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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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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!

You Could Win a Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

The Quest has rather unconventional styling for a minivan, but its powertrain fits right in with the pack.All Quest models get a smooth 3.5-liter V6 engine and front-wheel drive. The engine makes 253 horsepower, thanks to variable valve timing, as mated to a continuously variable transmission. As is expected in a minivan, the Quest handles like a car, albeit a tall and heavy one. The 4-wheel independent suspension includes front and rear stabilizer bars to help composure in tight corners, and 4-wheel vented anti-lock disc brakes bring secure stops with a full load and included Brake Assist to help in panic stops. Safety-wise, the Quest includes dual front and side-impact airbags and curtains for the rear occupants.

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

There are anti-lock brakes of course and traction and stability control systems as well. Tire pressure monitoring comes standard. While the 2011 Quest isn’t quite as quirky as its ancestor, it sacrifices none of it style. The inside is roomy and comfortable. The seats are stylish for a vehicle designed to carry up to 7. Seats, that can fold-flat and a center console that can be removed completely. Seats are cloth on the S and SV trims, but leather on the SL and LE. The second-row features dual captain’s chairs, and they fold-forward to allow three third-row passengers to squeeze their way back. All that stylishness doesn’t detract from function. The Quest comes with everything expected of a minivan in 2011, including variable wipers, a 6-CD changer audio system with an auxiliary audio input, a trip computer, power doors and locks, an auto cinching rear liftgate, keyless entry and front and rear air conditioning. On the base S trim, those wheels become alloy, fog lamps get added as does Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system that integrates a 4.3-inch display and iPod integration.

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

The driver seat is power adjustable, the steering wheel has integrated audio controls and is leather-wrapped. The doors slide on their own power by the push of a button. The climate control can vary temperatures for three distinct zones. There’s a rearview monitor as well. On the SL, the wheels are of the 18-inch alloy variety, a roof rack gets added on top, the upgraded mirrors include integrated turn signals, the seat trim is leather and heated in front and the third-row is so-called “quick release” for easy stowage.

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

On the top-of-the-line LE, the headlamps are xenon HID, the audio system is powered by Bose and features 12 speakers, a subwoofer and satellite radio. There is a rear entertainment system that can play DVDs and includes a 9.3 GB storage drive for digital music. On the LE, the liftgate can be opened with one touch and it’s powered as well. One especially noteworthy feature optional on the Quest remains the dual-panel moonroof, which is a step ahead of conventional sunroof designs and allows direct light into the second and third rows.

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

You Could Win at Quest at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ

Chevrolet Orlando

The Chevrolet Orlando is considered to be a crossover type minivan. The pain purpose is to transport many people comfortably. The Orlando is great for a large family or if you need more space for friends. The exterior features a two-box subcompact look which looks very appealing. The interior has three rows for seating up to seven people and is roomy due to its 108.6 inch wheelbase. The front shares the same type of grille as the Malibu sedan. The seating is quite nice, it resembles theater style seating you would want in a media room, but you can also fold them down for more cargo room. The Chevrolet Orlando will be available for purchase in the U.S. as early as 2011.

Chevrolet Orlando

The Chevrolet Orlando is considered to be a crossover type minivan. The pain purpose is to transport many people comfortably. The Orlando is great for a large family or if you need more space for friends. The exterior features a two-box subcompact look which looks very appealing. The interior has three rows for seating up to seven people and is roomy due to its 108.6 inch wheelbase. The front shares the same type of grille as the Malibu sedan. The seating is quite nice, it resembles theater style seating you would want in a media room, but you can also fold them down for more cargo room. The Chevrolet Orlando will be available for purchase in the U.S. as early as 2011.

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