Monday, July 22, 2019

How Often Do You Wash Your Automobile?

Have you ever parked your car at the office or grocery store only to come back and find that a ‘helpful’ citizen has written ‘please wash me’ across the back?
 
 It’s  funny when that message is on someone else’s auto, but it’s extremely disheartening when that mud-caked dust-adorned vehicle belongs to you.
 
With a busy schedule and seemingly more important things to do, washing your auto often falls by the wayside-

The general rule of thumb is to wash your car every two weeks or so. There are special circumstances that might increase or decrease that frequency. If you live in a part of the country where some of the aforementioned hazards are quite common, you’ll need to wash your vehicle more regularly. If you keep it in a garage and only drive once or twice a month, such regular washing might not be necessary.

What’s important is that you take care of your vehicle—yes, even its outside. Washing your car frequently is a great and ultimately inexpensive way of protecting your investment in it.

Car-Lotta wants you to make sure you’re setting aside some time for routine  washes!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ever Drive Through A Cloud On The Ground?

Fog is one of the most unpredictable weather conditions. Your view can be clear one minute and cloudy the next. Because after all,  what is  fog? — a cloud on the ground.
Driving through dense fog can feel like you’re driving blindfolded. You can’t control the weather but you  can control how you drive in unpredictable conditions like fog.
 
           HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU DRIVE SAFELY THROUGH THE FOG:

  • Slow down. Traveling at a reduced speed will give you more time to react and minimize the potential for any impact. If you think you’ll be driving in foggy conditions, be sure to allow extra drive time to make it to your destination safely.
  • Brighten up. Turning on your headlights will help you see the road ahead, while helping others see you. And as their name suggests, fog lights also increase visibility by shining more light closer to the road surface. Just avoid using your high beams, which actually reduce visibility by producing glare.
  • Leave some space. Low visibility can lead to slower reaction times. Increase the distance between you and the vehicles ahead to help account for any sudden stops. 
     
  • Follow the lines. In dense fog, you won’t always be able to rely on what you see ahead. If your visibility is limited, focus on the road markings to make sure you’re staying in your lane.
  • Pull over. If you can’t see in front of you, the best course of action may be to pull over. Turn on your hazard lights and pull off the roadway in a safe location, like a rest stop or parking lot. Then, wait until conditions improve. 
 Car-Lotta hopes these driving tips can help you navigate the foggiest of situations.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Would You Know What TO Do If Your Vehicle Overheats?

Outside temperatures climb during the  summer months.Temperatures inside your vehicle’s engine bay can near 200 degrees. In this type of heat, it’s important to keep your engine cool.
Your vehicles cooling system is usually up to the task. If the needle of your temperature gauge rises or you spot steam coming from under your hood, your car may be overheating.
When your auto overheats, it often means something is wrong with one of the cooling system components, which includes  your fan, radiator, thermostat, hoses and coolant. 
Here are a few steps you can take to help track down your problem and get back on the road.
  • Turn up the heat. While it may seem counterintuitive, turning your heat on full blast can actually help disperse the heat coming from your engine. 
  • Find a safe place to pull over. Driving your car when its overheating can cause serious – and sometimes permanent – damage to your engine, so it’s best to stop driving as soon as possible. Pull over, away from oncoming traffic, then turn off your engine.
  • Open your hood. After parking your car, open your hood to let excess heat escape – then, stay back to let things cool down. Never touch a hot engine with your bare hands!
  • Look for leaks. You may not be a mechanic, but some cooling system issues aren’t difficult to identify. Look at your radiator and hoses to see if you can find leaking coolant. 
  • Fill your coolant. If you can’t find a leak, you may be low on coolant.  To check your coolant level, you’ll need to remove your radiator cap – but only after your engine has cooled off. Once your engine is cool, use a towel to slowly remove the cap. Your coolant should reach the top of the radiator. If it doesn’t, top it off. And be sure to check the plastic coolant expansion tank, if your car has one. Most cars use a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but you can just add room temperature water as a temporary fix.
If your car was low on coolant, you can start it back up after topping it off. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge to ensure that it is in a safe range. If you found a coolant leak, or your coolant was full, it may be  time to call your mechanic.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Do You Know How To?

If you’ve ever been forced to parallel park your vehicle, chances are these thoughts have crossed your mind. It’s sometimes an intimidating and frustrating task. The potential for embarrassment can leave you wanting to just find somewhere else to park. But in some cases, parallel parking may be necessary.
Here are  a few steps to help master the art of parallel parking:

 
  1. Find a spot where parking is permitted. Check your local laws for specifics. In general, you’re usually not allowed to park on a sidewalk, crosswalk or bridge; in an intersection; or blocking a driveway or alley. You also can’t park too close to a fire hydrant or stop/yield sign, though the allowed distance tends to vary by state.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Use your turn signal before parking and make sure to check your mirrors before coming to a stop.
      
  3. Align your car. Pull up directly next to the vehicle that will be in front of you.
  4. Back up. First, check behind you again to make sure there are no pedestrians or oncoming cars. Then, begin back up while turning your wheel to the right. (Just make sure you don’t clip the vehicle in front of you.)
  5. Straighten it out. Once your front door passes the back bumper of the vehicle, straighten your wheels and keep backing up.
  6. Pull in tight. Turn your wheel sharply to the left when your vehicle is completely clear of the one ahead. Back up slowly until you reach the vehicle behind you.
  7. Center your vehicle. Turn your front wheels sharply to the right and center your vehicle in the parking spot. 
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But follow these steps and with a little bit of practice, you’ll be well on your way to parallel parking like a pro. 
Car-Lotta reminds you ...… If you’re on a hill, be sure to set your parking brake and turn your wheel left so your tires make contact with the curb. This will help protect your vehicle from going into oncoming traffic if anything goes wrong.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Do You Pull To The Right?

If you or someone you love requires emergency assistance, you want help to arrive as quickly and safely as possible. You can help first responders reach an emergency as quickly as possible and it  is as simple as pulling to the right for sirens and lights.
Some people  see an emergency vehicles with activated lights and sirens panic or simply do not adhere to the rules of the road.  Drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Failure to do so can cause serious accidents or delays for paramedics, firefighters and police officers arriving at the scene of an emergency. First responders are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by passing vehicles on the left, driving slowly when traveling against traffic or coming to a complete stop at intersections if necessary. The cooperation of ALL drivers on the roadway is critical for everyone’s safety.
There are a few simple steps and rules to follow when you are on the road and encounter  emergency vehicles responding to a scene:
  • Stay calm.
  • Pull to the right and come to a complete stop.
  • If you are traveling on a high-speed road or if there is no room to stop, move to the right and slow down as much as possible.
  • If you are in the left lane, move over into the right lane as other traffic in the right lane moves over and stops.
  • If you cannot move to the right because of another vehicle or obstacle, just stop. Your action will let the driver of the emergency vehicle know what you are doing and allow the driver to anticipate where to drive.
  • When an emergency vehicle approaches you from behind while you are stopped at an intersection, stay where you are unless you can pull to the right.
  • On a four-lane highway or street without barriers, both sides of traffic should pull to the right.
  • Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working.
  • Drivers should stay at least 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.
 
There are several actions you should avoid when encountering a responding emergency vehicle:
  • Do not panic.
  • Do not play your radio so loudly that you are unable to hear sirens.
  • Do not drive distracted.
  • Do not stop in the middle of your lane when there is room to pull to the right.
  • Do not pull to the left into the center turn lane, left turn lane or into oncoming traffic.
  • Do not race ahead to make the green light or turn before the emergency vehicle gets there.
  • Do not turn quickly to the left onto a side street or driveway.
  • Do not drive through a red light or stop sign when an emergency vehicle approaches from behind.
  • Do not disregard the presence of the emergency vehicle by continuing to drive.
 
Car-Lotta reminds you that during emergencies, seconds count. Following these rules, you can assist both first responders and victims of emergency situations. Speak with your local first responders for more information.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Why Buy Gas On Monday?

With the busy summer travel season right around the corner, drivers are starting to notice higher prices at the pump!
 
f you’re trying to save as much money as you can, you may want to change the day of the week that you fill up.
 
After analyzing gas price data from January through March, reports indicate in Pennsylvania that Mondays offers the lowest average gas price making it the best day of the week to buy gas and  Friday is the worst day to buy gas.
 
There is variation in daily gas prices across different states, the consensus is that the earlier motorists fill-up during the week, the better. Following Monday, Sunday is the cheapest day to fill-up.  Conversely, Thursday follows Friday as the most expensive day to fill-up.
 
Car-Lotta wants to make sure you get all the info you  need when making a purchase.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Do You Have A Summer BreakDown Kit?

Summer heat can  wreak havoc on a vehicle and its function. The warm weather, hot roads, long  trips, and dry air combine to create a hostile work environment for your car. Here are a few things to consider as you hit the road during  hot summer months.

Checking your tire pressure is an important things to  do  — especially during the summer months. Hot tires on hot pavement is  a recipe for a blowout. If your tires are improperly inflated, the risk of catastrophic failure is even greater. Help prevent hazardous situations by checking your tires once a month and replacing them before they become dangerously worn.

Hot weather can also shorten your battery’s usable life. The extra vibration from summer trips can also damage your battery. It’s always a good idea to carry a set of jumper cables, or even a battery jump box, so you don’t get stranded. Check your car’s battery terminals for corrosion, and make sure the battery itself is  mounted securely.


 Low coolant levels can literally kill your engine. Worn hoses or a damaged radiator can allow coolant to leak and engine temperatures to rise. Keep an especially close eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge during summer months to prevent  any overheating.
Every driver should put together a “summer breakdown kit”:
  • Water (one gallon per person)
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Emergency blanket (doubles as shade)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Basic tool kit
  • Pocket knife and/or multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • Tow strap
  • Replacement fuses
  • Cell phone charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Hazard signs and flares
  • Can of tire sealant
  • Shop towels or paper towels
  • Work gloves
 
Car-Lotta Credit and Car Sales reminds you to Drive Safe.... and enjoy your summer