Category Archives: Automotive Advice

Learn more about your Nissan Intelligent Key

Intelligent-Key

The Nissan I-Key had the benefit of never having to use a conventional style key when locking, unlocking, or operating your Nissan. There is a small lithium battery that it located in the I-Key that should be replaced annually on both remotes. The I-Key system uses the remote as a transmitter to your Nissan which has several receive points located in various places inside the vehicle so it can determine if you are in the vehicle or outside of the vehicle. The I-Key is always transmitting a signal, even if you are not pressing any buttons (which is why the batteries should be replaced annually).

If the remote battery is dead, there is a metal key stowed inside the I-Key that can be released by sliding the lock that is located on the back of the I-Key body. This key is only used to unlock the drivers side door. After it is unlocked it should be stowed properly (some early model I-Key vehicles would use this key to start the vehicle). Once the remote is put back together, step on the brake pedal and use the I-Key to press the Start Button. If you have one of the earlier model vehicle there may be a dock port on the left of the steering column lower dash panel where you would insert the I-Key assembly into the port with the key ring eyelet facing out.

If you have not had the remote batteries replaced in a year or so you should consider replacing them soon. A low battery can result in sporadic operation and loss of range. The parts department can replace the batteries while you wait.

The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Outline and Manual Part 1: Packing Essentials and Your Packing Strategy

We are right in the middle of the summer and many families and friends still have big plans to hit the roads before school starts to experience a great American tradition; Summer Time Family Road Trips. Heck, I myself know of 3 families that are planning road trips of varying degrees. One is merely heading north to New England, another is traveling down to Disney World with the fam and another is making the ultimate journey and plans on driving across this great nation. Regardless of the miles each will travel, there are a number of constants that you must pay attention to as you plan your trip and finally start the engine on day 1.

packing essentials, preparing for a road trip, road trip planning

How to properly prepare and pack for your next family summer road trip

Remember this, no matter how hard you plan or how smart you believe yourself to be, you are going to have stressful moments not only on the open road, but also as you plan and pack. This is okay so do not fret. The perfect way to get out of the house with the entire family is to plan an adventure that will allow you to create memories that will last you a lifetime…and do so on budget that will not break the kids college fund! Just always go back to the fact that you are doing this to bond as a family, see many of the wonderful landmarks across this country, have fun, laugh and enjoy each others company without the normal day-to-day distractions that pull most families in different directions.

To minimize the amount of headaches during the trip, I suggest that you seriously put a large amount of effort and energy into planning the trip. While this isn’t the most fun or glamorous part of a road trip, proper planning will enable you to have a saner, safer and more jubilant time in your car, with your family on the winding roads. Some of these hot tips will strike you as being no brainers, but you would be shocked at how many basic items are overlooked in the midst of getting your little ones ready, making sure your vehicle is in top-notch condition and that you and your loved one are on the same page for the trip. Point is the basics are crucial and you cannot afford to overlook any of them.

Packing for Your Summer Road Trip

Pack with care! Pack smart! Pack & prep efficiently! For example, when I say pack smart, make sure that items you need to access on a regular basis are accessible. Make sure you enter all of your hard hours of route prepping into your GPS, and or Navigation, device. Furthermore, you need a backup so you must have all of your road maps, with your planned route outlined, safely packed in your vehicle. You must pack a spare key and the critical part of this rudimentary notion is that you put that spare key in your wallet. Think about it…if you pack the spare key in a bag inside of your automobile, what good will that do if you are unlucky enough to lock your primary car keys inside of the vehicle?

While I pray that no one ever needs to use the list of items I am about to outline, you must prepare for any type of emergency that may arise on the open roads so that you can navigate your family to safety while minimizing anxiety and the possibility of injury. Thus, here approximately 14 things to have in your car this summer in the event of an emergency.

packing the car, packing for a road trip, must have items for a road trip

What to bring and how to efficiently and adequately pack for your next summer road trip with your family.

A car jack in case you get a flat tire. You should clearly inspect and confirm that you spare tire is present before leaving as well. Otherwise, this car jack will have you feeling a bit more like a jack a**.

Purchase a spare charged cell phone or extra battery, which must be charged prior to hitting the road, so that you can still call for help in a pinch. Many of our great American roads are in isolated areas and may make it difficult to make an outgoing call. Therefore, you want to have as much battery juice as possible in case you need to hike to find a signal. Let me put it like this, it barely takes up any room in your vehicle and the benefit outweighs the added cost a million fold.

Road flares will assist emergency worker and rescuers  if your vehicle becomes disabled. If your vehicle has fallen into a ditch or if there is incremental weather, your road flares will greatly enhance the likelihood of you being found in an expedited manner.

Jumper cables in case your battery dies while parked at a monument or rest stop. Providing you had your vehicle professionally checked by a factory trained technician, preferably at a new car dealership like Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ, the likelihood of your battery meeting its death on a summer road trip is very low. This is more of a concern on Winter crusade across country, but nonetheless, Jumper cables do not take up much room and should always be stored in your vehicle.

Emergency triangles to place in the road if your vehicle becomes disabled and cannot make it to the shoulder lane

Candles & matches as a backup to your flashlight or to assist in making a fire.

Flashlights & spare batteries will allow you to what is going once the sun goes down and will greatly enhance your ability to signal for help at night. Make sure you have a bright bulb and make sure you have extra batteries. While you want to conserve the use of your flashlight, you may find the need to use it more than expected since your children could be scared of the pitch black environment. Remember, you always want to keep everyone as calm as possible and using your flashlight to keep your family feeling safe might just do the trick.

Blankets for your entire family. You would be amazed how frigid it gets in the desert during the middle of the night and the ability to keep you and your family warm is vital in a scenario such as this.

First Aid Kits should always be kept in your vehicle. If you do not have one, go purchase one immediately regardless of your long distance driving plans. If you currently have one stored in your auto, make sure that the supplies are abundant in the event that someone is hurt in an accident. Keep in mind accidents can also occur as you explore hiking trails, explore monuments, visit amusement parks and just in every day daily life. One more thing, more important than making sure you have adequate supply levels, be sure you know what everything is in your First Aid Kit and you know how to apply or use it.

A basic tool kit that includes screw driver, hammer, wrench, small shovel, etc will enable you to fix minor problems on your own. Moreover, and a fact often overlooked, even if you do not know how to make minor repairs or corrections to vehicles, there is a very good chance that a passerby may have the knowledge / ability, but not have the necessary tools. Plus, a shovel will help you dig out of a ditch, wet mud and plenty of other scenarios. You can purchase a folding shovel similar to those used by back country skiers and snowboarders that will easily fit in your vehicle.

Water & dried food will keep you hydrated, alert and allow you to maintain your blood sugar levels. You never know how long it will take rescue vehicles or other road warriors to find you so you need to be prepared to keep your family healthy while you wait for help, or worse to be randomly found. Dried food like granola bars, dried fruit, power bars / cliff bars, beef jerky, canned nuts, peanut butter and other similar foods are perfect because they are packed with nutrients and protein that will enable you to keep a high energy level without going bad in the heat. Finally, these snacks will also be consumed throughout the good times of your road journey allowing you to save money, time and still eat nutritious.

road trip

Summer Road Trip Guide & Manual Part 1

Kitty litter or a bag of sand….yes, kitty litter acts as a very good tool to assist your vehicle in gaining traction. Similar to sand, by spreading kitty litter around your tire and wet mud, you will improve your traction tremendously.

Once you gather all of your essentials and pack your other belongings not only will need to make sure the most used items are located towards the top and hence easy to get to, but making sure everything is securely stowed is equally imperative. These packing tips are just the tip of the iceberg to the perfect summer road trip. In soon to be published additions to The Ultimate Summer Road Trip Outline and Manual we will be covering how and what you need to professional have serviced and prepped on your vehicle prior to your departure date, a few tips that will greatly enhance how you plan the actual Road Trip route, driving safety tips that every summer road warrior should pay attention to and some helpful links and websites that will make your family summer adventure not only safer and saner, but more FUN as well!

 

Leasing a Car vs. Buying a Car: When Should You Lease?

Can’t decide whether you should lease or buy your next vehicle? Don’t worry because you are just one of many people who contemplate this purchase decision on a daily basis in the United States. Just as kids and teenagers should be taught in school how to open a checking account, how to responsibly use a credit card, what to do to improve their credit history, how to change a flat tire, why you don’t wash your neon yellow shirt with your white Polo golf shirt, someone who has molded your mind thus far in life should have explained the differences between leasing and purchasing an automobile. Moreover, you need to fully understand what type of impact each could have on your daily life financially and logistically.

If you haven’t come to this conclusion as of yet, let me be blunt…Leasing a car versus buying a vehicle is very different. Buying or leasing a car boils down to two basic things; the person, primarily their driving habits, and the financial situation. When you weigh these two aspects against one another, the advantages and disadvantages of both choices will become evident and ultimately place you in the appropriate purchase bucket for you.

If you are an individual who intends to have the same vehicle for an extended period of time, let’s say a Nissan sedan, and prefer more flexibility when the time comes to sell the vehicle, buying a Nissan is the choice for you. On the flip side, if you desire to drive a new vehicle every two years or 36 months (these are two standard time frames to lease a vehicle for), the best financial decision for you is to lease your car. Here is a fun fact as you consider this point; a typical car lease lasts half the time of a typical car loan. Once the lease is up, you can move on to your next cool ride.

Another factor that may place you in the leasing bucket is whether or not your vehicle of choice is out of your price range. Reason being, leasing a car is best understood by the masses when compared to renting a shore house for the summer. Thus, you are only paying for the time and use (mileage) of the vehicle for the given and agreed upon lease term. By not buying the whole car, you will lower your monthly payments by 30% to 60% when leasing. You are only paying for a portion of the car and as a result your monthly payment is lower compared to your monthly payment when financing the vehicle and being responsible for the entire car regardless if you drive it for two years or 15 years. Plus, you pay sales tax only on the portion of the car you finance. To be exact, you finance the cost of the depreciation of the car while you’re driving it…that is your lease payment.

Furthermore, leasing has another financial aspect making leasing a better choice relative to buying a new car — like the fact that up-front out-of-pocket expenses are generally lower. For example, the down payment is usually low, and sometimes nonexistent. Have you ever heard the term “Sign and Drive”? This commonly used term in the auto industry simply means that you put no money down, sign the lease agreement and drive off into the sunset. Not only are monthly payments much lower than loan payments, leases are often easier to obtain than a loan.

Are you too busy to worry about the wear and tear of what will most likely be the second largest purchase you ever make in your life? It’s okay if you are because most Americans dread the chore and cost of maintaining their vehicle. When leasing a vehicle, the lease terms already include the wear and tear on the vehicle as well as the specific mileage so you never have to worry about anything aside from the rare $19.99 oil change every 6 months or so (really depends on the amount of miles between oil changes). Plus, some leases can include the cost of basic vehicle maintenance. To put this into concrete numbers, leasing saves the average car owner up to $1,200 a year on repair and maintenance fees. Eliminating the financial headaches of depreciation and mechanical problems are two driving forces that push people into leasing because knowing that your only responsibility is returning the car to the dealer at the end of the lease is gratifying in its own right. Keep in mind that you have also erased the headache of negotiating the value of your trade-in at the end of your lease because you don’t have one. You just drop it off at the dealer with the keys!

The length of a lease or ownership can be looked at from a number of different angles, and once again, comes down to your personal life. In a six year period, you could have leased two different vehicles or owned a single one. Looking at this from one of two ways, either you would have to return and repay for a new vehicle, or you have been given the opportunity to choose an entirely new model.

Those who plan on keeping a vehicle long term will benefit financially once the vehicle is paid off, avoiding the need to repay down payments and never ending monthly lease payments. Also, going beyond the pride in ownership, buyers will be able to customize the vehicle however they like, and sell it wherever and whenever they please. Did you know consumers in the USA on average spend $700 on vehicle modifications? Individuals who decide upon leasing will not have this luxury; however, depending on the purchase, some businesses consider a car lease a tax write-off.

Depending on your financial situation and priorities behind choosing a new car, we recommend you speak with our experts here at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ, who will be able to further help you weigh the options and make a decision you feel happy and secure with. To be honest, most people do not lease, or even consider leasing as an option, because lease contracts are confusing and Americans do not like to admit what they do not know. Hopefully, this article eliminates this bullet point since you should be far more educated than the average consumer upon reading this.

As the debate continues, a recurring theme that weighs on the decision to buy a car is flexibility. Mileage limits are not a problem so if you wake up on Wednesday morning and decide that you want to drive across the country, it is your car so you can do as you please. Plus, if you are committed to a lease and your driving needs change…tough luck. It is costly to terminate a lease early.

After buying a car, you can add the vehicle as an asset to your personal balance sheet because again, you own the car. Remember you are more or less borrowing the leased vehicle from the leasing company who is the true owner of the car. Many people view actual ownership of the vehicle as an important advantage because it can be more economical over the long run as you build equity in the vehicle over time.

While leasing may appear to be the best bang for your buck, especially if you avoid extra mileage fees, there are extra expenses with a lease that you must be aware of. Insurance rates are usually higher for leased vehicles since lease coverage may include gap insurance, which pays off what is still owed on the lease in the event the car is totaled. And, by returning your leased car every three years (really whatever your lease term is), if you lease a car that requires a down payment, that expense will come out of your pocket each time you get a new lease. Plus, each time you turn in your old car for a new one, there are added fees like doc, motor vehicle, NJ tire tax, etc..

Now consider the person who purchases or finances a car. At the end of five years of car payments, the car now belongs to him or her. Five years was the standard finance length for Americans, but leading up to the financial meltdown, many consumers were entering lengthier car loan terms along the lines of 72 and even 84 months. The pendulum has swung back in the other direction as many bank institutions prefer 60 month loan terms and therefore make extended term options so costly that most pass and agree to a 60 month car loan term. It might not have much value on the open market, but if you’re willing to drive it for several more years, it becomes nearly free transportation until the wheels fall off.

To put an end to this debate, here are the basic nuts and bolts in summary. Leasing makes it easier, and/or possible, to get more car for less money. You are essentially paying, “renting”, for a portion of the car, instead of buying the entire automobile. So, like many things, leasing looks great in the short run. However, if you really pencil the dollars and cents and you take the long view of economics, you will see that leasing will eventually be more expensive. It is more costly because once you begin leasing, there is a very high likelihood that you will continue to do so forever. Auto manufacturers’ and car dealers often entice leasing customers with private lease pull ahead offers that enable the lessee to return their vehicle 3 months early with no penalty and get into a brand new model. And by the way, this is a great offer and there is no reason not to take advantage of it; you would be silly not to. But, this means you will always have a car payment and never own anything.

Ultimately, leasing isn’t only a dollars-and-cents question — it’s about personal tastes and priorities. Whether you choose to lease a car or buy a new car, you must educate yourself so that you can negotiate a great price at the dealership either way.

Winter Driving Tips

Top 10 Tips for Winter Driving

  1. For driving in the snow, increase your following distance of any vehicle in front of you to eight to ten seconds. If you were unaware, the normal following distance on dry pavement is three to four seconds. Basically, give a little more than twice the distance you normally would when driving in the snow. This increased distance of safety will provide you with enough room to safely stop.
  2. Whenever you drive on snow or ice, don’t stop if you can avoid it. There is a huge difference as it relates to beginning to move a Nissan Altima car from a full stop compared to slowly accelerating while the Altima sedan is still rolling. Keep this in mind when approaching a red traffic light. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling by time the traffic light changes to green, you will exponentially increase your odds continuing on your route without getting stuck.
  3. Do not use cruise control when driving on any type of slippery surface i.e. wet, ice, sand or snow.
  4. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up. Furthermore, if your vehicle gets stuck or damaged, the extra gas will allow you to keep your vehicle running and thus keep you warm and safe.
  5. Clean all of your windows and make sure your wiper blades are clean of debris. If your wiper blades appear to be clean, but still streak across your windshield you need to replace them. Also, always make sure that your antifreeze washer solvent is topped off. On a similar note, be sure the wipers are turned off before starting the engine to prevent damage to the wiper motor.Image
  6. When driving in the snow or on icy surfaces, accelerate and decelerate slowly with the front wheels pointed straight. The best way to gain, or regain, traction is by applying the gas slowly. This will also reduce the probability of your car skidding as you begin to move. If you let the wheels spin, you will only dig deeper into the snow. A skid occurs when the driver applies the brakes so hard that one or more wheels lock, which is why it is imperative that you decelerate your sedan slowly.
  7. Before leaving in your car, truck, van or suv, start your auto and turn the heater on for approximately two minutes before using the defroster. Don’t you hate when you have a foggy windshield? If you are normal and your answer is yes, this trick will prevent moisture from fogging the windshield when warm air hits the frigid glass.
  8. If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, STAY with your car. To start, your vehicle will provide you with shelter and keep you warm. Moreover, it is more likely for rescuers to find your vehicle in a storm vs. you on foot. There is also a chance that you could lose sight of your vehicle in a snowstorm with blowing snow. The only reason you should get out of your vehicle is to tie a brightly colored cloth or piece of clothing to the antenna to signal distress. If your vehicle does not have an antenna, place the bright article at the top of a closed window. If the sun goes down and you are still stranded with your vehicle, leave the dome light on since it only uses a very minimal amount of electricity.
  9. Remove all snow from your vehicle before you hit the road in your car. Depending on the amount of snow on your vehicle, the added weight can adversely affect how your vehicle steers, starts and stops. However, the main purpose is to protect the drivers around you. How do you think you would react if you were driving along and a giant slab of snow came flying off of the vehicle in front of you…and maybe even hit your windshield? You would freak out and most likely swerve and/or stop abruptly and neither of those actions should be performed while driving even in the best of conditions.
  10. Never warm up your vehicle in a garage. Technically, do not warm up your car in an enclosed area, but for 99.9% percent of people that means their garage. It is never a good idea to enter a room filled with carbon monoxide…especially when you are about to operate a car!

Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, New Jersey hopes that you find these 10 Winter Driving Tips helpful. Especially, if you happen to live on the East Coast and are enduring yet another horrid winter storm as we are at 590 U.S. 130 East Windsor, NJ 08520. Remember, always wear your safety belt and please drive safe!

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6 Ways to Find Cheaper Gas This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is here and many of you are probably enjoying a cold one and getting ready to begin some serious grilling with your family and friends.  However, the day will come to an end and everyone will be hitting the roads to drive back home today so these easy to follow tips will at least save you a few dollars.

Save Money @ The Fuel Pumps Now

Tips to Finding Cheaper Gas This Memorial Day

While Spring gas prices are already trending higher then usual, these tips will be ever more important if we experience record highs for the 2013 summer.  The hunt for less expensive gas is not, and does not, need to be difficult.  Like most daily activities today, there are apps out there to help.

GasBuddy.com started out as a website that let users report and view fuel prices in their area to help others find cheap gas locally. It now has an app for both iOS and Android devices.

Gregg Laskoski, an analyst for GasBuddy, said the app can help drivers save money.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a gap exists just in their local markets,” he said. “In Miami … there was a gap in the lowest priced station and the highest priced station at $1.05 a gallon. In mini-markets, it can be $0.50, $0.60, $0.70 cents per gallon.”

This app will not only save you money, but it turns into a fun game as well as you earn points for entering gas prices in your local market.  Depending how much you drive on annual basis, will clearly determine how much you save with the assistance of an application like GasBuddy, but figure that you will save anywhere between $250 to $300 for every 15,000 miles you drive.

Aside from a helpful app like GasBuddy.com, here are 6 basic money-saving tips to help you determine where, and how, you fill up next.

1. Pay Attention to the Newest Price Reports

Whichever app or website you use to retrieve local gas prices, be sure to pay attention to the age of the information.  For example., postings from 22 hours ago are probably not very reliable whereas information posted 3 hours ago is most likely on the money.

2. Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Credit Card

The credit card you use at the gas station can be the critical difference between saving you money at the local pump or costing you more then you initial thought.

Many stations will charge a surcharge unless [you] use their particular gas card. On the flip side, you can seek out and get a credit card that includes specific perks related to purchasing gasoline. For example, the Chase Freedom credit card can provide you with  5 percent rebate on gas.  But to complicate matters, you better make sure that you are filling up at a gas station that does not have the up-charge when paying with your credit card since the uptick in cost will most likely wipe out your savings.

To put simply, If you are paying with a credit card, you can sometimes be slapped with an extra fee at the pump so pay attention.

3. Location, Location, Location

Gasoline stations near the highway can be a win if there is more than one major truck or travel stop or a loss if there is only one station and it is small in size.  Also, in areas like NJ, Sunoco has contracts with the Turnpike Authority to provide fuel services on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but under the terms of the agreement, those specific gas stations may only change their prices weekly, prior to 7 am on Fridays.

4. Keep an Eye on Those Truck Stops

Truck stops are a good indicator to see if the price of gas will go up because they sell ample amounts of gas very quickly.  Hence, truck stops are constantly receiving new loads of gasoline and that means that truck stop owners are paying the most-up-to-date prices for gasoline.  You can use this tip in conjunction with the previous fuel saving tidbit to determine whether or not you should fill your vehicle up in NJ before or after the weekly price change.

5. Fill Up in an Area With Many Gas Stations

This is really just common sense since competition will typically keep prices lower.

6. Fill Up Near State Lines

Filling up near state lines will save you money. States are more competitive because of any difference in taxes. For example, the combined tax in Illinois is nearly $0.61 per gallon, where Missouri is $0.36 per gallon.  This holds a lot of weight if you travel the roads in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic since a typical road trip often involves crossing multiple state lines.

Be sure to take a moment of silence to remember the brave service men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Have fun cooking, attending parades, swimming in the ocean, camping in the mountains or just relaxing this Memorial Day and from everyone at Windsor Nissan, please drive safe…and save some money at the gas pumps!!!

Top 5 Tips To Save Money While Driving Memorial Day Weekend

It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.

Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.

So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).

1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely

Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.

If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.

2. Check Your Tires

To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.

Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends.  Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.

Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.

Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.

3. Check Your Car

Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.

Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.

4. Timing Is Everything

Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.

Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.

Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.

5. Drive Smoothly

Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.

That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner.  Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.

 

I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.

Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!

Get Your Vehicle Clean at Windsor Nissan

Summer is an active season full of road trips, camping, swimming and anything involving fun in the sun. With all the exciting sunshine adventures, your vehicle’s cleanliness may have been neglected. Summertime isn’t over yet but a new season is approaching, making it time for a vehicle scrub down.

Get your car ready for seasonal changes by cleaning from the inside-out. Start by clearing out excess cargo. Not only does it weigh your vehicle down, but clutter also creates more cleaning obstacles. After your vehicle is cleared out, dust off the debris from the interior surfaces and start vacuuming. Use a high-powered vacuum or go to a gas station and use their coin-operated vacuums. Be sure to use attachments to get deep in the crevices ridding dirt, sand, rocks, crumbs and bugs. If the seats of your vehicle absorbed wet swimming suits after pool parties, then consider shampooing the upholstery. With a clean inside, now it’s time to shine up and protect surfaces as well as condition leather. Protecting the interior materials of your vehicle will keep it looking better longer and the same idea applies to the exterior.

As the weather changes, it’s necessary to give your vehicle’s paint some added protection. Wash your car in a cool, shady place with car-friendly soap. Dry the vehicle’s exterior properly by using a chamois with broad strokes quickly removing water. After a thorough drying, use a damp terry cloth to apply a quality polish in a circular motion working on small areas at a time. Polishing with a wax will preserve the paint and enhance the exterior’s luster.

Pull your shiny ride into the garage and relax knowing your car is prepped for yet another season.

General Motors Co. to payback the US and Canadian Governments Loans.

US auto giant General Motors has officially announced the repayment of its $5.8 Billion loan by the end of June ‘10. The loan is from the U.S Treasury and Export Development Canada, both of which currently hold Equity Shares in the company.

 

The company that emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009 also stated that once the repayments are complete “the focus will be to upgrade the plants in Detroit and Kansas to build their Next Generation- Chevrolet Malibu.”

The news of the repayment was made on the Wall Street Journal website on Tuesday April 20th by the CEO of GM, Ed Whitacre, as he announced “Our ability to pay back these loans less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy is a sign that our plan for building a new GM is working.”

The Detroit- Hamtramck and Kansan City factories will be updated with an investment of $ 275 million. The update will enable the plants to manufacture the Next Generation Malibu slated for release next year. On Wednesday, Mr.Whitacre addressing the Kansas City plant said that it will receive $136 million of the investment as the plant will be the prime manufacturing site for the Malibu.

As per the Automotive News Data Center, the new Chevy Malibu has a 53 day supply and Buick LaCrosse a 43 day supply, and the Kansas plant is working 3 shifts and on Saturdays to build both the cars which began production in April to maintain a 60 Day supply level as recommended by analysts.

The Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS sedans currently being produced at the Detroit Hamtramck plant will be downsized this year to accommodate the production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in sedan, to be released in the fourth quarter of ’10. The Hamtramck plant investment of $121 will assist in the production of the Malibu in period of spike in demand.

GM Geely competes for limelight @ Beijing auto show

The most awaited and important event on China ‘s automotive calendar is just nearing. The Auto China 2010 will begin Friday, April 12, in Beijing . And almost all the automakers, both domestic and global, have said what they will put on display. And Of course each and everyone of the automakers is vying for its share of the limelight. This may be the toughest contest of the year for the Geely Holdings and General Motors Company. Both of these two companies will display more on their products in the show more than other automakers.

And in detail, Geely Holdings will display almost 39 models of their products and General Motors will display 28 products. They will also show more new models than most other automakers. Geely says it will put 11 all new models on stage at the event. Meanwhile General Motors has announced it will show 6 new models for the first time in front of a Chinese audience.

The General Motors vehicles are Chevy Volt MPV5 concept, the Cadillac Concept, the Cadillac XTS concept, the Chevy Aveo RS concept, the two-box Chevy New Sail and the new Chevy Spark. Last week Geely held an event in Beijing with several company executives taking turns to explain to reporters the long list of new models and power train technologies their company will display at the show. General Motors China convened reporters from across the country in Shanghai for a briefing on its middle and long term growth plans for China .

For sure, Geely Holdings didn’t start making cars until the late of 1990s. So it goes without saying that it still can’t mount serious competition for General Motors. With most of its products selling less than 70,000 yuan ($10,248), the company still confines itself to the low end of the domestic market. This will change very soon. In addition to rolling out more expensive models under its own brand, the private Chinese company wants to launch more Volvo models in China after it completes the purchase of the Swedish brand from Ford Motor Co in the third quarter.

With a brand that is now a byword for excellence in safety in its stable, Geely holdings should become a rival to reckon with for global players including General Motors.

How to Reserve Your Very Own Nissan LEAF!

As the arrival of Nissan’s electric car, the LEAF, approaches, many people are concerned about how to get their hands on one. We all know that there is a reservation process that needs to be done in order to purchase one, but just how does one go about doing that? Well, I am here to tell you to worry no more! I am going to explain all of the tips and tricks to reserve your space in line!

First and Foremost: Reservations are open to the public on May 15th, 2010.

Step #1: To being your Nissan LEAF Customer Journey Reservation Process, you need to go onto the Nissan LEAF website, http://www.nissausa.com/leaf-electric-car, to create an account.

Step #2: You need to complete the New Driver Snapshot (everything about this will be explained on the website)

Step #3: Create and configure your very own Nissan LEAF in the New Driver Snapshot

Step #4: Lock in your reservation through a reservation fee, which will be found on the reservation payment page

Things to remember:

1 – You can only place a reservation on the LEAF if you have created an account on the Nissan LEAF website.

2 – There is only one reservation per customer! If you try to create more than one entry, your name will be removed from the system. Similarly, only one reservation per address will be accepted.

3 – Reservations are meant to be solely for the individual reserving the LEAF. The reservation can not be transferred, traded, assigned, or sold.

4 – Nissan reserves the right to cancel any reservation that does not comply with the procedures outlined above.

Stop by Windsor Nissan for more information and details on how to reserve your very own Nissan LEAF!

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