Tag Archives: auto advice

The Proper Way to Pump Gas: a Guide for New Jerseyans

We all know that it is not necessary to pump your own gas in the great state of New Jersey. This is a brilliant concept for those who live in NJ, and stay in NJ, but once a New Jerseyan crosses the border into Pennsylvania, New York, or Delaware, going to the gas station is a whole different ballgame. No longer is it a quick, painless trip; it becomes a full-on battle of ‘you vs. the gas pump’. The following is a guide for New Jerseyans on how to properly pump gas, so that when presented with the challenge, the outcome will not result in tangled hoses, gas stained hands, or the genius question of: ‘do I pay before or after I pump?!’. After you read this guide you will be just as capable of skillfully pumping gas like our nice neighbors (and, maybe, even better!).

First Things First: Know which side of the car your gas tank door is on. It is quite embarrassing to drive up to a pump, turn off your car and get out, only to realize that you need to get back into your car and move to the other side of the pump. Save yourself the trouble, and embarrassment, – remember what side your gas tank door is on!

Okay, Another First Thing: Keep baby wipes in your middle consul. After you are finished pumping your gas you can use them to wipe your hands and get rid of the smell the gas pump left behind.

How to Handle the Gas Pump Kiosk: Remember to read the instructions on the gas pump kiosk – they are there for a reason! Many gas stations require that you pay before you pump. So, if you are paying by credit card you will most likely need to swipe your card and then proceed with the rest of the process. If you are paying by cash you will need to go inside the store, tell the attendant how much gas you want, and then pay before you go back out to your station to pump.

Once You Have Paid: Here is where the fun begins! You need to specify which type of gas you would like to pump (regular, premium, or super). Some kiosks will ask you this and make the process easy, but for others you just need to know to press the correlating button above the gas hose that pumps out the specific gas you want.

Making the Hose Work: In order to do this you will need to lift the hose’s handle off of its stand in the kiosk and then insert the nozzle of the hose into the gas tank opening. Make sure that the nozzle is secure – you don’t need it falling off and pouring gas out everywhere! Next, there will either be a switch or button on the pump to allow the gas to flow. Press/switch it. In order to get the gas through the nozzle of the hose you will need to pull up on the trigger located in the handle of the hose (you will know what this is when you grasp the handle). Some of the triggers will lock, allowing the gas to move into the gas tank freely (which mean you can clean your windows or go get a snack). However, some of them do not have a lock and will make you hold down the trigger until the gas is finished pumping.

When It’s Done, It’s Done: You will know when your gas tank is full (or when you have reached your $ limit) when the gas stops pumping and you hear a loud ‘clunk’ sound (this is the pump shutting off). Remove the nozzle and place the handle back onto its proper place in the kiosk. Remember to screw your gas cap back on (and listen for the loud ‘click, click, click’ – when you hear that sound the gas cap is firmly screwed on)!

That’s all there is to it! You are now an expert gas pumper!

Remember: Always shut your car completely off before pumping gas!!

We Could All Use Some Peace and Quiet

Have you been trying to drown out the noise of the road by turning up your music or convincing yourself that it isn’t “that” loud? Well, there are ways to reduce the amount of road noise in your car.

The first thing to do is… to determine the source of the noise. Some common causes are tires that create a lot of excess noise on certain types of pavement and engine and exhaust systems that have not been repaired or have been improperly modified. We would be happy to service your vehicle and find the cause of the extra noise. If they are the true cause of the problem, then no amount of simple do-it-yourself fixes can truly and completely “cover up” the noise.

If you want to take it one step further, you can purchase insulation products that can be installed underneath the carpeting and seats of the vehicle. These products are often called, Heat, Noise and Sound Insulation and are fairly inexpensive – one roll often costs less than $30. This project can be a bit time consuming, so you may want to reserve a Saturday afternoon to handle the task.

So whether you want to purchase quieter tires, or try an option like cloth floor mats, there are plenty of possibilities for every budget. Just be sure your expectations are in check, some vehicles are naturally louder than others, either from age or design – while others might be easier to fix.

However, if you have identified that your noise is just a symptom of the general operation of the vehicle, then there are things you can do yourself. First, purchase cloth or carpeted floor mats. These will help insulate some of the noise the driver experiences. Extra layers of fabric or insulation absorb noise, so cloth seat covers can also help to absorb a bit of noise.

Keep the Junk Out of Your Car

Somehow…someway… junk piles up in your car. Receipts from ATM machines, leftover change from the takeout you had last night, an empty water bottle, shoes for the gym, etc. flood the floor of your car and prevent your friends or family members from comfortably sitting down. You don’t know how it all got there and you don’t know why – but you do know that you want it gone. So how do you go about preventing junk from piling up?

First, in order to stop trash from piling up, add a trash bag to your car. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just grab a plastic bag from your home and place it in the passenger side door storage holder or hang it from the back of the passenger seat. Then, every time you acquire a piece of trash, all you need to do is place your trash in the trash bag. This will prevent receipts, gum wrappers, and other miscellaneous items from piling up on the floor of your car.

Next, if you have a hobby that requires a change of clothes or materials to be left in your car make sure you keep in it a bag in the trunk of your car. This will keep it out of sight and out of the way of potential passengers. Also, if you have children, try keeping toys and electronics in a crate or box in the back seat. This way, the toys are not set out everywhere with the potential of flying out a widow or being stepped on.

Last, but certainly not least or finally, if you are one of those people who throw change all around your vehicle, then try keeping your change in one particular area. If you do not have a slot in your dashboard for change, place a cup in one of your cup holders and use it for your change. You will be amazed at how much change you really do have!

Remember to clean the inside of your car at least once a month! Routinely vacuuming your floor mats, floors, and seats, and cleaning the button/dials in your car will not only keep your car looking and smelling nice, but will prevent dirt from building up in your buttons – preventing them from working properly!

The Ultimate Road Trip

We have all fallen witness to the fact that road trips can be long, drawn out, and downright miserable if not executed properly. A summer vacation to Florida can go from awesome to terrible in a matter of minutes if you have to listen to your mother correct your father’s driving skills for first 100 miles of the trip. If you want to steer clear of the bad road trip, all you have to do is follow the five rules to planning an ultimate road trip.

Rule 1: Create the Ultimate Mix Tape or Playlist

When planning a road trip you need to prepare music that everyone in the vehicle will enjoy. So, before embarking, ask all the members in your party what music genres they like and what their favorite songs are. Try to make at least one CD/Tape/Playlist per person, for each day you plan on being in the vehicle. Finally, compile each with a variety of music that pleases everyone. (This rule may be more difficult than you think! So please take the time to plan this out perfectly!)

Rule 2: Add Some Fun!

Road trips can be dull, there is no denying that. The task of continuously driving is tedious, and with out proper ‘fun’ it can make your road trip stagnant. So in order to pump up your road trip’s fun level, look up some car games on the internet. Try to avoid car games that require singing because you want to avoid irritating the driver!  Be creative with this; come up with games that are yours and yours alone (this will help make future road trips more alluring because people will have something to look forward to).

Rule 3: Shotgun Rules…Very Important

A week, or so, before you leave on your road trip ask your party to list 5 to 10 shotgun calling rules. Put them together, print them out, and then distribute them to all members of the trip. The shotgun calling rules will fun, but more importantly, the rules should prevent all in car or parking lot brawls amongst your buddies.

Rule 4: Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

Choosing the right snacks is crucial when planning an ultimate road trip.  First, and foremost, make sure that you pack snacks that will not be irritating to others in the car. For example, do not pack any type of food with an obnoxious odor. If you pack chips, make you they stay between the bag and your mouth because creating a trail of crumbs throughout the car is a pain to the owner of the vehicle. Instead of potato chips try chocolate covered raisins or oatmeal bars with candies in them. Another thing to remember is: limit snacks to ones that will not cause members of your party to have to go to the bathroom a lot. Multiple ‘pit stop’ interruptions are not fun and a complete buzz kill.

Rule 5: Pay Attention to Traffic

Being stuck in a traffic jam is the worst! Make sure you print out directions (as well as an alternate route), grab a set of maps, and, if you have a GPS system, pre-program your destination. Every once in a while listen to local radio stations to check for road delays and traffic jams. If you hear about a traffic jam early enough you can check your maps and avoid sitting in hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Also, do not let everyone in the car attempt to be Christopher Columbus and offer his or her personal interpretation of how to get to your final landing place.  Everyone does NOT have a great sense of directions so make sure you figure out who to listen to and who to ignore in the event that you get lost.

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