Shopping for car lovers can be difficult, especially if you aren’t familiar with the industry. Fortunately, there are many great gifts that will please any driver. Here are a few gifts for car enthusiasts as suggested by us here at Shults Ford of Harmarville. Happy holidays!
- Apps – Smartphone apps are relatively inexpensive, if not free, and are the best way to allow a driver to keep a close eye on their vehicle. Some apps even allow drivers to monitor fuel consumption and real-time stats.
- Racetrack Coasters – Nothing is simpler than a set of racetrack coasters. Let your loved one bring their passion in from the garage.
- Video Games – There’s a rather large number of car-based video games on the market. Stop by your local gaming store and peruse the shelves or ask for help!
- Solar Charger – Electric cars are becoming more and more popular. As a result, some companies, like BMW, are creating solar chargers.
- Mirror Speaker – What’s better than listening to music from a portable mirror speaker?
- GoPro – Off-road drivers love to hit the trails. Let them share their experience by investing in a GoPro.
- Leather Wallets – Wallet makers tend to pander to specific audiences. That’s true for car enthusiasts, as indicated by the GTO leather wallet.
- Power Wheels – Got a kid that found their passion for cars early? What makes a better gift than a drivable power toy-vehicle?
- Anki Drive Kit – Ever wanted to test your skills on a miniature racetrack? Now you can with the Anki DRIVE Kit. This gift features an AI-controlled opponent that adapts and gets better at racing the longer you play.
- A New Car – Let’s be real. What better gift is there than your car enthusiast’s dream ride? While most can’t afford a new car for Christmas, those who can could blow their car enthusiast’s mind this holiday season!
Getting your car ready for winter is important when it comes to safety and maintenance. Wintertime brings colder temperatures, harsh weather, and more traffic around the holidays. Follow some of these basic winter car tips to keep you and your car protected during the upcoming months.
According to Kiplinger, one of the first things you should consider are winter tires. All-season tires are practical, but winter tires are specially designed for the season—as the name implies. These tires come with special rubber compounds that stand up in cold weather, as well as deep treads for added grip. Many winter tires also have special trenches to divert water, which prevents hydroplaning.
Next, get new wipers. You should replace wipers at least once a year. Wiper blades are especially important in the winter, when melting ice and snow can blur your windshield. Also, top off your wiper fluid with deicer to help improve visibility in bad weather.
Have your battery professionally checked. Cold temperatures wreak havoc on electrical systems, which is the major reason batteries tend to die in the winter. If your battery is more than three years old or if the juice is running low, consider getting a replacement as soon as possible. No one wants to get stranded in the winter.
Finally, wax your lights. This might sound strange, but winter is often accompanied by short days and less sunlight. Waxing the lights can prevent ice and snow from building up, and it also removes dirt and grime. Better visibility leads to better safety.
Throughout the year, there are some items that are important to keep in your vehicle at all times – such as a first-aid kit, jumper cables, and a spare tire, as well as the appropriate tools to install it.
But as the weather slowly turns from summer to winter, there are unique fall hazards that may require to have a bit more. That’s why we suggest that you prepare a fall emergency kit to store in your vehicle, just in case.
Here are some items to consider:
- A warm blanket or two, as well as an extra pair of gloves, an extra hat, an extra scarf, and maybe even an extra coat
- A tire gauge and a travel kit to add air pressure to your tires, as tires quickly deflate in cooler weather
- A spare cell phone and charger, perhaps with a hand-written list of emergency phone numbers
- An ice scraper, so that you will be ready when that unexpected first snowfall covers your vehicle
- Similarly, a small shovel might save the day if your car gets snowed in
- Lastly, consider some non-perishable snacks, such as nuts and dried fruit, to give you energy if you find yourself stuck somewhere
For more safety tips or to start your season in a new vehicle entirely, visit us anytime at Shults Ford of Harmarville.
As the old saying goes, April showers bring May flowers—and while we aren’t quite there yet, soon the snow and ice will turn into endless rain, and we’ll have a whole new list of driving hazards to look out for. Here are some easy tips for driving in spring weather.
First of all, you’re going to want tires that are in good shape. It won’t be quite as slippery as winter, but wet roads are wet roads, and you need good traction. If your tread is getting low, get new tires! It’s also important to make sure your headlights and taillights are working properly—you’ll have them on a lot in the coming months.
Wiper blades are also very important in spring, for obvious reasons. If you find your blades are squeaking or leaving streaks, it’s time to replace them. Make sure your windows are clean—winter leads to all kinds of residue, and when it’s raining, you want a clear view.
When you’re driving in rain, do not use cruise control! In bad weather, you need all the control of your speed you can get, and you need to be able to slow down without touching the brakes.
Do you have any spring driving tips to share? Add them in the comments below.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to panic when it comes to finding the right gift for the auto lover in your life. There are tons of great presents to consider, from tools to fun road trips.
According to Safelite, one of the best Valentine Day auto gifts is a Bluetooth headset or adapter. Although most new cars come with this system integrated in, if someone doesn’t already have Bluetooth, it is a must-have item. It lets individuals drive and talk on the phone while keeping both hands on the wheel, perfect for someone who travels a lot.
Maintenance items also make great gifts. These include things like premium oil, washer fluids, car wash formula, and even tires or wipers. Providing a car lover with an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get to work is a perfect present.
High-tech presents include things like satellite radio and remote car starters. Many cars come with satellite radio capabilities, but the subscription runs out. You can either renew it, or opt for an entirely new system in general. Remote car starters are great for people that are always in a rush.
Other ideas include a road trip, whether it is for a day or a week, or even racecar driving experience. Many tracks offer ride-alongs, and some brands like Ferrari and BMW even offer driving lessons at certain times of the year if you are lucky enough to make it to one.
Many New Year’s resolutions are to shed some pounds during 2016, but maybe it is time to apply that attitude towards your vehicle. Making your car lighter is a great way to save some money on gas and to lower your emissions output. It is simple physics: a lighter car tends to have better performance.
According to eHow, there are several ways to make your car lighter. The first thing you can do is to clean it out and remove any unnecessary weight. Get rid of all the trash, and try not to use your vehicle as storage. Keeping your car spotless could make a serious difference.
For those looking to cut more weight, you can remove seats fairly simply by using a socket set and screwdriver. Power seats are especially heavy because they have an added electric motor. Rear seats are usually the first to go, and can help you shed as much as 140 lbs.
Does your car have added bodywork? If you know you don’t need it, take it off. This includes things like fiberglass aero-skirts and front air dams. While these may claim to increase aerodynamics, many added parts like these simply add pounds.
The best thing you can do, though expensive, it to replace steel body panels with carbon fiber and aluminum. This can drastically change the vehicle’s weight and characteristics. If you still have steel wheels, you should consider upgrading to aluminum wheels to shed hundreds of pounds.
For more info on how to safely remove weight from your car, visit the Shults Ford of Harmarville Service Center.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year on the roads, and between congested traffic and icy streets, driving around this time can be pretty dangerous. Just follow these holiday driving safety tips and you’ll make it safely over the river and through the woods.
Before you leave, make sure your fluids are all at the right level, your windshield wipers are working properly, and there aren’t any problems with your car. A breakdown is the last thing you want, especially in crazy traffic.
Get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave and eat a good breakfast. If you’re driving with someone, switch off every few hours so you don’t get tired.
If you don’t know the way well, make sure you have a GPS or navigation system on your phone and write down the directions as a backup. Go the speed limit or under it if the roads are bad, and don’t get worked up over aggressive drivers.
Bring an emergency kit in case you do break down, and keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent your fuel line freezing. Drive safe, and have a great holiday!
You’ve got a date tonight, a filthy car, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
Detailing your car might save the night. Here’s the plan…
First of all, start high and then go low. That way, if you rustle up any debris, it’ll fall to the floor where you’ll get it later.
Using cleaner appropriate for the dash, spray it on the nooks and crannies first. Use a toothbrush and Q-Tip to get out any dirt and grime that’s worked its way down into those hard-to-reach places. Sometimes vinyl surfaces have grain, so be sure and scrub out any grime in there too.
Not only will you need a vacuum cleaner or wet/dry vac, you can’t really do a thorough cleaning job with the appropriate attachments. They make all the difference in the world.
Remove all of the mats and vacuum the seats first, making sure to get between the seats and the center console, and between the backrest and the seat. Once you’ve vacuumed, go back and hit any stains with spot remover. Let it soak according to the directions and then scrub out.
Do the floors the same way. Remove all floor mats, vacuum thoroughly, and then tackle any stains. Do the same thing to floor mats.
The trick to doing a great job detailing your car is to get those hard to reach places. The only reason filth accumulates there is because we always ignore it! Hit it every time and it won’t be so bad.
The last week of September is National Dog Week, and as such, we’d like to remind you about one of the biggest safety concerns for dog and car owners.
It’s never, ever safe to leave your dog locked in a parked car when the weather outside is warm. Inside the car, the temperate can rise incredibly quickly, which tragically results in the death of many pets each year, via heat exhaustion.
Even if you’re just going to make a quick trip into the store, the risk is certainly not worth it. In just minutes – even with the windows partially opened – the interior of the vehicle can hit temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, fast.
If you are in a parking lot or elsewhere, and you see a dog locked in a car on a hot day, call the authorities, immediately. If you’re nearby a store, it might even be a good idea to alert them so that they can make an announcement.
As we approach winter, the weather will become chillier. But until then – be safe! Never leave your dog in a parked car.
Like an old friend, we come to know all of the idiosyncrasies of our automobile. In particular, we know how it sounds when its running good. Consequently, we know when something’s awry because that healthy hum is somehow…different. If find yourself asking, “What’s that weird noise coming from my car?” then keep on reading.
KNOW YOUR SQUEALS
A high-pitched squealing sound usually indicates one thing: brake pads are done. Pads are manufactured with a small piece of metal that rubs against the discs when the pads have worn down. In other words, it may be time for new pads!
There’s another kind of squeal that could indicate another issue. Sometimes a worn-out or damaged belt can make a certain squealing sound. You can visually check your belts to see if they are cracked or chipped or otherwise damaged.
When your engine is idling and its doing so a rhythmically, this could indicate that your engine is misfiring. Dummies.com suggests that you “remove the spark plugs one at a time and check to see if they’re clean and properly gapped.”
FLAT BUT NOT REALLY FLAT
If you hear a thump-thump-THUMP and it seems to be coming from a tire and that tire is properly inflated, it may mean that a tire is flat-spotted. Tires have cords inside and sometimes overnight, they can flatten out since the tire is sitting on the same spot. The cool thing is that this is no big deal at all. The sound should go away after you’ve driven a little while.