Thursday, August 28, 2014

Car Maintenance Tips for Teens

Watching your son or daughter drive off all on their own can be pretty stressful. It’s important to give them basic maintenance tips so they are safe and prepared! Here are a few things to go over with your teen before they hit the road.

1. Teach them how to check the oil:
Stress the importance of checking the oil at a regular interval. Let them know how often it should be checked and how to read the dipstick. Staying on top of oil changes can help prevent costly repairs

2. Check for a spare:
Make sure your son or daughter knows to check and make sure they have spare tire at all times! You don’t want them getting stranded with a flat tire on the way to school.

3. Teach them how to check their battery:
Extremely hot or cold weather can put strain on a battery. Make sure you teen knows how old their battery is, when it needs to be switched out, and how to check its condition.

4. Make sure they know where the coolant is:
Teach you teen how to locate the coolant and check if it’s low. It’s also a good idea to teach them how to add more if the light comes on on their dashboard.

5. Check the lights: Instruct your teen to check all the lights on their car regularly to make sure they’re all in good working condition

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Prevent Your Car from Being Stolen

Car theft is a huge issue in the United States. The odds of your vehicle being stolen are 1 in 186. It may seem that the odds would lean in your favor most of the time, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few tips to help you prevent your car from falling in to the hands of a thief.

· Don’t leave your car running during a quick errand! 1 in 3 people admit to doing this, and it’s not safe. All the thief has to do is jump in and drive away.

· Park in a well-lit area. The back of the lot may look nice with all the open spaces, but it’s much safer to park closer to you destination where there is more foot traffic and light. A thief is less likely to try anything if there are witnesses nearby.

· Hide your valuables when you leave your car. If you have a nice stereo on have just gone shopping and have a bunch of bags in your backseat, make sure they’re tucked away out of sight. A thief will be more tempted to break in to your car if there’s a clear cash reward right in front of their face.

· Never leave your purse or wallet in the car. You may think it’s ok if you’re just running in somewhere for a minute, but it doesn’t take long for a thief to work their magic. Always be sure to take your wallet/purse with you wherever you go.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Heading Back to School? Remember to Drive Safe!

The summer is ending and it’s time for the kids to head back to school! It’s important to think safety first amongst all the excitement (especially when driving). Here are a few tips to keep you on your toes!

1. Be courteous around that big yellow bus: Driving a bus full of noisy excited children is already complicated enough, so don’t add to the bus driver’s stress! Yield when they are trying to merge, and make sure to keep your distance (they stop frequently). Also be sure to talk to your kids about walking in front of the bus when exiting or boarding!

2. Obey the school zone:
Most school zones have a speed limit around 15-25mph. Make sure you know what the speed limit is, and obey it. Always be sure to pay attention to the pedestrians, they are everywhere in the school zone, and they’re not always predictable. Finally, if you’re near a high school you’re bound to have some newly licensed teenagers cruising around, so stay alert!

3. Be a good pedestrian:
Drivers aren’t the only ones that need to think about safety! Pedestrians also need to be cautious. Drivers get pretty peeved when people jaywalk, cross at a red light, or text while walking. It’s not just annoying, it’s dangerous. Be sure to cross at corners/marked crosswalks and in clear view, never between parked cars.

Remember to be safe, and have a great school year!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Here’s 7 Items You Should Never Leave in a Hot Car!

1. Aerosol Cans: Never store an aerosol can in an environment that gets hotter than 120 degrees, it could potentially explode!

2. Medication: Heat can change the chemical composition of prescription medications, so make sure you keep them in a cool dry place!

3. Lighters: This is kind of the same concept as the aerosol cans, they have the potential to explode.

4. Electronic devices: Heat can shorten the lifespan of your iPod or GPS. Take it out of the car when you’re not using it!

5. Glasses: Heat can warp the shape/ lenses of your glasses or sun glasses.

6. Plastic water bottles: Chemicals from the plastic could seep in to the water, which is potentially dangerous to your health.

7. CD’s and DVD’s: Heat can cause damage to both of these items causing them to no longer play.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Before You Send Your Child and Their Car Off to College, Think Safety

Packing up your first-year college students car and sending them off is already stressful enough, you don’t want to have to worry whether or not they’ll arrive at their destination safely. Have no fear! Here is a checklist of items to double-check to make sure your college student and their car are ready for the trip.

  • Check the fluids
    • Oil
    • Coolant
    • Washer fluid
  • Check the battery
    • Have a professional test the battery to make sure it’s in tip-top shape, especially if it’s more than 2-years old
  • Check the lights
    • Headlights
    • Tail lights
    • Brake lights
    • Turn signals
  • Know the proper tire pressure
    • The sticker on the door jamb will have the correct tire pressure. Check the tires when they are cold to ensure the most accurate reading
  • The penny test
    • Inspect your tire tread with a penny to make sure they’re not too worn. If Abe’s head isn’t covered by the tread, it’s most likely time to get a new tire.
  • Store useful items
    • A tire gauge
    • Emergency phone list
    • Back-up cell phone charger
  • Don’t forget the other essentials
    • Jumper cables
    • Spare tire (make sure it’s inflated properly)
    • Basic safety kit

Finally, keep the weather in mind. Your child will be leaving in the summer and returning in the winter. Make sure that their car is prepared for the season change, and pack a winter kit!