Monthly Archives: September 2014

Driving Tips to Stay Safe This Fall

Driving Tips to Stay Safe This Fall

Imagine you're driving down a windy road, the sun is going down and there's not a car in sight. Your mind starts to wander as you think about dinner and the game you have recording when all of the sudden a deer runs in front of your car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1.6 million vehicle crashes involving deer occur each year in the U.S. These accidents peak between October and January when deer are breeding and most active. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as deer season gets into full swing: Be aware of your surroundings— Your chances of encountering a deer are greatly increased when driving through heavily wooded areas or rural areas. If you see a deer crossing sign, be on the lookout. These signs are usually posted in areas where there have been a lot of deer-related incidents. Look out for the pack— Deer are pack animals, so chances are that if you see one cross the road, several others will follow ... read more

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Tractor-trailers, Carpools & Cupcakes- Oh My!

Tractor-trailers, Carpools & Cupcakes- Oh My!

It's that time of year again— the summer is winding down and the new school year is just around the corner. Getting ready to go back to school is a busy time for students and parents alike, but we have one more thing to add to your to-do list— car maintenance. The combination of heat, long trips and heavy loads can put a lot of strain on your vehicle. Whether you have a high school or college student who's driving himself, or you're driving a carpool, it's important to make sure your vehicle is running in top condition. Here are few back-to-school musts for your car: Check all fluids under the hood— Make sure that your transmission, brake, power steering and windshield wiper fluids are at the appropriate levels, as well as the engine oil and coolant. Inspect the Battery— We recommend having your car's entire charging system checked once a year. If your battery is more than 3 years old, have it checked. Look for tire wear— Inspect your tires for uneven wear and check their tread dept ... read more

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Give Yourself A “Brake” This Summer!

Give Yourself A “Brake” This Summer!

Cars are so reliable these days, it's easy to forget that things can still go wrong. Of these potential issues, overheating is a big one. A lot of factors can cause a car to overheat, including low coolant, long drives (especially in warm weather) and congested traffic. No matter what the cause, however, a situation can quickly become out of control if you don't know what to do when your vehicle's temperature rises. 1. The first step is to know if your engine is overheating. You can determine this in a variety of ways, but the best way to tell is to consult the temperature gauge. Once the engine is warm, a car's temperature gauge should read just below the midpoint line between cold and hot. If you notice the needle rising towards hot, it's probably not an emergency but definitely time to take action. 2. Next turn off the A/C and turn on the heat. It might seem counterintuitive, but turning on the heat blows hot air away from the engine, allowing it to cool. 3. If the temperature st ... read more

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Stay Cool and Prepare for Summer!

Stay Cool and Prepare for Summer!

School's almost out, the sun is shining, and the relaxing beach vacation you've been waiting for is just around the corner. In the midst of making your summer travel plans, don't forget to take a few minutes to plan for the unexpected. Long road trips, combined with summer heat, can put a lot of wear on your car. Make sure you're lying on the beach, not stranded on the side of the road, by outfitting your car with a roadside survival kit: 1. Don't skimp on materials —Cheap is not always better, especially when it comes to tools you have in your trunk. Make sure to get a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. They should be at least four-gauge, 20 feet long, and made of copper. Same goes for your tire gauge. Get one that goes up to 100 pounds so that you can also check your high-pressure spare tire. Lastly, pack a collapsible gas container for those times that you thought there'd be a gas station just around the corner… 2. Think Versatile— Multi-purpose too ... read more

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National Car Care Month is here –Time to get your Car in Gear!

National Car Care Month is here –Time to get your Car in Gear!

April is National Car Care Month, and auto shops around the country are gearing up to get your car running smoothly! It's the perfect time to have any winter damage repaired, and to get your car, summer road trip ready. Heat, long trips, and heavy loads during the summer months can lead to a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle if it's not properly maintained. Regular maintenance and repair is the best way to ensure maximum safety and reliability of your vehicle and can save you money in the long run. Below are our Maintenance Musts for April: 1. Cooling System – The entire system should be checked, including the radiator, coolant, belts and hoses, cooling fans, heater core, and water pump. The radiator and belts/hoses take a beating during the cold winter months and can lead to serious engine damage if not checked. 2. Tires – Make sure your tires are road trip ready by checking both their pressure and tread. Tire pressure fluctuates with the weather ... read more

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Spring-Cleaning 101 – How to wash winter off your car!

The winter ice is thawing and spring is just around the corner! With the warmer weather comes the promise of barbeques, baseball games, blue skies, and of course spring-cleaning. After a long, harsh winter, nothing needs a thorough spring-cleaning as much as your car. Months of exposure to snow, ice, corrosive road salt, traction sand, and debris can wreak havoc on both your vehicle's interior and exterior. To prevent minor winter damage from becoming a costly problem down the road, we recommend that you take the following steps: 1. Thorough Hand-Washing, Inside and Out – After cleaning the interior, park your car in a shady spot and fill a bucket with tepid soapy water. Wet the car's exterior with a hose (preferably a mist-spray nozzle) and gently sponge all areas. Be sure to thoroughly wash your tires, bumper, and fender. Subsequently, turn the power up on your hose and blast the undercarriage/wheel wells to remove as much salt buildup as possible. Lastly, use a ... read more

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Sweet Tips to Impress Any Valentine!

Sweet Tips to Impress Any Valentine!

A romantic evening doesn’t have to be an elaborate or expensive affair. You can have a special Valentine’s Day with the one you love by simply adding a little flair and creativity to an otherwise ordinary activity. Below are a few simple ways to let your partner know just how much you care. 1. A Night in Paris (or Rome…) Without Leaving Home – Decorate your house like a restaurant in a foreign country and prepare a special dinner from the local cuisine. Buy the supplies at the Dollar Store or Michaels, and make the decorations over the top. 2. “X” Marks the Spot! Set up a romantic scavenger hunt by hiding gifts in places that are special to you as a couple. Leave your partner clues and then drive through town together retrieving the hidden treasures. 4. Love is like a fine wine… Find a local winery or one at the end of a scenic drive and enjoy an intimate wine tasting and tour. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, pack a picnic dinner and some candles to share with a fine bott ... read more

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Car Maintenance: A New Year’s Resolution That Pays!

Car Maintenance: A New Year’s Resolution That Pays!

The holiday season is over and 2012 is upon us with endless possibilities. Between eating better and spending more time with your family, however, don’t forget to make a New Year’s resolution to take better care of your car. A little preventative maintenance throughout the year can save you time, money, and many headaches in the long run. Make 2012 a great year on the road by resolving to follow this maintenance schedule, as recommended by the Car Care Council: Monthly Maintenance: Check the condition of tires (including pressure), lights, and windshield washer fluid and give the entire vehicle a good cleaning. Every 3 months (or 3,000 miles): Examine the levels of the automatic transmission, power steering, and brake fluids; check the battery, belts, hoses, and cables; and make sure the exhaust, fuel, and engine filters don’t need to be replaced. Every 6 months (or 6,000 miles): Replace the windshield wipers and check the chassis ... read more

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Sugar, Spice, and Everything Ice!

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Ice!

Everyone loves a white Christmas, but it can make finishing your shopping and getting to relatives' houses a challenge. Whether you live in a cold climate or are just traveling to one for the holidays, it's important to know how to navigate icy conditions. Here are a few tips that will help keep you on your merry way! In order to maintain traction and avoid skidding, accelerate and decelerate slowly. Remember that everything takes longer when there's snow and ice on the road; so don't be in a rush. A normal stopping distance on dry pavement is three to four seconds, but on icy surfaces that should b increased to a minimum of eight to ten seconds. With that in mind, get to know your brakes before an emergency. The best way to stop is by threshold braking--use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. If possible, it's better to avoid coming to a complete stop. It takes substantially more inertia on snow-covered roads to start from a full stop than it doe ... read more

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Boredom Blasters for Long Holiday Road Trips

There's nothing worse than a long drive in holiday traffic with the 'are we there yet' chorus coming from the backseat. That's why this holiday season we're arming you with all the tips and tricks to stave off boredom in the backseat and turn your car into a no whining zone! Car trips are long and monotonous for kids, especially when they're excited about the destination. Games are a great way to distract them and maintain your sanity. For your next trip, try bringing aluminum foil or pipe cleaners. They're cheap, easy to clean up, and your kids will love them. A stack of pipe cleaners and a roll of aluminum foil could turn into creatures, puppets, jewelry, hats—the possibilities are as endless as your children's imaginations! Snacks are crucial! Growling tummies equal grumpy children, so pack delicious treats that will be both filling and nutritious. Try transforming ordinary snacks into special road trip treats. For example, instead of making your kids peanut butter and jelly sandw ... read more

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