Tips for Driving in Spring Weather

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.

driving in spring

The Ford Focus RS: A High-Performance Hatchback

Ford is adding some kick to the new Focus design, adding the RS trim for those looking for added performance. This model comes with a sporty hatch design with a redesigned exterior, distinct badging, and a powerful new powertrain.

According to Ford, the Ford Focus RS recently came off the line at its manufacturing plant in Saarlouis, Germany, and is set to reach the US sometime this spring. The RS has a new 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine with an integrated all-wheel drive system and Dynamic Torque Control.

“The arrival of Focus RS in the United States this spring adds to a potent hot hatch lineup,” said Ford in a press release. “Ford’s Focus ST and Fiesta ST both have enjoyed critical acclaim and success. Sales of the Focus ST increased 9 percent last year while Fiesta ST saw a gain of 4 percent.”

The RS will also feature an innovative driver select mode, letting you choose the performance configurations of your liking. These include Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift mode. Customizing shock tuning, stability control, and engine and steering response, the new select mode features makes the RS incredibly fun to drive. We can’t wait to see this model hit the streets later this year.

Ford Focus RS

Valentine’s Day Auto Gifts for Any Car Lover

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.

Valentine’s Day auto gifts

New Ford GT Snap Kit Showcases Model’s Sleek Styling

Kids visiting the 2016 North American International Auto Show can get a free, limited-edition Ford GT snap kit from the Ford Kiosk. This snap kit is a build-it-yourself model of the real thing, celebrating the high-performance model and its striking looks.

According to Ford, the brand is still partnering with Revell to build the snap kits for the GT. Revell helped Ford build Mustang and Raptor kits in previous years. The Ford GT snap kit will also be available to purchase through online stores and retailers in April.

“Our annual Revell Make ‘n Take model kit program has become a fun-filled auto show tradition,” said Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing manager. “Letting kids build their own Ford GT is a great way to introduce them to the Ford brand and create new enthusiasts.”

This auto show kit includes a 14-piece assembly with a limited-edition badge to certify it is from the auto show. The retail model will be a little more complex, with 28 parts, and it will sell for roughly $15. Kids who are excited about the new Ford GT will love these kits.

Ford GT Snap Kit

A New Year’s Resolution: Making Your Car Lighter

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.

making your car lighter

Line of Ford Trailers and Campers Introduced

A line of licensed Ford trailers and campers have been introduced with the goal of letting Ford customers explore the nation. Ford officials say the new models are “for our adventurous customers” and are built from Ford’s top of the line towing technology.

The new trailers and campers are built in partnership with Livin Lite, an Indiana-based subsidiary of Thor Industries, a leader in the industry. Livin Lite will use its exclusive aluminum alloy to make the models stronger and more lightweight. Ford says licensing to Livin Lite was “an easy decision” given their use of advanced materials and bold design.

Ford will offer both slide-in campers and travel trailers and toy haulers, with the campers starting at 6 and 8 feet and the trailers starting at 22 and 24 feet. In the future Ford plans to add shorter campers and longer trailers as well. The models are inspired by the Ford F-Series and have a similar front end design.

Campers will be available in the first few months of 2016 with trailers and toy haulers following in the second quarter of the year.

Ford trailers and campers

Holiday Driving Safety Tips

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!

holiday driving safety

Don’t Be A Hero and Other Tips For A Successful Thanksgiving Dinner

As wise men are oft to say, nothing beats planning and organization. Nowhere is this more true than with a Thanksgiving gathering. Throwing something together willy-nilly might work out, but you’re just rolling the dice. Let’s make a plan! Here are some tips for a successful Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of the Shults family

First things first: the turkey. You have to know how big a turkey you need. Just to be safe, assume each guest consumes one pound of turkey and then overestimate a little. Having ten guests? Get a 15-pound turkey.

Next: thawing the bird. It takes a long time to thaw a turkey. According to the Huffington Post, the expert on all things domestic, it takes 24 hours per four pounds to thaw. It takes three days to thaw a 12-pound turkey!

Make a schedule for your cooking day and the two days before it. This may seem tedious but putting together a Thanksgiving dinner is a major undertaking. A schedule ensures that you have all of your materials and that you’ve set aside the appropriate amount of time to get everything done.

Here’s another thing: don’t be a hero. Ask for help! Create a group text and ask each guest to bring one dish. This way, you won’t end up with 50 deviled eggs.

tips for a successful thanksgiving dinner

King Edition 2016 Ford Mustang GTs Make A Good Thing Even Better

Could the new 2016 Ford Mustang GT get any better? Leave it to Richard Petty to make it so. He and his famed speed shop, Petty’s Garage, have pulled out the big guns to modify 300 Mustang GTs, taking the level of performance superiority and overall refinement of these incredible pony cars to a whole new level.

Though it might be hard to imagine how the 2016 Ford Mustang could look any better, Petty and his team managed to pull off a number of fantastic appearance-enhancing modifications. The Mustang GTs feature a custom rear diffuser as well as a custom, center-mounted single exhaust. A rear spoiler and embroidered head restraints both add a nice touch of flavor.

Of course, most people are going to be interested in the performance modifications and they are exciting, to say the least. The speed shop takes a factory Mustang GT, with a stock 5.0-liter V8, and adds a supercharger. A new cold-air intake and Magnaflow exhaust helps things along quite nicely. The result is a finely tuned, well-oiled machine that delivers 670 horsepower.

According to Richard Petty himself, these King Edition 2016 Mustang GTs are exactly how he’d mod them. But what does he know? He only won the NASCAR championship seven times.

king edition 2016 ford mustang gts

Performance Numbers For The New Ford RS Will Blow You Away

Americans screamed for years, imploring Ford: why should Europe get to have all the fun? By fun, we of course mean the Ford Focus RS, that certain version of the Focus that features the benefits of Ford’s performance know-how, all in a lightweight, compact–and extremely good-looking–package.

Until recently, our screams seemed to fall on deaf ears. But soon, the spring of 2016 to be exact, we’ll finally get what we wished for, and it’s everything we hoped for!

The newly redesigned 2016 Ford Focus RS is faster than any of its predecessors. To make that happen, Ford took one its innovative 2.3-liter EcoBoost engines and tweaked specially for the Focus RS. If Ford’s projections are correct, the engine will deliver exactly 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque, producing a top speed of 165 mph.

Knowing this, the performance numbers for the Focus RS may not be that surprising…but they should be just as impressive. The new 2016 Ford Focus RS goes from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds.

Often, our expectations of an exciting redesigned model can fall short. So it’s very nice to see that the new Focus RS should have no trouble exceeding any reasonable person’s expectations. See you in the spring!

Performance numbers for the new Ford RS

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