Archive for September, 2012

How to Prepare Your Car For Winter

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Many people donate their vehicles at the end of the year to make sure they can use the donation for a tax deduction the following year. But as the temperature begins to drop in the region, it is a good idea to prepare your car for winter to make sure it can get you through the cold and snowy months before you donate it.

Here are some ways you can get the most out of your car this winter:

  1. Have your Car Inspected: There is never a good time for your car to break down, but winter is probably the worst time to be stranded with a broken-down car. Have your mechanic check your battery, fluids, thermostat, heater, brakes and defroster before driving this winter.
  2. Check your Tires: Driving in the winter is often more challenging and dangerous because of snow and ice on the roads. Make sure your tires have enough tread to keep you from slipping when the roads start getting icy.
  3. Check your Lights: Since there is less daylight during the winter, most winter driving is done in the dark. Make sure all your lights are working, especially the brake lights and flashing hazard lights.
  4. Replace Wiper Blades: The wiper blades you use during the summer for rain might not cut it for the winter months when you will need to be clearing ice and snow from the windshield. Invest in some good quality winter blades to help you see better during winter storms.
  5. Rinse and Wax Often: One of the ways the city keeps roads safe during the winter is by putting salt on the roads to help melt snow and ice. This salt builds up on your car and can damage the paint and cause a great deal of rusting. Rinsing off the salt and protecting your car with a good quality wax can help prevent damage.

If you are planning to donate your car at the end of this year, following the above steps will help ensure that your vehicle will make it through the winter until it is time to donate.


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Goodwill and ZIPS Dry Cleaners

Friday, September 14th, 2012

When you donate your vehicle to Goodwill, you are helping support several different programs Goodwill offers to help people find jobs. One of the most important steps to finding a job is to give a good impression during an interview.

Since dressing nicely is one of the best ways to make a good first impression, Goodwill has partnered with ZIPS Dry Cleaning in the Will 2 Work clothing drive to provide adults with disadvantages with the proper attire for job interviews. ZIPS is a professional dry cleaning service with more than 30 locations in the Washington DC area. They pride themselves on providing high quality garment cleaning services to price conscious consumers.

In addition to offering affordable cleaning services, ZIPS also is very involved in the communities it serves. Last year alone, ZIPS collected more than 14,000 garments to donate to the community. Their goal in 2012 is to collect more than 20,000 garments to give to the community.

During the month of September, each ZIPS store in the region will be serving as a drop-off location for the Will 2 Work clothing drive. Community members are encouraged to donate their gently used business clothing by dropping items off at any ZIPS location in the area.

In addition to collecting the clothing, ZIPS will also be cleaning the donated clothing for free before it is distributed to community members in need of business attire. Through this program, Goodwill is expecting to provide hundreds of community members with the clothing they need as they enter the workforce.

When you donate your used car to Goodwill, you are helping Goodwill to offer the community great programs like Will 2 Work. To learn more about other great programs Goodwill offers, check out our about us section.  For answers regarding your vehicle donation questions, please read our car donation FAQs.


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New Vans for Back-to-School Season!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

It’s that time of year where the kids are all going back to school – why not drive them there in style? When you donate you old car or van to Goodwill, you will have several great options to choose from when you are purchasing a new van. According to the U.S. News car rankings, these are the best new vans to purchase in 2012:

#7: 2012 Volkswagen Routan

  • Average Price: $27,135
  • Miles per Gallon: 17 City / 25 Highway
  • Pros: Stylish inside and out; comfortable seats
  • Cons: Steering not as versatile as Chrysler minivans; interior not as good as other VW cars

#6: 2012 Nissan Quest

  • Average Price: $26,039-$41,120
  • Miles per Gallon: 19 City / 24 Highway
  • Pros: Engine is smooth and interior is roomy
  • Cons: Less cargo space than other vans

#5: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

  • Average Price: $22,061-$30,420
  • Miles per Gallon: 17 City / 25 Highway
  • Pros: Low base price, “Stow ‘n Go” seating, lots of cargo space
  • Cons: Engine is sluggish

#4: 2012 Kia Sedona

  • Average Price: $25,804-$29,190
  • Miles per Gallon: 18 City / 25 Highway
  • Pros: Long Warranty, Good standard features, powerful engine, low price
  • Cons: Not stylish, low quality interior materials

#3: 2012 Chrysler Town & Country

  • Average price: $30,000-$38,981
  • Miles per Gallon: 17 City / 25 Highway
  • Pros: Smooth, versatile seating, powerful engine
  • Cons: Doesn’t perform as well as other vans, not enough leg room for driver

#2: 2012 Honda Odyssey

  • Average price: $26,985-$41,264
  • Miles per Gallon: 18 City / 27 Highway
  • Pros: Strong performance, good interior, has reputation of reliability
  • Cons: Expensive

#1: Toyota Sienna

  • Average Price: $24,483-$39,058
  • Miles per Gallon: 19 City / 24 Highway
  • Pros: Only minivan available with 4WD, variety of options, smooth and powerful V6 engine
  • Cons: Upper price points are expensive, four-cylinder is sluggish

Each one of these vans would be a great choice to replace your donated car or van. To learn more, click here. Or, if you are interested in purchasing a used car or van, you can view the inventory of cars at Capital Auto Auction.

Browse our site to learn more about how to donate your vehicle to Goodwill of Greater Washington.