The wait is over. After its buzz-generating debut at the recent New York International Auto Show in April, the 2016 Maxima has arrived at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ. As Nissan’s flagship sedan, the all-new eighth-generation design takes the company’s best-known nameplate into new territory with its boldest styling, most powerful engine and highest level of available safety and connected technology features yet.
“With its winning combination of style, technology and driving excitement, we see it appealing to both the large number of previous Maxima owners and buyers considering vehicles from luxury brands. We’ve proven Maxima can go tire-to-tire on the track. We think we can do it in the showroom as well,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc.
A 2016 Nissan Maxima SR recently posted the lowest average lap time in independent third-party testing at Buttonwillow Raceway against the 2015 Acura TLX 3.5 (FWD) with Technology Package, 2015 Audi A4 2.0T quattro® Premium Plus Tiptronic and 2015 BMW 328i sedan. So if you truly seek performance, value and style the 2016 Nissan Maxima sports sedan is the ideal car for you!
The Dramatically styled “4-Door Sports Car” landed in East Windsor, New Jersey with 300 horsepower, jet fighter-inspired interior and $32,410 starting M.S.R.P.
All 2016 Maximas feature a revised 300-horsepower 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine and new performance-oriented Xtronic transmission. The comprehensive re-engineering effort also results in a 15 percent increase (over the previous generation Maxima) in highway fuel economy to 30 miles per gallon.
Maxima’s next-generation technology features include standard NissanConnectSM with navigation and available 11-speaker Bose® premium audio system, NissanConnectSMServices powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD).
The 2016 Maxima also offers an extensive range of available safety, security and driving aids, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system.
The 2016 Maxima is available in five well-equipped models (all equipment is grade standard, no available options): Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. It is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, with engines assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.
The new Maxima starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of $32,410 for Maxima S. The Maxima SV is $34,390, while the Maxima SL is $36,890. The sporty Maxima SR is priced at $37,670 and the top-of-the-line Maxima Platinum is $39,860.
For photography and additional information about the 2016 Nissan Maxima, along with the complete lineup of Nissan vehicles, please visit www.WindsorNissan.com, call a Windsor Nissan Sales Professional at (609) 448-1411 or simply visit us at 590 US-130 in East Windsor, NJ 08520. We can’t wait to have you join in on the excitement!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Top 10 Tips for Winter Driving
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any type of slippery surface i.e. wet, ice, sand or snow.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Biggest Sale in Windsor’s 20 Year History
East Windsor, NJ – General Manager Michael Maguire has announced a $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale on Friday, October 25th at 9:15AM and ends on Monday October 28th at 9PM.
This sale is taking place at Windsor Nissan 590 US 130 East Windsor NJ, just minutes from Route, I-95 and Route 1. Registration starts at 9:00AM. Vehicles will be clearly marked, so come early for the best selection.
This is a one-of-a-kind, three day only sale designed to get the local community driving again. According to General Manager Michael Maguire “We are helping those people that just can’t afford a car right now.”
Windsor Nissan’s pre-owned inventory levels need to be reduced to make room for the arrival of additional 2014 Nissan models. As a result, Windsor Nissan is selling these additional pre-owned vehicles to the public at drastic discounts in an attempt to help its core customers get back on the road. These are the regular folks who are feeling this economic downturn the hardest.
Windsor Nissan believes that reviving the economy starts at home, and that changing things locally will lead to changing things nationally.
In addition to Windsor Nissan’s extra inventory, additional vehicles have been acquired at incredible prices from various banks, repossession companies, auto auctions, credit unions, lease companies, and rental companies for this sale.
The $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale will make vehicles available at low prices that are not normally offered to the general public. According to Mr. Maguire, “We want to give our customers a reason to believe in the local economy again. Someone’s got to look out for their best interests.”
Customers are encouraged to arrive as early as 9:00AM. Every vehicle will be cleaned, detailed, and fully prepared for instant delivery. At 9:15AM, Michael Maguire and his team will mark the special sale price on each and every vehicle.
And because Windsor Nissan customers are feeling the credit crunch right now, Mr. Maguire has given the dealership’s financing manager the resources necessary to get most customers’ credit approved on the spot. This means that customers with “less than perfect” credit history can have their credit approved and drive a quality pre-owned car, truck, van or SUV home. Even if a customer’s credit report shows a bankruptcy, divorce, tax lien, slow payment history, missed payment, or repossession, or if a customer is a first time buyer, Windsor Nissan will accept all applications.
This special, THREE DAY ONLY $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale will be held in East Windsor on Friday, October 25th at 9:15AM and end on Monday, October 28th at 9PM.
Customers are encouraged to register as early as 9:00AM. Incredible sale prices, starting as low as $990, will be posted no later than 9:15AM. All vehicles will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Windsor Nissan is expecting a high volume of customers for this sale, so be sure to reserve your spot early.
Customers wishing to trade in a vehicle are asked to bring their title or payment book for immediate delivery. Windsor Nissan will even pay off your trade-in in full, no matter how much you still owe on it. Negative equity will carry forward. Most of these surplus pre-owned vehicles will get sent directly to auto auctions for liquidation. So, if anyone has been thinking about purchasing a good, clean, dependable pre-owned car, truck, van or sport utility vehicle, do not miss this special one day only sale.
For more information about this sale at the Windsor Nissan, please contact them at: 1-800-884-3816
590 US 130, East Windsor, NJ 08520
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The newly redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra was named Best-In-Class Compact Car in AutoPacific‘s 17th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA), topping a list of 15 other vehicles.
An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, AutoPacific’s VSA are based on the results of responses from more than 52,000 new vehicle owners. VSA vehicles are assessed on 51 separate attributes, ranging from interior comfort to fuel economy and performance to determine owner satisfaction.
Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America said: “Always a smart, economical purchase, the 2013 Sentra pairs value and best-in-class fuel efficiency with style and comfort. It is great to see Sentra owners give the vehicle high marks in this important third-party survey, and share their satisfaction with the vehicle. The completely-redesigned Sentra earning an AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award helps solidify its place in a very competitive class.”
Sentra’s all-new design is elegant, modern and refined. It offers a high-quality interior design with available features not usually found in compact vehicles, including dual-zone auto temperature control, Bose® premium audio system, and a navigation system with hands-free text messaging assistant.
Sentra includes several changes contributing to the increased fuel savings. The 2013 Sentra is 150 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room. The lighter and more aerodynamic Sentra also uses a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine, which along with its next-generation Xtronic CVT® with sub-planetary gear helps deliver a 13 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy (over the prior model year). Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon city, 39 miles per gallon highway and a class-leading 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*.
*2013 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate 34 MPG combined 50-state emissions and CVT transmission; 33 MPG combined CA state emissions. Actual mileage may vary — use for comparison only. Ward’s Light Vehicle Market Segmentation. MY13 Sentra vs. 2012 Upper Small Class excluding Hybrid and Diesel models.
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.
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!!!
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!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!