Tag Archives: 2009

Planning a Road Trip

At this exact moment, thousands of parents are thinking about hitting the highway for a family road trip this summer. Destination? Anywhere but here. It’s an exciting prospect for kids, but it’s also fraught with difficulties, including sudden back-seat fights and frequent retreats to the iPod Zone.

Kids think road trips are cool, at least in theory. The mere suggestion that the family might be heading out on a week long odyssey usually ignites serious excitement. As soon as the wheels roll, of course, the anticipation instantly morphs into “Are we there yet?” The challenge parents face is to keep the excitement and sense of wonder alive, even on the long, potentially boring stretches.

Here are 12 tips gleaned from my own childhood memories and from conversations with parents, children and grown-up kids with road-tripping pasts.

PLAN AHEAD

Dredge up some family lore. Think of your road trip as a time to share some “family lore.” Every family has its own oral history, and road trips offer lots of together time, making them ideal occasions for storytelling. Dredge up those old favorite songs and games, too. As a child, I was an impatient traveler, and I am sure my folks find it amusing that I now make my living writing about the “magic” of taking road trips, but much of my enthusiasm for the road comes from those early family jaunts. Not only do I love the driving and the scenery, I can also sing dozens of vintage songs, play every car game known to man, and tell all the old stories passed down through generations of my family. I’m sure I whined, “Are we there yet?” often enough to drive my parents nuts, but those aren’t the memories that linger.

Brush up on your history and geology. Another gift you can give your children is a basic appreciation for the history and geology of the areas you travel through. Even if they grumble, squirm and roll their eyes, they’ll listen. I’m not the only one who can attest to the lifelong value of such discussions, including the sense of personal patriotic pride that arises from actually seeing purple mountains majesty, fruited plains and spacious skies. As an adult, I’ve became aware of just how precious this brand of knowledge is, and I now consider those family road trips some of the best education I received during my first 16 years on the planet.

Get low-tech. Which leads me to my next topic: DVD players, iPods and other electronic gadgets Call me a curmudgeon, but if these devices are used too often on a road trip, you might as well stay home. Nothing insulates people from their surroundings better than ear buds and a video screen. Take electronic gear along if you must, but limit its use if you want to create lasting road trip memories.

GET READY!

Hold a family planning session. Get a big map and plenty of highlighter markers, and then talk about the cool places that would appeal to all members of the trip. Gather information about your route from guidebooks and the Web. Discuss the scope of each traveling day, including how much time in the saddle and how much spent sightseeing and hanging out by the pool. Consider making each child responsible for a one day’s stopping places and restaurants. Including everyone in the planning process invests everyone in the trip and helps ensure a fun adventure for all. One of the most important topics to cover in the planning session is how often the kids will be able to rotate into the front seat. Make the right front seat, the “official navigator’s seat” and whoever is sitting there is designated as being “in charge” (at least for a few moments). The real treat is that it is much easier to see from the front seat and gets everyone involved. Of course, very young children should not be in the front seats because of the inherent air-bag dangers.

Make a trip clipboard. I recommend creating a trip clipboard to hold printed directions to the motels where you plan to stay; these are especially handy if you should reach a city after dark. (I use this technique myself on every road trip.) You can also include directions and information about specific sites and restaurants that you’re planning to see.

Check out your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is reliable and ready to go. Of special importance is a check of the tires, coolant and engine oil.

GET SET!

Pack a “Go Kit.” Include bottles of water, a fire extinguisher, beach towels, personal pillows, maps and atlases. And here are some more suggestions.

Pack a “Car Kit” for each child. Choose age-appropriate items including crayons or markers, pads of paper, bandanas, personal travel pillows, games, small toys, a few treats and the first day’s “travel allowance.” Travel allowances allow kids to shop in gift stores and tourist traps without begging for money at every stop. Maps of your route are also good for children old enough to read them. They can trace their progress, learn to navigate and even stop asking “Are we there yet?” quite as often. Put everything in a bag or other container that the child can also use to hold souvenirs, interesting “finds,” and so on; nylon lunch bags or small daypacks work well. Let the children know that they’ll be getting their Car Kits the day you leave home. That will give them one more thing to look forward to, and you won’t have any trouble at all getting them out of bed. You can add to the Car Kits as the trip progresses, giving the kids a little something to look forward to each morning.

Pack electronic devices. Consider a CB radio, portable DVD player, GPS receiver, audio books and inverters. Electronic entertainment devices can be helpful if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you’ve exhausted all other options. Audio books are a great way to be entertained and yet remain alert and focused on the tasks of driving. Many companies now offer rental GPS units, which are both useful navigational tools and a source of information about road conditions. Portable CB radios with magnetic mounts allow you to be in touch with other drivers on the road and to get accurate weather reports.

Pack good eats. Though the kids may argue this point, it is not necessary to stop at every fast-food joint along the way. In fact, it is possible to get good nutrition on the road. Make sure everyone drinks twice as much water as they might at home. Take a good cooler along and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prepare road trip snacks and consider packing a road trip picnic.

GO!

Eat and greet. Eat in unusual local restaurants at least sometimes, and make a point of speaking with locals or other travelers.

Keep it fun! Avoid vacationing at the same hectic pace as you live at home. A relaxing pace will be remembered more fondly than an overly ambitious one. Take the advice of a local or get off the highway at an unplanned exit and see what is to be found “around the next bend.” Drive fewer hours and spend more time lounging around the motel pool. By allowing time for serendipity, you will re-capture the wonder of the road trip adventure.

Got toddlers? Roadtrippers who are younger than five years old can sometimes present additional challenges. Consider organizing the traveling day so that you reach the motel after 8:00 pm, when the children are likely to fall asleep more easily. Pool time can be done in the morning. Spend the extra $$ to get as comfortable a car seat as possible. Plan to stop every two hours and let the little guys run, play, and blow off as much energy as possible. For more ideas, MomsMinivan.com has several good tips and suggestions.

As parents, you can design a family road trip that will give both you and your children memories to last a lifetime. Grab those markers and a map and start planning your escape!

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GT-R: A Monster on Ice

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SIBERIA, Russia – Russian  race driver Roman Rusinov and auto journalist Andrey Leontjev pushed the Nissan GT-R across a frozen Lake Baikal, setting a new national speed ice driving record of 294.8 kph (183 mph).

The speed record on ice was a joint project of Nissan in Russia and LAV Productions company, taking place at Small Sea Strait – part of the Baikal water area between western coast and Ol’khon isle. The Nissan GT-R 2012 model year used winter non-studded Bridgestone tires.

The length of the track was divided into an acceleration part – 3.5 km, timekeeping part – 1 km, and breaking area – 3.5 km. The driving attempts were fixed and evaluated by a specially-created committee of the Russian Automotive Federation, and also a group of four judges from Yaroslavl, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Moscow. The car starts from standing position and develops maximum speed on the distance of 1000 meters (1 km). RAF fixes average speed on this route.

The 540-horsepower GT-R production car had no modifications, running the 3.8-liter, V6 engine on the frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake in southern Siberia, with a result for the history books. Enjoy this video of their record ice escapade.

For more photos of the Nissan GT-R on Lake Baikal, check out our photo gallery.

Take a look at some of the behind-the-scene production shots here.

Best 30 Summer Songs of all Time

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With the unseasonably warm weather we are having this week in New Jersey, my mind got me thinking about Summer.  Summer being my favorite season, and the fact it is my daughter’s name!

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The summer months also bring in happy customers to Windsor Nissan who get unbelievable deals! The sun is shining, the beaches are crowded and the bodies are tanned, which can only mean one thing — Summer 2013 will arrive in the very near future!. To celebrate the return of our favorite season, we’ve scoured the Billboard chart archives and updated this definitive list of the most popular songs about summer ever recorded.

These 30 hot tunes with summer-specific themes are ranked based on each track’s performance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from August 4, 1958 — the inception of the chart — through the chart dated May 26, 2012. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. (For more details on how this chart was compiled, scroll to the bottom of this page.)

Do you agree these are the top rated Summer songs?

30 – Surfin’ Safari

The Beach Boys 1962

As is often the case, the Beach Boys pay homage to their favorite sport in their 1962 pop hit “Surfin’ Safari,” with lines about loading up their Woodie — that’s a ‘board-friendly station wagon for you gremmies — and inviting the world to the best beaches for waves. With a catchy beat and great harmonies, the song reaffirmed surf tunes’ appeal, residing on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks.

29 – Summertime

Billy Stewart 1966

Perhaps one of the most widely covered tunes, “Summertime” epitomizes the season’s lighthearted ethos. Billy Stewart’s 1966 crossover rendition, which is embellished with jazzy horns, bluesy guitar, and funky, scatting vocals, peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100.

28 -Wipeout

Fat Boys and the Beach Boys 1987

The rap-n-surf-guitar track came complete with a skit-y video featuring the ultimate boys of summer, the Beach Boys and the Fat Boys, the ultimate ’80s hip-hop boys of dinner, throwing hula hoops and surfboards into the car for a sojourn to the beach. Not that anyone really needed to see either the Fat Boys in board shorts or the Beach Boys scrachin’ on the turntables. Wipeout, indeed.

27 – Cruel Summer

Bananarama 1983

For summer days when you’re feeling down, Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” is the companion who understands your discontent. The somewhat downbeat dance-pop track, which cozied up to the Hot 100 in 1983, bemoans the harsh heat of loneliness that can make any summer a drag.

26 – Summertime Blues

Eddie Cochran 1958

Eddie Cochran knows how much it sucked to be a teenager, even back in 1958. His slightly rebellious hit “raised a holler” about just how much of a bummer it is to have to work all summer instead of frolicking with your girl and your friends. The tune, appropriately featured in the 1980 film “Caddyshack,” may claim there’s no cure for the summertime blues, but we’d guess it sure beats sitting in school.

25 – A Summer Song

Chad & Jeremy 1964

Capturing the sweet sadness of saying farewell to summer love, Chad & Jeremy employ delicate, simple vocals over chugging drums and rich acoustic guitar plucks. In this tune, which entered the Hot 100 in 1964, the folk rock duo reminds the listener that there are always the memories to keep you warm in the fall.

24 – Suddenly Last Summer

The Motels 1983

For those with any nostalgia for the decade of Pac-Man and leg warmers, The Motels’ “Suddenly Last Summer,” which peaked on the Hot 100 in 1983, will satisfy any craving for ’80s summer music. Over a catchy drum beat and spacey guitar, the emotionally distraught Martha Davis explains in a hot, dusty voice that though the seasons change, that doesn’t mean the summer has to end.

23 – Surfer Girl

The Beach Boys 1963

The Beach Boys’ name alone should conjure images of summer, with the Cali group’s many carefree songs about surfing, cars, and girls. Peaking on the Hot 100 at No. 7 in 1963, “Surfer Girl,” a romantic ballad channeling the likes of ’50s doo wop, is no exception, with vocal harmonies that will make you yearn for a summer fling with whom to sway along.

22 – Summer Breeze

Seals & Crofts 1972

When it peaked on the Billboard charts in 1972, “Summer Breeze” focused on a sense of simplicity and clarity in a time of Vietnam war and big cultural shifts. With its soothing combination of soft guitar, banjo, vocal harmony and toy piano, as well as its reflective lyrics, Seals & Crofts’s first hit single is a crucial component of any mellow summer soundtrack.

21 – School’s Out

Alice Cooper 1972

With heavy eyeliner and a snarling, guitar-driven swagger, Alice Cooper took the sweet, innocent idea of the first day of summer break, and turned it into an emancipation proclamation for ditching class permanently. School, he growled, was not only out for summer, “School’s out forever!” The gritty tune peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100 in 1972.

20 – Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer

Nat King Cole 1963

Nat King Cole’s rhyme happy 1963 hit is an oldie but goodie in the truest sense of the phrase. Well into the rock era, it peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100. Between the charm of Cole’s warm voice and the “soda and pretzels and beer” he sings about, it’s no wonder this tune is still familiar decades later.

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19 – Summer Love

Justin Timberlake 2007

While many summer tunes are relaxed, breezy numbers, Justin Timberlake took his danceable 2007 “Summer Love” in a refreshingly poppy, electronic direction. Timberlake devotees and casual fans alike flocked to the song, giving it a No. 6 climax on the Hot 100.

                       

18 – Saturday In The Park

Chicago 1972

With brassy horns blowing like a cool breeze off Lake Michigan, Chicago’s “real celebration” of a hot July day in the park took sights and sounds like people laughing and a man selling ice cream all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100 in 1972. “Can you dig it?” they sing. Yes, we can.

17 – Summer Girls

LFO 1999

The theme song to many a youthful turn of the millennium summer night, “Summer Girls” is the solid hit from the cheesy dreamboats of LFO. This 1999 lyrical masterpiece (“When I met you I said my name was Rich / You look like a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch,” anyone?) spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 3.

16 – California Girls

The Beach Boys 1965

By the mid-’60s, the Beach Boys were the kings of surf music. In 1965, the west coast poster boys for the genre sent “California Girls,” a sunny paean to the merits of Cali ladies above all attractive women from anywhere else, all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100.

15 – Summer

War 1976

War’s 1976 soulful slow jam “Summer” earned its peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100 with then up-to-the-minute lyrics about cruising around town “with all the window down / eight track playin’ all your favorite sounds.” Including bongos, apparently. Do they make bell-bottom shorts? The tune starts at 2:24 in the video.

14 – Under The Boardwalk

The Drifters 1964

In the summer of 1964, the Drifters saw their dreamy tune about catching some shade and some steamy good times literally under the boardwalk at the beach spent lots of quality time on the Hot 100. The tune has become a summer staple covered by many, including Bruce Willis and the Tempations.

13- Summer Of ’69

Bryan Adams 1985

A mid-’80s Bryan Adams, who had a clear penchant for leather and tight jeans, released “Summer of ’69” in 1985 and sent it to No. 5 on the Hot 100. This anthem of playing his “first real six-string” and meeting a summer sweetie at the drive-in is a classic, nostalgic ode to the summer of the “the best days of my life.”

12 – In The Summertime

Mungo Jerry 1970

The boys of Mungo Jerry handed the world the ultimate laid-back summer track when they released the vaguely tropical jam “In the Summertime” in 1970. The U.K. group’s only major U.S. hit, the tune also scored lots of chart love for Shaggy in the summer of 1995. His remake rose all the way to No. 3 on the Hot 100.

11 – The Boys Of Summer

Don Henley 1984

“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong / after the boys of summer have gone,” croons Don Henley as he patiently awaits the departure of his estranged love’s summer flings so he can regain his ex’s affection. The 1984 top five hit, which ironically hit the charts during the holiday season, also scored Henley the Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal performance.

10 – Summer Nights

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1978

Popular everywhere from bar mitzvahs to karaoke bars, “Summer Nights” is one of those great movie songs that appeal to everyone. Made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton Jones in the movie “Grease” in 1978, the legacy of Danny and Sandy’s summer fling lives on in the faux-’50s tune that warmed up to the top five at the height of the disco era.

9 – Hot Fun In The Summertime

Sly & The Family Stone 1969

With a mellow, funky horns and bassline and soulful vocals, Sly & the Family Stone’s easy-going hit entered the Hot 100 the same month the group played the most iconic summer festival of all time, Woodstock. In the tune, each member expresses a line about what they love most about summer, however they all agree, “That’s when I had most of my fun… those summer days.” Particularly the summer days when you manage to be part of music history.

8 – Surfin’ U.S.A.

The Beach Boys 1963

Namechecking every popular surfing spot, The Beach Boys certainly did their research for summer jam “Surfin’ U.S.A.” They sang they’d be gone all summer, and hey, if they didn’t make it back before school starts, “tell the teacher we’re surfing.” The song, a reworking of the tune from Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen,” reached the top five of the Hot 100 in 1963.

7 – Summertime

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince 1991

“This is the Fresh Prince’s new definition of summer madness,” rapped Will Smith before he was an international movie star back in 1991 when he was still the rapping cohort of DJ Jazzy Jeff and a newly-minted sitcom actor. Smith was giving props to their sample of Kool & the Gang’s “Summer Madness,” and that hook helped the duo earn a No. 4 peak on the Hot 100.

6 – Endless Summer Nights

Richard Marx 1988

“Endless Summer Nights” finds Richard Marx waxing hopeful about a summer fling he wants to develop into more, despite his girl’s resistance. This ballad must’ve done the trick, because he later married the woman he was on vacation with when he was inspired to write the song. “Endless Summer Nights” reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1988.

5 – Surf City

Jan & Dean 1963

“We’re goin’ to Surf City / ’cause its two to one” sing Jan and Dean of the girl-to-guy ratio that awaits them in some tasty beachside locale – that is, if their ’30 Ford Wagon doesn’t break down along the way. The surf rock track rode the airwaves to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1963.

4 – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini

Bryan Hyland 1960

Decades before Yoplait turned it into the soundtrack to a commercial about achieving your summer perfect beach body, in 1960 Bryan Hyland hit with this ode to one girl so shy about showing her daring two-piece swimsuit at the beach that she sat wrapped up in a blanket and then hid in the water until she turned blue.

3 – Wipe Out

The Surfaris 1962

Summer anthems are often defined by the sing-a-long factor. Aside from the manic laugh and shriek of the song’s title at the beginning, The Surfaris’ “Wipeout” is the exception to the rule, with almost 3 minutes of surf-guitar instrumental magic and one of the most memorable drum beats of all time.

2 – Summer In The City

The Lovin’ Spoonful 1966

“All around, people lookin’ half dead… But at night, it’s a different world,” sings John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful, contrasting a New York summer’s day with the vibrant nightlife of rooftops cats out looking for kitties he much prefers. “Summer in the City,” complete with honking cabs and jackhammers, scored the band a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 in 1966.

1 – California Gurls

Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg 2010

With an unabashedly synthy beat and breathy vocals about a “warm, wet and wild” place and the women you find there, how could Katy Perry’s perfectly timed hit — with a smooth assist from Snoop Dogg, not have been the top song of summer 2010? In fact the song was so huge, it leapt from No. 18 when we first published this chart in May 2010 to No. 1 just one year later, beating out over 50 years of other hot summer songs.

Text by Courtney Baldasare, Melanie Fried, Gabriella Landsman, and Jessica Letkemann

How This Chart Was Created

The ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Prior to the Hot 100’s implementation in 1991 of enhanced radio and sales information from Nielsen BDS and Nielsen SoundScan, songs had shorter reigns at No. 1 and shorter chart lives. To ensure equitable representation, earlier time frames were each weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those decades and the turnover rates that have occurred since the advent of Nielsen Music data.

Which song is your favorite?

How to get your Vehicle Ready for Summer

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If you live near Windsor Nissan, where the summer months get hot, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration regarding your car, truck or SUV. It’s important to remember that hot weather can be tough on mechanical components. For example, your cooling system has to work harder to keep the engine from overheating, tires have to perform under hotter conditions, and if you have a breakdown, you should be prepared to subsist in hot weather until some form of assistance arrives, or you’re able to repair the vehicle yourself.

While there are many similarities between getting your vehicle ready for summer and getting it ready for winter, a couple of differences do exist. These are covered below in the following numerated subjects and corresponding photos. Let’s take a look.

1. Remove snow tires. While snow tires work great in the winter, they’re not much good in the summer months when there’s no snow on the ground. Plus, you’ll wear them out much faster by using them on dry pavement. It’s a good idea to have two sets of wheels: one mounted with snow tires and one with summer or all-season tires. You can even swap the wheels yourself since you won’t have to go to a tire shop to have one set of tires removed and another set remounted on one set of wheels, which could run $40 to $50 each time you do it.

2. Check the tire pressure. Tire pressure is important at all times. It’s critical to have properly inflated tires, as this assures the best possible contact between the tire and the road. Read your owner’s manual to find the correct tire pressures, and, if necessary, adjust pressures to compensate for the hotter operating conditions — especially if you’re doing lots of high-speed driving on a summer-vacation road trip. Properly inflated tires will also last longer and improve gas mileage.

Because of summertime’s higher temperatures, the air pressure in a warm tire rises. Why? Because air is a gas, and gas expands when it heats up. Keep this in mind if you are checking tire pressures. The given tire pressure specifications are for when the tires are cold, therefore the pressure should be checked when the tires are cold.

Also, an improperly inflated tire can heat excessively, potentially leading to a blow-out on the highway.

3. Change the engine oil and adjust the viscosity grade. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil. For example, maple syrup has a higher viscosity than water. Engine oils are sold with different levels of viscosity, and many of them are also multi-viscous, which means the oil’s thickness can change depending on its temperature. Generally speaking, the warmer the oil is, the thinner it will be. If the oil is too thin, the engine might not get the proper lubrication.

To solve this summertime issue, you can change your vehicle’s engine oil to one that is a little thicker. Even when the thicker oil is cold, it is still not too thick for proper engine lubrication.

Determining what type of oil your car should have during the summer is easy. Simply read your vehicle’s owner’s manual. The manual will list the manufacturer’s oil recommendations for different climates. If you have a dealership or local garage perform the oil change, you can ask the manager what type and viscosity of oil they are putting into your vehicle. Most modern cars have recommended oil grades of 5W-30, 10W-30 or 10W-40 which are all multi-viscous grades.

4. Inspect the belts and hoses. The belts and hoses in modern cars last a long time. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to fail. Before summer begins, have the belts and hoses inspected on your vehicle. And if you’re not sure when they were last replaced, consider having them changed, especially before commencing a long road trip.

5. Inspect the wipers and wiper fluid. Visibility is always important and our experience tells us that summer storms can be quite severe in some parts of the country. The life expectancy of a wiper blade is one year. If your car’s blades are dried out and not making full contact with the windshield, replace them.

Also check and fill your wiper fluid reservoir. A summertime thunderstorm isn’t the best time to run out of wiper fluid or to discover your blades aren’t performing properly.

6. Check the battery. A battery gives little warning before it goes dead. And it’ll likely do so when you least expect it. Hot weather can put additional strain on a battery similar to what is experienced in cold weather. If your vehicle battery is more than three years old, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility. Also, make sure the posts and connections are free of corrosion. If you’re embarking on a long trip, consider replacing the battery if you don’t know how old it is. These days, batteries are not very expensive, and it’s cheap insurance when you’re out on the open road. We also recommend that you always carry jumper cables, as mentioned below in the emergency kit section.

7. Check coolant/antifreeze mixture. The ideal mixture of coolant and water inside your vehicle’s radiator is 50:50. If the mixture deviates from this norm, then hot-weather performance (and cold) can be compromised.

If you were to put pure water in your vehicle’s radiator, it would boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you combine the water with an equal amount of antifreeze, the new mixture boils at a much higher temperature.

You can check the composition of a radiator’s mixture by using an antifreeze tester. You can find these at all auto parts stores, and they are inexpensive and easy to use. If the mixture’s balance is off, adjust it by adding either coolant or water.

8. Carry an emergency kit inside your car. Things you might consider carrying include the following:

  1. A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.
  2. Jumper cables.
  3. Extra clothes and gloves.
  4. Paper towels.
  5. Extra washer fluid.
  6. Food and water.
  7. Basic tools like wrenches, a ratchet and sockets, screwdrivers and pliers or Vise-Grips.

9. Things to Consider When Removing a Vehicle from Long-Term Storage

Those of you who live in an area of the country where the winters are tough might store a car on a long-term basis to protect it from the elements. If you do that, you’ll want to think about a few things before pulling the car out of the garage and hitting the road.

If you changed the oil before putting the car away, then you’ll be in good shape when it’s time to start it up after a long winter in storage. Before starting the car, though, check the oil level on the dipstick first. Recheck it once the car has been idling for a few minutes.

If you have relatively easy access to the spark plugs, consider removing them and pouring two to three small drops of oil in the cylinders to prelube the cylinder walls before startup. This isn’t absolutely critical (we know that plug access on some vehicles is very difficult) but would certainly be helpful in prolonging engine life.

In addition to engine oil, check all vital fluid levels. This includes the brake system’s master cylinder, the coolant level, the power-steering fluid and the transmission fluid if the vehicle has an automatic transmission.

Gasoline stabilizer poured into the tank before the long-storage is begun is also a good idea. If this was done, you’ll be in good shape during startup after the term ends. If getting the vehicle started is a problem and you didn’t use any stabilizer, you might need to drain the old fuel and pour in new gas. Replacing the fuel filter might also be a solution to any problems related to getting the vehicle started after long-term storage.

After parking the vehicle for storage, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery. It’s also a good idea to remove it from the vehicle, too, if you can. Obviously, if you disconnected the battery, you’ll need to reconnect it before starting.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll also want to check tire pressure before hitting the road after long-term storage.

Finally, before moving the vehicle at all, thoroughly check underneath it to determine if there are any leaks that might need attention. Tending to this and the other basic concerns noted above will ensure that you’ll be set to go after your car has been stored for a long period of time.

And as always, Windsor Nissan’s service department is always available to answer any questions you have regarding your vehicle.

Best car deals come at the end of the Month…NOW!

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So Windsor Nissan wants to ask you…When did you buy your car?  Or when do you plan on buying your next vehicle?

Thinking of buying a new car?

Don’t do it on Tuesday.

March 6 is the worst day of the month to purchase new wheels, according to TrueCar.com–a web service that forecasts car prices using dealership data.

This Tuesday you’ll get only a 6 percent discount off a car’s sticker price, as reported on the site.

The best deals on autos tend to come at the end of the month when dealers need to meet their quotas, according to the site. On February 25, for example, the average discount was 8.34 percent.

After a year-long slump following the recession, auto sales have been picking up. February saw the highest auto sales in the past four years and higher gas prices drove more people to buy compact and midsize cars, the Associated Press reports.

If you’re willing to wait it out for a deal, Edmunds. com reports that the end of December is the most cost-effective time to pick up new wheels, with discounts running between 8.5 and 9.5 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Besides the best and worst times in the month, there’s also a pattern among the days of the week. Weekend shoppers get better deals. Dealers perceive people who buy cars on Mondays and Tuesdays to be “need-based buyers,” and are therefore less open to haggling, TrueCar senior analyst Kristen Andersson told Moneyland.

Other than days of the month and week, TrueCar.com notes that “vehicle availability, incentives, holiday shopping and economic conditions” can also determine car-buying discounts.

2009 Saturn AURA named a Best Bet for Passenger Cars by Cars.com

The 2009 Saturn Aura has been named a Best Bet for Passenger cars by Cars.com. To qualify as a Cars.com Best Bet, models must meet three quantified criteria: 

 

A “Good” rating in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests 

Average or higher reliability ratings 

Average or higher gas mileage within their class 

  

“Our Best Bets help narrow down the options for buyers by vehicle class,” said Cars.com Editor in Chief Patrick Olsen. “These are vehicles that any of our editors would drive.” 

2009 Saturn AURA named a Best Bet for Passenger Cars by Cars.com

The 2009 Saturn Aura has been named a Best Bet for Passenger cars by Cars.com. To qualify as a Cars.com Best Bet, models must meet three quantified criteria: 

 

A “Good” rating in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests 

Average or higher reliability ratings 

Average or higher gas mileage within their class 

  

“Our Best Bets help narrow down the options for buyers by vehicle class,” said Cars.com Editor in Chief Patrick Olsen. “These are vehicles that any of our editors would drive.” 

2009 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2009 Chevrolet Traverse, the ultimate family crossover with seating for eight, is available in three trim levels. The base LS which starts at $28,990, the LT which starts at $31,545 and the LTZ which starts at $39,810. There are also two V6 engine choices, one puts out 281 horsepower and 253 pound feet of torque, as a single exhaust and can be found powering the LS and LT models. The other engine has 288 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque. Exterior features include a deep set grille with chrome-ringed trim, turn signals integrated in the outside mirrors, a rear spoiler over the liftgate window and a panoramic sunroof. Inside, the Traverse with available navigation system, is at the upper-center position, and seating for seven or eight adults, including two front bucket seats and a 60/40 second row bench seat or two second row captains chair and 60/40 third row bench seat.

2009 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado now comes with a new 300-hp V-8. Available in two body styles, an extended cab with a six foot bed and a crew cab with a five foot bed, and each with a sticker price below $30,000. The 5.3 liter V-8 comes with aluminum black and heads, a composite intake manifold and roller lifters. The two wheel drive version gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway

2009 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado now comes with a new 300-hp V-8. Available in two body styles, an extended cab with a six foot bed and a crew cab with a five foot bed, and each with a sticker price below $30,000. The 5.3 liter V-8 comes with aluminum black and heads, a composite intake manifold and roller lifters. The two wheel drive version gets 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

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