see.

Replace windshield wiper blades. Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Apply a water-shedding material (such as Rain-X) to the outside of all windows, including the mirrors. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Drain older fluid by running the washers until new fluid appears: Switching fluid colors makes this easy.

3.Run the air-conditioner to clear up windows fast.

In order to remove condensation and frost from the interior of windows, engage your air-conditioner and select the fresh air option: It's fine to set the temperature on "hot." Many cars automatically do this when you choose the defrost setting.

Buffalo Road, Orchard Park NY 1/6/14 Photo by Kevin Leigh4.Sweep off your lights.

Use your headlights so that others will see you and, we hope, not pull out in front of you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. If you have an older car with sand-pitted headlights, get a new set of lenses. To prevent future pitting, cover the new lens with a clear tape like that used to protect the leading edge of helicopter rotor blades and racecar wings. It's available from auto-racing supply sites.

5.Give yourself a brake.

Learn how to get maximum efficiency from your brakes before an emergency. It's easy to properly use antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal as if you were trying to snap it off. Stay hard on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle. (A warning: A little bit of steering goes a very long way in an emergency. See Tip 8.) If you drive on icy roads or roads that are covered with snow, modify your ABS technique: After you "Stomp" and the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working — ease up slightly on the pedal until the pulsing happens only once a second.
For vehicles without ABS, you'll have to rely on the old-fashioned system: You. For non-ABS on a mixed-surface road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as "pumping the brake." Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement. Use the tips in "How To Survive the Top 10 Driving Emergencies" to practice before the emergency.

6. Watch carefully for "black ice."

If the road looks slick, it probably is. This is especially true with one of winter's worst hazards: "black ice." Also called "glare ice," this is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. Test the traction with a smooth brake application or slight turn of the wheel.

7. Know the road.

You must remember where icy roads tend to occur. Bridges and intersections are common places. Also: wherever water runs across the road. I know people who lost control on ice caused by homeowners draining above-ground pools and by an automatic lawn sprinkler that sprayed water onto a street in freezing temperatures.

8. Too much steering is bad.

If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common — but incorrect — reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. That's like writing checks on an overdrawn account: It won't improve the situation and may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed. That may be into oncoming traffic or a telephone pole. Something very similar happens if you steer too much while braking with ABS. Sadly, there are situations where nothing will prevent a crash, but turning the steering too much never helps.

9. Avoid rear-tire slides.

First, choose a car with electronic stability control. Fortunately, ESC will be mandatory on all 2012 models. Next, make sure your rear tires have at least as much tread as your front tires. Finally, if you buy winter tires, get four.

10. Technology only helps, you still have to be diligent.

We've all seen that SUV driver fly by us on an ice road only to end up in a ditch a few miles ahead. All-wheel drive and electronic stability control can get you into trouble by offering a false sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle accelerate or keep moving: It can't help you go around a snow-covered turn, much less stop at an icy intersection. ESC can prevent a spinout, but it can't clear ice from the roads or give your tires more traction. Don't let these lull you into overestimating the available traction.
Regardless of your driving skill or vehicle preparation, there are some winter conditions that can't be conquered. But these tips may help prevent snowy and icy roads from ruining your day.

We've all battled snow- and ice-covered WNY roads here are a few tips from the experts at Edmunds.com on how to stay safe. 

View Plow ready and Plow trucks on westherr.com

See our selection of AWD and 4-wheel drive vehicles on Westherr.com

Thanks to edmunds.com for the use of this article


How to Get Unstuck From The Snow

Simple Tips To Avoid A Sticky Situation

It's happened to all of us, wheter we care to admit it or not.  We've all gotten stuck in the snow.  Given that winter is clearly not over yet in Buffalo, here are some handy ways to get out of the snow without calling a tow truck.  

One thing to remember is that establishing good traction is key.  It doesn't do any good to accelerate in an effort to move. Traction doesn't depend on the speed of the tires.

In fact, traction can be reduced by rapidly spinning wheels, which tend to slide even easier on the snow.

-First, move the tires ever so slowly. If you are driving a car with an automatic transmission, try putting the car into the lowest gear possible and giving just a bit of gas to barely move the wheels. If you are driving a car with a manual transmission, put the car into a higher gear and barely let out the clutch to move the car ever so slowly.

-Then, remember that the car isn't moving because it doesn't have any traction. Try to dig out a bit of the snow or mud from in front of the power wheels (the ones that actually turn when you step on the gas). Then, wedge a car mat, blanket, or old coat under the leading edge of the wheel. Inch the car forward until the tires "grip" on the item, and then slowly drive the car out of the snow or mud.

During the Winter you should always be carrying a small shovel along with rock salt, sand, or cat litter.  

As always, be safe out there! 


Guide to Winter Driving

We saw heavy snow already this winter, so it's time to discuss driving in the snow.  Sure, most of us have driven in Buffalo winters for years.  However, it's never a bad idea to read a few handy reminders so you can have safe travels this season.  

With some help from our friends at AAA, here are some handy tips for winter driving:

-In the snow, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

-The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

-Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times. That's a big one, especially considering how we've seen people get stuck on the road in recent years.  

-Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).

-Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

-Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.


Welcome Home to Buffalo, West Herr's New Sign at the Airport

When you arrive at the Buffalo airport after a long day of travel, it feels great to be home. We could not help but notice how many Buffalo area businesses feel the same way. For example, Russell’s Restaurant has a wonderful sign welcoming travelers home.In fact many of the long time Buffalo businesses are lining the hallways with welcome home messages.

So when our advertising agency told us about the opportunity to post a welcome message across from the Anchor Bar (another long time Buffalo business) we jumped at the opportunity. We used a new kind of wrapping tech to make it look cool on the metal surface, it’s sort of melted in place.

We hope you like it, and Welcome to West Herr New York.




More Customers are Opting for Same Day Delivery of Their New Cars

We are all looking for ways to speed things up:

As our lives get more complicated and busy, customers are looking for ways to speed up their day. Our lives are filled with work, kids activities and volunteering, we barely have enough time to watch our favorite shows or read.

As a result businesses are working on ways to speed up the process of delivering their products. Amazon, for example have worked hard to get your product to your doorstep the next business day. In fact they now are making efforts to deliver some products the very same day.

At West Herr, same-day delivery of your new car is not just possible but is actually becoming the norm. In fact this year alone 1 in 4 of West Herr’s Sales resulted the customer taking the car home the same day they purchased. We have even given it a name: We call it “West Herr Express”

“The paperwork is the easy part and on average should only take 20 minutes or so” said one of our managers, “but we don’t rush our customers. Cars are complicated, so we take our time going over the features and make sure our customers get the attention they deserve.”

Shocked at how fast:

Our customers are sometimes surprised when they find out that they can take their new car home with them the same day, probably because the auto industry been slow to adopt the policy. For years now, it has been West Herr’s philosophy to work our customers pace, so if they want a day or two no problem and if they want to get moving, we make every attempt to get them the car the same day.

Why same day delivery of your new car has become easier:

  1. Customers are able to do much of their shopping on-line, which speeds up the selection process.
  2. It is so much easier and faster to get a loan today; many banks have automatic approval that in some cases is instant.
  3. Most of our cars are pre-prepped and inspected. This allows for faster delivery once you make selection.


If you are a busy person and don’t want to wait days to take delivery of your new car or used car, consider the same day delivery option. Ask one of our customer service reps for details.

Search West Herr's Enormous Inventory of in stock vehicles, most available for same day delivery.



West Herr Dealers Featured on Automotive News 10/21/13





New articles from Automotive News feature the West Herr dealerships that won Auto News' Best Places to Work event. Here are some links for more details

West Herr Nissan:


West Herr Honda:


West Herr Toyota Williamsville (2 time winner)


BMW of Rochester NY (2 time winner)

Article from 2012 http://www.autonews.com/article/20121018/RETAIL07/310229971/bmw-of-rochester-rochester-n-y#axzz2iLt1spwg

Mercedes Benz of Rochester NY (2 time winner)

Article from 2012 http://www.autonews.com/article/20121018/RETAIL07/310229911/mercedes-benz-of-rochester-rochester-n-y#axzz2iLt1spwg


White is the most popular car color in the world, but not in Buffalo

According to the DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, silver is no longer the undisputed color champion of the automotive world. White is! I have to admit that since I posted last October I've seen more and more white cars on the road.

What is interesting though, it that our vehicle purchase agent, Terry Mutton, tells us that the most popular car at color West Herr is BLACK. Maybe Buffalo is cooler than the rest of the world or is it all those Federal Express vans and white police cars that is skewing the numbers?

Either way we have both colors in stock, in fact as I write this we have  670 in white and 1563 black cars in stock



Dodge unveils Special Service Durango for government fleets

Straight off its refresh, the Dodge Durango is slipping back into its dress blues and getting back to work. The 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service Vehicle boasts all the refinements and improvements that the refreshed, civilian-spec model received, most notably a 15-percent improvement in fuel economy.
Designed for police and fire departments, and as Chrysler's answer to the Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Chevrolet Tahoe PPV in the growing service SUV market, the Durango boasts a 600-mile range, thanks to the addition of an eight-speed automatic, available on both the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Equipped with the 360-horsepower Hemi, the Durango SSV can tow up to 7,400 pounds (the V6 is limited to 6,200 pounds).
Police and fire department Durangos get a few special features over the civilian models. The electric systems are ruggedized, with a heavy duty battery and a 220-amp alternator in place, while the engine's water pump and oil cooler are both stronger. The brakes are tougher, and a load-leveling suspension has been fitted, too.
It's unclear when the Durango SSV will be made available for ordering, or how much it will cost taxpayers when it arrives. This is the third service vehicle produced by the Chrysler Group, joining the Dodge Charger Pursuit and Ram 1500 Special Service.

Straight off its refresh, the Dodge Durango is slipping back into its dress blues and getting back to work. The 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service Vehicle boasts all the refinements and improvements that the refreshed, civilian-spec model received, most notably a 15-percent improvement in fuel economy.
Designed for police and fire departments, and as Chrysler's answer to the Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Chevrolet Tahoe PPV in the growing service SUV market, the Durango boasts a 600-mile range, thanks to the addition of an eight-speed automatic, available on both the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Equipped with the 360-horsepower Hemi, the Durango SSV can tow up to 7,400 pounds (the V6 is limited to 6,200 pounds).
Police and fire department Durangos get a few special features over the civilian models. The electric systems are ruggedized, with a heavy duty battery and a 220-amp alternator in place, while the engine's water pump and oil cooler are both stronger. The brakes are tougher, and a load-leveling suspension has been fitted, too.
It's unclear when the Durango SSV will be made available for ordering, or how much it will cost taxpayers when it arrives. This is the third service vehicle produced by the Chrysler Group, joining the Dodge Charger Pursuit and Ram 1500 Special Service.

Read the full press release:


Special Service Dodge Durango designed for police, fire and general fleet customers
New Special Service model features the new 2014 Dodge Durango's standard eight-speed transmission, which delivers up to a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy
Advanced technology and new interior and exterior updates include the Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, 7-inch customizable TFT gauge cluster and Uconnect touchscreen
Durango Special Service adds unique heavy-duty components to handle extreme use, extra-long life and added utility
Durango can tow up to a class-leading 7,400 pounds and travel more than 600 miles between fill-ups

October 17, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Police and fire agencies and general fleet customers across the United States and Canada in need of a full-size SUV with best-in-class power and utility to provide emergency support need look no further than the new 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service. The 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service delivers the perfect combination of capability, fuel economy and utility with a new standard eight-speed transmission, improved fuel economy up to 25 miles per gallon and the ability to tow as much as 7,400-pounds. Featuring class-leading utility and driving range of over 600 miles, and a whole host of safety technologies, the new Dodge Durango Special Service will meet the needs of a wide range of fleet customers.

"The 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service model is a state-of-the-art resource for fleet customers," said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet Operations. "It's been specifically designed for the demands and rigors of fleet duty. It joins the Dodge Charger Pursuit sedan and Ram 1500 Special Service truck currently available to government fleet customers."

In addition to the many features standard on the new Durango, the Special Service model also features additional components designed for the rigors of daily fleet use, including a heavy-duty brake package, heavy-duty battery, larger-output 220-amp alternator, heavy-duty water pump and engine oil cooler and a load leveling suspension.

The Dodge Durango Special Service will be built at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Chrysler Group fleet operations will start taking orders now, with production expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Dodge Durango Special Service model builds on highly equipped production model
The 2014 Dodge Durango Special Service interior features a programmable 7-inch display in the gauge cluster, the Uconnect 5.0-inch touch screen with voice command and Bluetooth, a media hub for USB, SD media card and auxiliary jack integration and Bluetooth streaming audio. New LED daytime running lamps and rear race track tail lamps last longer than traditional bulbs and reduce maintenance costs.

A customizable rear cargo area with under-floor storage compartments and additional storage in the side compartments is unique to the Durango Special Service. Further modifications include a special service headliner and red and white interior dome lamp and spot lamp wiring prep. The Durango's third-row of seats is removed to provide fleet customers more cargo capacity. Even with the deletion of the third row, the second row maintains separate air conditioning and heat controls.

These modifications make the already stout Durango more than capable of handling daily fleet use.

Available options include a Skid Plate Group for all-wheel drive models, ParkView Rear Back-Up Camera, a Trailer Tow Group, Engine Block Heater and Uconnect Access Via Mobile capability.

Special Service models offer customers more than 60 safety and security features, including standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), electronic roll mitigation (ERM), Hill-start Assist and standard Trailer-sway Control (TSC) to enhance off-road and towing capabilities, Rain Brake Support and Ready Alert Braking. Other standard safety and security features include seat-mounted and side-curtain air bags in the front row. The side-curtain air bag extends protection to second-row passengers. Durango also includes standard front-row active head restraints.

A 5-year/100,000-mile fully transferrable powertrain warranty helps eliminate worry of any repair costs to the covered components.

Dodge Durango: Best-in-class towing and driving range for the No Compromises SUV
The new 2014 Dodge Durango takes everything that customers love about Durango and adds the latest advancements in technology to enhance its design, capability and functionality. With a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy and performance, new LED exterior lighting, two new interior touchscreens, a new programmable instrument cluster and an available high-definition dual-screen Blu-ray entertainment system, the 2014 Dodge Durango reaches even higher levels of sophistication building on its proven performance, utility and comfort.

Named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years, Durango's standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is paired with the new standard eight-speed transmission and generates an impressive 290 horsepower (295 horsepower on Rallye and Citadel) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to a best-in-class 6,200 pounds. The V-6 powered Durango also features a best-in-class driving range of over 600 miles on a tank and up to 25 miles per gallon.

The available 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with a best-in-class tow rating of 7,400 pounds. The 5.7-liter engine's Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder-deactivation seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. Models with the HEMI V-8 engine achieve up to 23 miles per gallon.

The new instrument panel features a redesigned center stack that houses the new 5-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens. The bottom of the center stack houses a new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and auxiliary jacks, as well as a storage bin. The new center console features a new segment-first rotary shifter for the standard eight-speed automatic that adds another level of refinement over the traditional gated automatic shifter. Manual shift functions have moved to paddle shifters on the back of the Durango's new steering wheel.

The instrument cluster has also been given the high-tech treatment and now includes a full-color 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen similar to the one found in the all-new Dodge Dart. Standard on all models, this screen allows for drivers to customize more than 100 ways how information is presented.

About Dodge Brand
The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year with a keen eye focused on the future and a desire to create vehicles customers can't wait to drive and are proud to park in their driveways. With 100 years of history, Dodge is building on the technological advancements of the '30s and '40s, design evolution of the '50s, the racing heritage of the '60s, the horsepower of the '70s, the efficiency of the '80s and unbelievable styling of the '90s as it paves the road to its future. New for 2014, the Dodge Durango "is kind of a big deal," with a new eight-speed transmission that delivers up to 25 miles per gallon on the highway, a new 8.4-inch Uconnect Touch infotainment center and best-in-class power, towing and fuel economy, in addition to its class-exclusive technology. The new Durango joins the new 2014 Dodge Dart with its new 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, as well as the 2014 Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Journey and a 30th Anniversary Grand Caravan. This 2014 Dodge lineup includes five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety picks and Top Safety Pick +, five vehicles with best-in-class power, seven vehicles that deliver 25 miles per gallon (mpg) or higher, three vehicles that deliver 31 mpg or higher and three vehicles that offer seating for seven.


28 dealerships repeat on this year's Best Place to Work list, West Herr has 3

Source Automotive News:

Here are this year's repeat dealerships, those that qualified as the Best Dealerships To Work For this year and in 2012.

It's a surprisingly short list: just 28 stores.

We are proud to say that three West Herr dealership top the list. 

These 28 dealerships appeared on last year's inaugural list of the Best Dealerships To Work For, as well as this year's list.
DEALERSHIP 2013 rank 2012 rank
Friendship Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram of Bristol 1 34
Star Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram 7 25
Warren Henry Infiniti 8 88
Ciocca Honda 9 15
Niello Porsche 11 8
Friendship Hyundai of Johnson City 12 58
Honda of Fayetteville 16 17
Hillside Honda 38 4
Elite Acura 42 26
Mini of Peabody 46 19
Friendship Ford-Hyundai-Volvo of Bristol 49 90
BMW of Rochester 50 21
Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru 51 22
Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park 55 29
Fernandez Honda 57 64
Phil Long Ford of Chapel Hills 58 49
Maguire Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram 60 18
Mini of Stevens Creek/AutoNation 67 41
DCH Millburn Audi 69 16
Sellers Buick-GMC 71 45
Mercedes-Benz of Rochester 75 30
West Herr Toyota-Scion of Williamsville 76 42
Terry Lee Honda 80 11
Jaguar Plano 82 1
Prime Volkswagen 84 9
Niello Land Rover Rocklin 89 95
Continental Audi of Naperville 92 24
Patriot Subaru 93 5

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131017/RETAIL07/310179920/28-dealerships-repeat-on-this-years-list#ixzz2i67bzjYt 
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Put the electric scooter away, Toyota wants to help the aged drive.

According to Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO, the Japanese carmakers’ plans for autonomous vehicles fall more into the realm of helping drivers improve their skills rather than allowing drivers to sit back while the vehicle does the work.

“We view autonomous cars a little differently than some others. We really see it as a co-pilot type car, not as a self-driving car,” Lentz, the first American to head Toyota’s vast operations in the NAFTA region, told the Associated Press. “A car that can really enhance the reflexes and the ability of a driver to continue to drive. That’s why I’m excited about those cars. As we look at boomers and they start to retire, the ability to have cars that can enhance their capabilities, it’s going to allow them to drive much longer.”

Jim Lentz, who has been with Toyota since 1982, has overseen the growth of Toyota’s North American operations, including a recent push to export Toyota vehicles from North America. The company plans to export the 2014 Corolla to 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean starting next year.

Source IN Auto News and the Wall Street Journal 

More on Jim Lentz can be found at http://topics.wsj.com/person/L/james-lentz/1011