Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Year's Resolutions...For Your Car

It's a new day, it's a new year.  Many of you have made some resolutions this year that look something like this:
  1. Eat healthier
  2. Exercise more
  3. Read more books
  4. Keep vehicle(s) maintained
Is that what your list looks like?  We all know how important it is to take care of our body and mind, but are we as concerned about maintaining our vehicles?

Some of the most simple maintenance can be done on a daily basis.  Maintenance such as checking the operation of lights, horn, direction indicators, wipers, washers, and warning lights can be checked daily.  You can also check seat belts and brakes regularly (since you probably already use them regularly).   Also, look for fluid deposits underneath your vehicle.

Weekly checks that you can perform are fluid levels of the engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and tire pressure.  Check your owner's manual to find out exactly what each level should be, and which fluid to use (not all vehicles use the same fluids for each system).

There is also some more in-depth maintenance that should be done regularly.  30/60/90K mileage maintenance should be completed on the specified interval.  It's also a good idea to continue regular maintenance every 30K miles after you hit the 90K mile mark.  Also ensure that your vehicle receives regular oil changes and tire rotations.  Become familiar with your owner's manual to help stay on-top of any regular needed maintenance.

As always, Jake's Auto is happy to perform any needed maintenance on your vehicles.

Night Driving

Did you know that the most dangerous time to drive is at night? It's harder to see, your depth perception may be off a little due to less light, animals may be out more, fatigue increases, and poor weather conditions seem to get worse as the sun goes down (especially at this time of year).

Since roads don't just shut down once it's dark outside, and that's not even realistic in the slightest (who wants to be stuck somewhere all night?), there are some precautions you can take to stay safe in the dark.
  1. Make sure your headlights are properly aligned and are clean.
  2. Clean the inside of your windshield to eliminate streaks and glares.
  3. Although we don't see as much fog in Utah as other places, turn fog lights or low beams on when driving through fog or to give you better visibility.
  4. Slow down to compensate for limited visibility.
  5. Don't out-drive your headlight beams.  Meaning, make sure you can stop within the beam of your headlights.
  6. Leave a larger stopping gap between you and other vehicles.
  7. Don't focus on the headlights of oncoming traffic.  Focus on the right side of the road.
  8. Make frequent stops and walk around to avoid fatigue.
  9. Don't smoke, smoke clouds can affect visibility.
  10. Watch for deer, and remember they travel in packs.
  11. If you have to pull over, pull far off the road and turn on lights.
  12. Have your eyes checked regularly.

Winter Driving Series: Driving in a Snowstorm

Until recently, we had not received very much snow. Waking up to a white Christmas made everything magical.  Although, driving in the snow, isn't quite as magical as it was Christmas Day.  We have a few tips to help keep you safe as you drive on those not-so-magical snow packed streets!

First, be sure to clear off your car.  When clearing off your windshield use a brush, (you can damage your windshield wipers if the snow is too wet and heavy if you try using the wipers).  Make sure to get the other windows, mirrors, headlights, and brake lights.  You'll want to make sure that you can see others and the area around you, and that they can see you!

Remember to slow down, even if your vehicle has 4 wheel drive.  Everybody seems to be running late and in a hurry once the roads are covered in snow.  Commutes get longer, and even your short drives seem to double in time. Leave early and be patient with the other drivers on the road.  Also, remember to increase distances between you and the vehicle in front of you.  It takes longer to stop when the roads are snow packed. Which also means, you should start stopping sooner, in case you slide.

Drive in already established tire tracks, and change lanes only when necessary.  Watch for black ice.  You'll want to drive on the inside lanes, as snow tends to build up along curbs and shoulders.

As always, be prepared for an emergency.  Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with jumper cables, flashlight, ice scraper, flare, blanket, snacks, and water.  Keep your gas tank at least half full.

When you come home at night, check your city ordinances before parking on the street.  Draper City ordinances do not allow people to park on the street from November 15-April 15 between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am.  Other surrounding cities have similar ordinances, so it is important to check with the city you live in.  Snow plows often come around at night, and we all want to have clear roads, so keep your streets clear .

Snow brings with it a whole array of winter sports, just make sure your driving isn't one of them!

Parking Lot Safety Tips

During most winters, parking lots can be a scary place, both for drivers and pedestrians. Snow packed roads, icy walkways, and distracted people can make parking lot safety less than ideal. Here are some tips to keep you and those around you safe.

-Keep in mind that while driving in a parking lot, driving laws still apply.
-Obey speed limits and lane designations...don't cut diagonally across the lot.
-Be careful backing up, and avoid it when possible. Back into spaces, so that you won't have to put the vehicle in reverse when leaving.
-Do everything you need to do before leaving a parking space, i.e. adjusting seat belts, mirrors, etc.
-Don't talk on the phone.
-Always watch for pedestrians and give them the right of way.

-Look for snow plows and anticipate ice.  Wear nonslip shoes to prevent falls.
-Stay to the sides, don't weave between vehicles.
-Walk as a group, especially when you have children with you.  Groups of people are easier to see than individuals, especially children.
-Make eye contact with drivers, and only proceed if you are sure the driver saw you.
-Don't talk on the phone or listen to headphones--always be aware of your surroundings.  Use your eyes and ears.  You will probably see and hear the cars before they see you.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Top 2016 Holiday Activities

Are you looking for something fun to do with your family this Christmas season?  We've compiled a short list of some fun family friendly activities to do.
  • Elves at Gardner Village, Nov 19-Dec 24. Come join the scavenger hunt and find all the funny little elves and see what they are up to.
  • Luminaria-Thanksgiving Point, Nov 21-Dec 31. Come stroll through the beautiful Ashton Gardens enjoying the beautiful lights and displays.
  • North Pole Express-Heber Valley Railroad, Nov 25-Dec 24. Enjoy a trip to the North Pole with hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.  You'll enjoy a sing-a-along and a visit from Santa.
  • Lights at Temple Square, Nov 25-Dec 31. A timeless tradition. Walk through the grounds of the Historic Temple Square, enjoying the lights, the nativities, and the company of others.
  • Zoolights-Hogle Zoo, Dec 1-31. Come celebrate the season with animals from all over the world. Enjoy the beautiful light displays, and warm up with some hot chocolate. Most nights will feature a fun family or child activity.
  • South Jordan Candy Windows, Dec 2-31. The kick-off for these fun candy windows will be Dec 2 at Light the Night. The shop windows will be decorated in seasonal Christmas fashion.
  • A Candlelight Christmas-This is the Place Heritage Park, Dec 9-23. Go back in time to a Pioneer Christmas. See Santa and Mrs. Clause and enjoy a quieter, more simple Christmas celebration.
  • Dickens Christmas Festival-South Towne Expo Center, Dec 8-10. Visit 19th Century London for some shopping and fun.
  • Draper Candy Cane Hunt, Dec 12. Kids age 3-6 can come and hunt for candy canes spread throughout the park.
  • Christmas Carole Sing-Along-Viviant Center, Dec 12. Come sing your heart out with the Larry H Miller family.
There are so many more fun activities to do with family and friends this Christmas season.  Some of these might be some longtime favorite traditions, and some might become new favorite traditions.  We just hope you are able to enjoy the holidays with those you love. 

Holiday Shopping-Stay Safe

Christmas shopping is in full swing now, and the stores are just as busy as ever.  We want to help keep you safe this holiday season as you enjoy picking out just the right gift for your loved ones. Here are some tips to keep you safe and harm-free.
  1. Stay alert. Be aware of suspicious people, vehicles, or situations around you.  Keep you purse, bags, or wallet close to your person.
  2. Park in well-lit areas.  Have your keys ready before you arrive at your car.  Keep your doors locked.
  3. Don't leave valuables in your vehicle. If you do leave valuables or recently purchased shopping, keep them in a trunk.  Remember the old adage, "out of sight, out of mind."
  4. Don't carry around large amounts of cash.  Don't pull out credit or debit cards until asked by cashiers.  Don't make it easy for someone to snap a picture of your card, or pick pocket you for that extra cash.
  5. Shop with friends.  There is safety in numbers.
  6. If you are shopping with small children, keep them close.  Make a plan ahead of time if you get separated.  Explain that they can go talk to a clerk if they get lost.
It's such a magical time of year, we hope that a few helpful tips will continue spreading the magic of Christmas through out the season.

Give the Gift of Safety-Don't Drink and Drive

The holiday season starts for most the week of Thanksgiving.  We enjoy being with friends and family and celebrating all of the many things we are grateful for.  We start celebrating Christmas the very next day with sale after sale on Black Friday and continue through New Year's Eve.

During this time of year, we all have more time off and more to celebrate. Sometimes as we celebrate drinking increases, and winter road conditions deteriorate, which could lead to a recipe for disaster. The sad truth is that not only is this the most celebrated time of year, it is also the time of year when the most alcohol-related deaths occur.

During the holiday season, 40% of highway deaths are alcohol related. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's, 2-3 times more people die due to alcohol related accidents.

Also in the state of Utah, if you received a DUI, you will receive criminal penalties and unrelated civil penalties (  Penalties typically include jail time, community service, fines, suspension of your driver license, treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, impounded vehicles and fines, and ignition interlock device and fees.

Avoiding alcohol-related problems at this time of year, can be as simple as planning ahead.  Don't drink if you are planning to drive. One drink for one person can have a drastically different effect on that person than it might on another.  Don't even risk driving if you've had anything to drink.

Another course you could take is to have a designated driver, or call for a cab.  Ask a friend who won't be drinking to give you a ride home. Robert J. Debry has a great "Get a Free Ride Home" program for those who live in the Salt Lake Metro area. In the long run, it could save you, those you love, and those you don't even know by having someone else take you home after you've been drinking.

We definitely encourage everyone to enjoy this holiday season, but do so responsibly. One gift we can all give this year is the gift of safe driving to all those who are driving on the roads with you.

Winter Driving Series: Keep Your Car Running This Winter

We know that the last thing you want to worry about this holiday season is a broken down vehicle.  We don't blame you.  You want to be able to focus on Christmas shopping, parties, and spending time with those you care about.  We've put together a list of a few things you can check out yourself to keep your vehicle up and running.
  • Check your wiper blades and consider putting winter wiper blades on your vehicle.  You want a good set of wiper blades that will clear away the rain and snow and keep your windshield clean and improve visibility.
  • Check exterior lights.  Be sure that your parking lights, turn signals, reverse lights, and your license plate light are all working.  Check your headlights and fog lights (if your vehicle has them).  A burnt out headlight will significantly cut down your visibility.
  • Check the condition of your tires.  Look for uneven tread wear or sidewall fatigue.  Check the tire pressure, and review your owner's manual for the proper tire pressure.
  • Clean windows inside and out. This will continue to improve visibility, and could prevent you from seeing obstacles in the road.
  • Check fluid levels.  Check oil, windshield wiper fluid, and antifreeze. Use your owner's manual to help you know what type of fluid to refill low reservoirs or overflow bottles.
  • Lube door hinges with spray lube.  This will help prevents squeaky doors.
  • Check your emergency kit.  Make sure it's been restocked. Keep a blanket, flashlight, snacks, and water, among other things in an emergency kit.
  • Get your battery checked. Winters can be rough on a battery, and a battery doesn't always show signs of fatigue before it stops working.
Keep in mind, there are a lot of things you can check on your vehicle yourself, especially if you review your owner's manual.  However, don't get in over your head.  Give us a call and let us look at your vehicle if you have any questions or concerns. or especially if you are unsure of how to check something. This can help prevent costly repairs and keep your vehicle running great through the winter months.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Winterization Special $89

  • Lube oil and filter (up to 5 quarts of conventional oil) or upgrade to synthetic
  • Windshield washer fluid and check freeze point
  • 2 new wiper blades (or upgrade to the Rain-X Latitude for $10 per blade)
  • Check engine coolant level, condition, and freeze point
  • Check transmission fluid
  • Check power steering fluid
  • Check transfer case fluid (if applicable)
  • Check front and rear differential fluid and condition (where applicable)
  • Check air filter
  • Check cabin air filter
  • Check tire wear
  • Check tire pressure and fill to proper psi rating
  • Check for proper defroster operation
  • Check heater output temperature
  • Check battery starting and charging systems
  • 4 wheel brake inspection
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Check all exterior lights and signals
  • Check belts and hoses
Expires 12/31/16

Winter Driving Series: Snow Tires

As the weather cools off, you may be asking yourself, "Are snow tires really necessary?" or "What is the big deal with snow tires?"

In the climate we live in, rain and snow can be replaced with sunshine in a matter of 5 minutes. Even though the precipitation may change, the winter months generally have some pretty cold temperatures.  This is where snow tires or winter tires (as they are also called) are helpful.

Winter tires are just that, for the winter.  They are made of softer rubber that is better able to grip the road and be more flexible.  The tread patterns are made to dig down deep into the snow and ice.  They also get better traction on cold, wet roads.

Winter tires provide better traction, stability, and breaking. Tires are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle, so wouldn't you want the safest tire for the conditions out there?

Your next question might be, "Can I just purchase 2 or do I really need 4 winter tires?"  Since winter tires are unique in the type of rubber and design used, they will function differently than an all season or other tire.  Because of this, having 4 winter tires on your vehicle will be safer.

Finally, when do you install winter tires, and when is the time to take them off?  For most average Utah winters, you will want to have your winter tires put on around Thanksgiving.  The time to take them off is usually around tax time, as the roads begin warming up.

Stay safe this winter and ensure your tires are in good condition!

Thanksgiving Driving Tips

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of year to travel.  Whether you are flying or driving somewhere, or staying home, you are probably hoping for a safe holiday weekend.  We've put together a few ideas to help you have a happy Thanksgiving, while you are out on the road.
  1. Be Safe.  Buckle up and double check that your kids are buckled safely, and riding in the correct car/booster seat.  Follow speed limits.  The roads may be wet, and driving too fast will be more dangerous.  Never drive under the influence, and keep other distractions at a distance.
  2. Pack Smart. Don't overload your vehicle and pack everything safely so that you do not have luggage or other items moving around as you drive.  Don't forget to pack snacks and beverages (nonalcoholic, since you'll be driving) for you and the kids.  Bring activities for your kids to work on, so they don't become your distractions.
  3. Be Prepared. Bring your car in for a pre-trip check to ensure every system is performing correctly.  Fuel up before you leave and check the weather and traffic routes.  Carry an emergency kit that is stocked with a cell phone charger, a few tools, jumper cables, a space blanket, a flashlight, a glow-stick, extra snacks, and water.
We hope you and your family have a safe holiday weekend!

New Car Maintenance

Is your car under a manufacturer warranty?

Jake's Auto & Truck Repair can help protect your new car or truck warranty. Our technicians can perform all of your repair and service needs while keeping your warranty in effect.

Why service and maintain your new car with us? 
  • You can choose where to have your car serviced.The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 prohibits automakers from specifying the use of a certain brand or parts or forcing a car owner to return to the new-car dealership in order to maintain the factory warranty.
  • Our relationships is with you not the automaker.  Talk with us about how to protect and extend the life and performance of your new car in the most cost effective way
  • Technician Training. All of our technicians receive ongoing training throughout the year on a variety of automotive subjects to keep pace with technology. Employee training at Jake's Auto & Truck Repair is a requirement and is considered an essential part in maintaining quality service and customer satisfaction.
  • Cost. Jake's Auto & Truck Repair does the same work a new-car dealership service center would, for a fraction of the cost. The best part is it does not void your warranty!

Automotive Technician Appreciation Day

We love our technicians and November 15 is Automotive Technician Appreciation Day!  We couldn't do what we do without our amazing technicians.  Just like a doctor, a well trained technician reviews the problem your vehicle may be having, diagnoses the problem, problem solves, and implements a solution so that once again,your vehicle is reliable and running well.

Every great technician should have experience.  It can take up to 5 years for a technician to become fully qualified.  Some of the training needed is math, physics, general chemistry, engine diagnosis, suspension and steering, automotive emissions, and computer knowledge.  Also continuing their education is a must as vehicles are always changing.

Some great qualities that our technicians at Jake's Auto have are:

  • Good diagnostic skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Training/certification
  • Tools and technology
  • Good work ethic
  • Technical knowledge and understanding.
We are grateful for our technicians.  They work hard to ensure that your vehicle is safe and ready for you each time your bring it in to Jake's Auto.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

October is Fall Care Month-Preventative Maintenance

October is Fall Car Care Month. The Car Care Council recommends vehicle owners to follow a preventative vehicle maintenance plan.  Prevention and maintenance will protect your vehicle and help you save money in the long run.

Here are 5 tips to help keep you vehicle in good running condition:
  1. Check all hoses and belts.  With the heat of summer, and general wear, hoses and belts can become cracked and brittle. Examine your belts.  Look for missing teeth, cracks, and uneven wear. As you examine the hoses, again look for cracks, dried/wet fluid spots, nicks or holes. Check fluid levels and be sure the correct fluid has been used. 
  2. Check the heater, defroster, and air conditioning system.  This will increase cabin comfort, and safety as you confirm the defroster is in good working order.  Frosted windows due to an inoperative defroster is not safe for anyone on the road!
  3. Check the brake system and exhaust system.  Have the brake linings, rotors, and drums inspected to ensure they are in good working order.  Look for leaks, damages, broken supports, or noises that may be coming from the exhaust system.  If there is any damage, have these systems repaired immediately to keep you and your family safe.
  4. Check the tires and battery.  Look for uneven wear and tear on the tires,  Check for nicks. If you are finding consistent uneven wear, you may need your tires rotated and balanced, or even an alignment (which don't forget Jake's Auto now offers alignments).  Regarding the battery be sure the connection is clean.  If you have any concerns about your battery, be sure to have it replaced.
  5. Check windshield wipers and lighting.  Windshield wipers need to be cleaned, and changed regularly.  If your wipers are scratching, or screeching, or not cleaning off your windshield, it's time to replace them.  Check your headlights and brake lights. Make sure you will be able to see the road.  If not you may need to adjust the angle of your headlights.  Have someone stand behind your car, and push on the brake pedal to ensure the brake lights are working.  Replace any burnt out bulbs.
These are just a few tips to help keep your car in good running order, and keep you safe.  If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to call us at 801-571-4471 and we will be happy to make an appointment for us to check your car.

October is Fall Car Care Month-Cleaning Your Car

Car care is more than just ensuring that your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.  It also includes cleaning the interior and the exterior.  Cleaning your car can be as simple as running it through a car wash and vacuuming the interior.  However, if you are like me, you probably want to give your vehicle a more thorough cleaning, after all dirt and grime of your summer adventures.

We've included a great checklist to help with the "Fall Cleaning" of your vehicle:
  • Wash the exterior.  Regularly cleaning the outside of your vehicle will increase its life.  Cleaning the exterior will keep it looking nice, and prevent rust and grime build up.  Drying the outside with a towel will remove streaks that are left when the car air drys.
  • Use a protectant.  This could be wax or another product to protect the exterior from the weather and the salt on the road.  Use rain-x on your windshield to help with visibility on those rainy and snowy days. Wipe down your windshield wipers to keep dirt and muck from being spread over your windshield.
  • Clean out the front grille and the bumpers. It might sound simple, but a dryer sheet can clean those nasty bugs off of your grille.  Just put some water in a spray bottle, put a dryer sheet in the spray bottle, spray a little bit on your car, and then wipe it down with another dryer sheet.  Pretty simple, right?  Try it out, it can save you time from scrubbing, and money from purchasing expensive bug cleaners.  Then be sure to add a coat of wax to protect the vehicle for next time!
  • Dust out the interior vents. Remove and replace cabin air filters.
  • Vacuum carpets.  Move seats and clean underneath.  Clean vinyl and leather.  Use gentle cleaners to help protect your seats.
Driving in a clean car is not only nice, but also helps maintain the life of your vehicle.

Teen Driver Safety Week

October 16-22 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Many of you have teens on the road and may be concerned as they walk out the door with keys in hand.

Too many accidents happen each year due to unsafe teenage driving.  Risks involved can range from not wearing seat belts to speeding, to extra passengers, to distracted driving and even alcohol use.

Many of us have heard incredibly frightening statistics about teen drivers.  Many of those statistics were probably shared when we were back in school taking driver's ed ourselves.  However, studies show that those "scare" tactics rarely work.

So instead of sharing some of those scare tactics, focus on what you can do to keep your teen safe.  The first thing you can do is be an example.  Follow speed limits, don't talk on your phone or text while driving, and always be sure to never consume alcohol or drugs while driving or prior to driving.

Next, talk to your kids.  They can't listen, if you're not talking.  No guarantees your teen will listen the first time, but as you talk with them in nonthreatening situations, and over and over, they will listen.

The NHTSA has put for a "5 to Drive" campaign.  The "5 to Drive" are:
  1. No Drinking and Driving.  Teens are under the legal age to drink, and should never consume alcohol. You can also be an example by never drinking and driving, regardless of your age.
  2. Buckle Up.  Everyone in the car should always be buckled up.  It doesn't matter if passengers are in the front seat or the back, a child or an adult, a short trip or a long one.  Everyone needs a seat belt!
  3. Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel.  It is very easy to become distracted while driving.  Recommend that your teen (and yourself as well), keep their phone out of reach and on silent while driving.  It is illegal to operate a handheld device while driving in Utah, regardless of the age of the driver.
  4. Stop Speeding Before it Stops You. As your speed increases, so does your stopping distance.  It is important to follow the speed limit on the road, and also to decrease your speed as needed due to weather, temperature, and other factors on the road.
  5. No More Than One Passenger at Any Time.  With the increase of passengers, your teen's risk of a fatal crash goes up.  In Utah, a teen driver 15-17 cannot have other passengers in the car, besides immediate family for the first 6 months.  Stick to the laws, they are there to keep you and your teen safe.
Having a teenage driver in the house is really one of the best things out there.  You have another driver in the house that can run errands for you, drop kids off at lessons, or friend's house, and it helps your child take on more responsibility.  Arm your teen with the proper skills they need to be safe on the road.

Keep Your Kids Safe This Halloween

Halloween always brings with it the festivities of dressing up, carving pumpkins, and trick or treating.  Kids are usually more interested in running from house to house, instead of paying attention to traffic.  In addition, costumes may impair the wearers vision.  Here are some ways to keep your kids safe as you all head out for some fun.

For the new driver:
  • Eliminate Impaired Driving.  No texting, no talking on the phone, no drinking.  Also don't drive if you are particularly tired or emotional. This really is a standard for everyone, not just a new driver.
  • Limit Teen Night Driving. Your teen probably hasn't had a whole lot of experience driving at night, particularly with many so pedestrians who may or may not be watching for traffic. Be prepared to set some limits.  This keeps your teen safe as well as any trick or treaters.
  • Pedestrian Safety.  With all of the trick or treaters that will be out, it is important to remember that pedestrians have the right of way.  Watch for kids and adults who may run out in the road as they hurry to that next house.
  • Set an Example.  Your kids really are watching and following what you do.  Set a good example.  Don't text, talk or the phone, or speed through neighborhoods.

For both the experienced driver and the new driver:
  • Drive Slow. You never know when a child will dart out onto the road.
  • Don't Pass Stopped Cars.  A stopped vehicle may be letting kids out.  
  • Watch for Kids Darting out Between Parked Cars.
  • Slow Down when Backing out of Your Driver.  Be aware of what is behind you, and what people are around as you back out.  
  • Always give kids, parents and all pedestrians the right of way.
Be safe and enjoy your Halloween this year!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Shocktober Promotion

It's that time of year again, Shocktober!  Monroe Shocks & Struts are offering their annual offer. Purchase any 4 qualifying shocks/struts and receive a Visa Prepaid Card by mail for the price of one unit.  This is a great offer to get your vehicle's shocks/struts ready for the winter ahead of us.

Call us to set an appointment for new shocks/struts!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to School and Safely Driving

School is back in session and you are starting to get back into a routine.  It's important to keep a few safety tips in mind as you drive through town and in neighborhoods.

Obey traffic laws.  Recognize when a speed limit changes, or when you are in a school zone.

When in a school zone, watch for crossing guards, and children walking on side walks or crossing the road, especially not at the crosswalk.  It's a safe bet that not all of the kids will stay on the side walk.

Remember to stop when you see a stopped school bus with flashing lights.  The law states you need to stop if you are behind the bus, or if you are oncoming traffic.  Also, be sure to watch behind the bus, because sometimes children cross the road behind instead of in front of the bus as they are supposed to.

Be alert when passing parks or playgrounds or even groups of children playing.  You never know when a ball or toy will be thrown in the road, and a child will come running out after it, oblivious to any traffic in the road.

Always walk around your car before you back up, especially when pulling out of a driveway.  It's better to take just a few minutes to make sure your path is clear, and be a few minutes late.

Finally, be wise when you drive, and avoid distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, fixing your make-up/shaving, or eating.  Keep your eyes on the road.

Avoid Fall Road Hazards

The days are getting shorter and the temperatures will start cooling off.  The break from the heat will be welcome, I'm sure.  With the cooler temperatures, there will be some hazards you'll want to avoid.
  • Leaf Peepers.  One of my favorite places to go during late September is up American Fork Canyon.  I love to see the contrasts between the greens, reds, oranges, and golds.  However, have you driven up one of the many canyons during the months of September or October and been stuck behind someone too busy looking at the scenery to drive the speed limit?  Or have you been one of those people distracted by the beautiful area we live in?  Be aware of those who are not paying as much attention to the road.
  • Leaf Piles.  Along with the leaf peepers, watch out for piles of leaves, especially wet or damp piles.  Leaf piles can be hiding pot holes or other unseen obstacles.  They can also be slippery.  Take caution, even as you drive around town through fallen leaves.
  • Changing Weather Conditions.  Along with the cooler weather of fall, there will be frost, rain, wind, fog, and sometimes even snow.  If you are caught in one of these weather conditions, play on the side of caution. Test the road and your brakes to be sure that you will arrive safely at your destination.
  • Tire Pressure.  It's always a good idea, regardless of the season, to check your tire pressure regularly.  The changes in weather will often cause your tires to expand and contract.  When checking tire pressure, check it when the tires are cool/cold, perhaps before you leave your home.  The wrong tire pressure can affect gas mileage and the wear and tear on your tires.
  • Deer.  During the fall, deer and other animals are more active.  Be alert and aware as you drive, particularly early in the morning, and at night.
Fall is such a beautiful time of year.  Enjoy it more fully by following the above helpful tips.

Fall Maintenance

We can never talk enough about vehicle maintenance.  Why, you might ask?  We want to make sure your vehicle will be dependable and reliable each time you go somewhere.  As the weather is changing, and somewhat unpredictable (although here in Utah, we can always predict that the weather will be unpredictable), it's a good idea to check a few things so that you can be safe on the road.
  • Battery. Make sure the connection is tight, clean, and corrosion free.  If necessary, replace the battery.  If a jump start is needed, double check that the connections are on correctly.
  • Heater, Defroster, and Wiper Blades.  Be sure the heater is working, so that you can be comfortable during each trip. Without a working defroster, you will have a very difficult time seeing out your windshield, which then becomes a safety issue for you, your passengers, and others on the road. As for the wiper blades, look for cracks or missing chunks.  Listen for scraping noises as you use them, especially if your windshield is wet. Check to see if they are working before you need them.
  • Brakes. As the roads become slippery from frost, rain, fog, snow, or ice, you will want to have breaks that you can trust.  Listen for screeching and grinding.  If you aren't sure if your breaks need to be replaced, call us and schedule an appointment. Replace your brakes while the weather is still nice, rather than when you are careening down the road, like in an old movie.
  • Tune-Ups. Schedule a tune-up.  The heat from summer, and the freezing temperatures and poor road conditions of winter can be very hard on a vehicle.  By bringing your car in for a tune-up, not only will your car be ready to face the unpredictable weather, other vehicle maintenance problems will likely come to light, and can be fixed before you are stranded.
  • Lighting. The days are getting shorter, which means you will be using your headlights a lot more.  Make sure any burned out bulbs are replaced.  If you are having a hard time seeing the road even when your headlights are on, they might need to be adjusted.  Make sure your turn signals and brake lights are working to inform others what of your intentions.  Bring your vehicle into Jake's if you have any questions regarding lighting issues.
  • Cleaning.  Fall is a great time to complete some deep cleaning on your car.  It's a good time to wash all the mud and dirt of summer off, from all those adventurous road trips.  Coat the outside with a protectant for the winter, to help protect your vehicle from the salt on the road and to help prevent rusting. Clean the windshield wipers.  Clean the air vents inside and replace the cabin air filter.  Vacuum the interior and possibly replace your floor mats with some heavy duty winter mats.
The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared."  You can help ensure that your car will be prepared for the upcoming seasons, by following these helpful tips!

Child Passenger Safety Week & National Seat Check

Are you driving around town with your most prized possession, your children in the car?  Are they in the proper car seat or booster?  How do you know if they are?

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages 1-12 years old (  Many of these deaths and injuries can be prevented, simply by restraining your child in the proper car seat or booster.

Car seats have come a long way since they were first used.  Years ago, a car seat was used to raise the child up in the car, or keep them contained.  Traveling here and there, you would hold the baby/child on your lap.

Now it's the law.  According to Utah law, children under the age of 8 must be restrained in a proper car seat or booster seat.  The only exception is if the child is at least 57 inches tall.

September 18-24, 2016 is Child Passenger Safety Week, and Saturday September 24, 2016 is National Seat Check.  This is a good time to check to be sure that your child is in the proper seat.

How do you know which car seat or booster is right for you child?  Generally speaking a child should be in a rear facing car seat until 2 years of age, a front facing car seat between the ages of 2-5, a booster seat 5 and up, and a seat belt if they have reached 57 inches.  A great link to really determine the best car seat for your child is found here.

Now that you have the right car seat, how do you know if you have installed it correctly?  Your first resource is the car seat's user manual.  It will tell you the most efficient and safe way to install the car seat.  There are also a number of places you can go and have a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician install the car seat for you.  For locations in Utah, please click here.

Finally, once you have the proper car seat, installed properly, don't forget to register the car seat for recalls.  You've gone to great lengths to keeping your child(ren) safe, stay informed on what recalls have been issued so you can continue being safe on the road with your family.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Back to School-Carpools

It's that time of year when the stores are filled with notebooks, backpacks, and new pencils.  You are probably already starting (or have started) the preparation to send kids back to school.  It may be just another school year, or you might be sending you first child to college, or as in my case, your last to kindergarten.

Depending on where your kids attend school, you may be driving carpools again this year.  Do you get stressed out with carpools?  It seems that everyone wants to be in the exact same parking spot at the exact same time, and right as the bell rings and chaos ensues!  Here are just a couple of tips to make your carpooling a bit easier this year!
  • Keep your car maintained.  We all know someone who has been late to pick kids up, or been stuck in the parking lot due to a broken down car.  Be sure that major repairs are done ahead of time, so that they can be planned for.  Otherwise we all know Murphy's law just happens to take control in the moment that is least convenient, and that might be when you have a row of honking cars behind you trying to get past to pick up their kids!
  • Safety first. Carpools are always a time saver for everyone involved.  You take turns with your neighbor down the street, and with the people who live behind you, so that in reality you won't have to stop everything you are doing to go pick up/drop off kids twice a day.  However, be sure you have enough seat belts for everyone in the car.  In most cases, you are just driving a few blocks, but in one survey 52% of people reported accidents happening within 5 miles of their home.  Be safe, buckle up you and each one of the passengers in your car.
  • Have a plan.  Like we stated before, carpools should be a time saver.  Have a designated spot for the kids to meet, and for you to pick them up at.  Be aware of which kids will take a little longer, and which ones will be the first ones out.  Know which kids aren't at school that day, or won't need a ride home.  
  • Drop-offs.  Be sure to watch each child go into their homes.  Know if a parent is home, or if you need to send a quick message to a parent that isn't home to assure them their child made it home safely.  
The start of school is usually such an exciting time for the whole family.  It seems to be a rite of passage of sorts.  Enjoy the time you get to spend with all of those young people, sometimes for just a few minutes of car ride each day.

Back to School-College Bound

So, your high school graduate is about to head off to college, huh?  There might be some excitement, and nervousness.  It's probably their first time to live on their own. You might be wondering if you have prepared them enough for this. Your new college student will probably head out, naively thinking they can conquer the world, and really what could go wrong?  You and I probably had those some ideals, and look, we turned out just fine, so will they.

Besides preparing them for harder classes, balancing their time, and living on their own, you should also gently remind them how to take care of that car, that will provide some freedom to get away from classes and campus from time to time.  Here are some gentle reminders for your college student to keep in mind, to ensure their safety while driving away from home.
  • Check fluids, oil, windshield washer fluid, etc. Some fluids, like oil, need to be changed regularly, and can easily be forgotten if a schedule isn't set.  Other fluids, like windshield washer fluid can simply run out, and not noticed until it's needed most.  If your child isn't sure how to check fluids, always recommend that they take the vehicle in to a credible repair shop regularly to have it checked.
  • Keep gas in the tank.  Don't wait until the "empty" light comes on.  It's a good rule of thumb to always put gas in a vehicle when it's half full.
  • Learn how to drive in different seasonal conditions. Your child might be attending school in a climate different from what he/she is used to.  Can you picture a California kid attending school here in the Rocky Mountains and driving in snow for the first time?  Even if your child is comfortable in driving in the snow, do they know how to drive in the rain or fog?
  • Remind your son/daughter if they are drinking, to never drink and drive.  Call a friend or a cab to come pick them up.  Always remember safety first.
  • Follow the laws.  College towns usually have a ton of pedestrians.  Help educate them to speed limits, parking, and pedestrian laws.
  • Road Side Assistant Programs.  It might be a good idea to enroll your child in a road side assistant program, such as AAA.  You may not be able to get to your child immediately in case of an emergency, and it will bring peace of mind, to know that your son/daughter won't be waiting on the side of the road until you can.
Exciting times are ahead for your children.  We hope they will have a safe an enjoyable college experience, and these tips will help them get off on the right start.


When was the last time you checked your tires?  Nowadays, many vehicles are equipped with tire monitoring systems.  This might give you a false sense of security.  The sensor alarm may not alert you until it's too late.  It's always a good idea to check your tires regularly, just as you would any area of your car.

Keep a record of the age of the tires.  Over time, the rubber wears and begins to degrade.  A good rule of thumb, is to have your tires checked if they are 5 years or older.  You can look for cracks and tears also.  This can cause blow outs, something no one wants, and can be particularly dangerous, especially at high speeds.

Look at the tread.  Try the penny test if you are unsure. Put a penny next to the tread, head down.  If you can see Lincoln's head, it's definitely time for new tires.  If most of his head is covered up, you are probably okay.

Evaluate any uneven wear.  If you can see places that aren't wearing evenly, you may have a problem.  This might include sloping on one side of the treads, or chunks or pieces missing on tread.  This could be due to a misalignment, (in that case, Jake's can fix that with an alignment).  Rotating tires can also help prevent uneven wear.

Check tire pressure.  Gas mileage and overall comfort increase as you keep your tires inflated to the manufacturers' specifications.

There is a lot of weight resting on your four tires.  Take care to ensure their durability and safety, and you will have a much more enjoyable and safe trip every time.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

For many, summer is a time of relaxation, vacations, and parties.  It's a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate just being together and taking it easy.  At many of these get-togethers, alcohol may be served.  It's always fun to party together, and relax, just make sure you and those around you are drinking responsibly.

Friday, August 19, 2016 through Monday, September 5, 2016 (Labor Day) is the national enforcement mobilization "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."  On average, more than 10,000 people die every year due to drunk driving. Drunk driving is one of the most deadly and common crimes committed. No one wants to receive a call stating a loved one has been killed due to drunk driving.

The good news is, there are some things you can do to prevent drunk driving.  These are basic ideas that we all probably know, but the reminders are always helpful.
  • Drink responsibly.  Know when to call it quits, or have someone who hasn't been drinking drive you home.  Never drive yourself or someone else anywhere if you are impaired.
  • Never encourage or endorse underage drinking.  If you know about it, put a stop to it immediately, call kids' parents, and take the proper steps to ensure it won't happen again and to keep kids safe.
  • Never get in the car with someone who is impaired due to drinking.  Encourage the intoxicated person to hand the keys to someone else or to call a cab.
  • Make a plan beforehand.  Ask someone ahead of time to check on you, to be sure you are not going to put yours, or someone else's safety in jeopardy.
As summer begins wrapping up, stay safe and drink responsibly.

Monday, July 4, 2016

July is Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

Let's face it, our cars are indispensable.  We rely on our car(s) to get us places, keep us cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and safe year-round.  We expect routine maintenance to be done and always hope that we won't have the unexpected breakdown.  It's hard to be without our cars when we rely on them so heavily.  However, how often do we think about being without a car due to theft?

July is Vehicle Prevention Month.  According to a car is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States.  The estimated total value of vehicles stolen is more than $4.5 BILLION!  Also, nationally, nearly 45% of vehicles stolen are never recovered.  

Those are some scary statistics!  The good news is, that half of all vehicle theft is due to driver error.  This means we can do something about it!  Most of the following items to take into account will take less than a minute to even complete to ensure your car is right where you left it.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.  I know during the summer months, it's tempting to leave windows open to cut down on the stifling heat, but studies show you'll be safer in the long run if you close and lock them!
  • Park in well lit areas.  Also park in busier areas, rather than secluded areas.  
  • Never leave your car while it's running.  I know it's tempting to leave it running when you know you are going to be very quick, especially with the heat of summer, you want your car to stay cool.  A vehicle can be stolen so quick.  In the winter, it seems like we always hear stories of people who have left their car warming up, while they finish getting ready, only to find their vehicle is gone when they are ready to leave!
  • Never leave your keys or valuables in your car.  If you must, be sure they are out of sight.
  • Keep your car in your garage if possible.  You know the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind."
  • Have an anti-theft device on your vehicle.  We've all heard those annoying car alarms that go off at the most inopportune times, but they help.
Finally, if you happen to be the victim of vehicle theft, know what steps you should take.  
  1. Call the police.  Let them know what has happened, and they can start looking for your car.
  2. Call the insurance company.  You want to make sure that any damage done will be covered.
  3. If you find your car before the police, be sure to call them, and the insurance company and let them know the good news.
More good news is Utah is not among the top 10 states for vehicle theft.  We live in a really good area, yet we still need to be careful and take precautions.  Enjoy your summer, by taking a couple of extra minutes to ensure the safety of your car.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Sun Dangers

It's beautiful weather outside, your vehicle a/c is working perfectly, there isn't hardly any traffic on the road, how could you not be safe and comfortable as you drive home?  One risk factor you may not have anticipated (especially if you are a new driver) is the sun!

There are more dangers from the sun while driving than just a sun-burnt arm from hanging out the window.  Light can reflect off just about anything, whether it's in your car or not.  Sometimes you can remove the offending object, but sometimes not.  The light from the sun makes it hard to see when you are driving towards it, during the sunrise, or sunset.  There are also times when your back is to the sun, but you still have a hard time discerning what color the traffic light is.

Unfortunately, everyone will have the opportunity to drive with less than desirable sunlight.  Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe as you battle the sun:

  • Use the vehicle's visor.  This can help protect your eyes from direct sunlight.
  • Wear sunglasses.  Keep them handy, and they will help cut out the glare of the sun.
  • Keep your dashboard and windshield clean.  This will help cut out unwanted and unsafe glares, and make it easier for you to see through the glass.
  • Increase your following distance, and decrease your speed.  These are just practical safety habits to keep you safe when the driving conditions are less than optimal.
  • Change your route.  If possible, change the direction you are driving to a route without the glare.
Summer is the time of year when everyone wants to be outside and enjoy the warm weather.  Follow these helpful tips to continue enjoying the beautiful summer sun!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Don't Be Stuck in the Heat This Summer!

It is finally summer in Utah!  It seems like the rainy days changed overnight to the heat of summer.  You may have turned the a/c on in your house and in your car to stay for the next few months.

Did you know that your air conditioning is just a part of a bigger system in your car called the HVAC system?  The HVAC system includes heating, ventilating and air conditioning.  This system helps you be more comfortable as you drive around town, or take long trips.

You've all been in the car after it's been sitting for a couple of hours in the sun.  It's hot, stifling, and even hard to breathe as you sit and wait for the air conditioning to overpower the unimaginable heat.  You don't want to be stuck in a car like that for 5 minutes, let alone all summer.

You may wonder what signs you should look for if your air conditioner is not working properly.  One concern you may have is a squeaky belt.  Perhaps the most obvious sign is the air coming from the vents isn't very cold, and you are feeling pretty hot.

If your a/c seems to be struggling to keep up with the warm weather, bring it on over to Jake's and we'll take a look at it.  Generally our technicians will perform some pressure checks and look for leaks to begin with.  They may need to recharge the refrigerant. Either way, it's important to have an experienced technician to check the a/c system over.  You want to make sure you and your loved ones are comfortable this summer, so don't waste any time, and give Jake's a call.

Tire Safety, Can You See Abe's Head?

When you think of new tires for your car, what do you think of?  Some of you may think of regular maintenance, some may sigh and wish those tires would have lasted a little bit longer, and some of you may feel like it's Christmas when those new tires are put on, balanced, and smelling of rubber.

A couple of months ago, I bought new tires for my vehicle, and for probably the first 3 months, my neighbor's son, would come over and sniff my tires whenever he saw me, because he loved the rubber smell.  I have to admit, I don't get that excited about new tires.

Have you thought about how important it is to have good tires on your car or truck?  Your entire vehicle is literally riding on those tires, and not only do you want to be sure your car's engine and other systems are running properly, you also want to be sure that your tires are in good repair.

Take a few minutes and run through the following checklist to ascertain what conditions your tires are in:
  • Check the tire pressure. If you aren't sure what the tire pressure should be, look in your owner's manual or in the door jam of your driver door.  Always be sure to check your tire pressure before going on long trips.
  • Look for wear and tear on the tires.  Also check to see how low the tread is.  This can be done, by inserting a penny in the tread's groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you.  If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it's time to change those tires!
  • Be sure that the valve caps are on each tire's valve.
  • Do not overload your vehicle.  
  • When towing, remember that some of the weight of the load will also be put on the towing vehicles' tires as well.
  • Slow down when you see potholes or speed bumps.
At one time or another, you will need new tires on your vehicle.  If you have any questions about whether you car is in need of new tires, or where you can take your car, please give us a call, or stop by.  We would love to help keep your tires and vehicle road and trust-worthy.

National Ride to Work Day

You've all heard of take your daughter/son to work day, and probably even participated in it.  Have you heard of National Ride to Work Day?

Last month, was Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, and this month, you have the opportunity to practice what you learned.  Every year there are too many deaths caused by motorcycle accidents.  Each one of us can help reduce the fatality numbers by checking our mirrors, and blind spots for motorcyclists, not traveling too close to motorcycles in front of us, and being an overall conscientious driver.  Motorcyclists can also practice some safety habits by wearing protective gear, knowing how your motorcycle works, and practicing safe driving.

June 20th will be this year's National Ride to Work Day.  Motorcyclists will be out on the road, practicing safety habits, and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.  Let's all enjoy the summer together!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do You Have a New Driver?

It seems that as summer approaches, there are more young drivers on the road each year.  Receiving your driver's license is a huge milestone in many teens lives.  It means mobility and freedom.

Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.(CDC)  However, there are some steps you and your teen can take to prevent car crashes and keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • Know Your Car: Make sure your teen is familiar with your car.  They should be familiar with the different features your car comes with and should always keep the gas tank at least 1/3 full.
  • Seat Belts: I can't stress this one enough!  No matter how you look at it, seat belts save lives.  A driver or passenger will always be safer when wearing a seat belt.  Encourage and set the example for your teen to always wear a seat belt.
  • Slow Down: Speed limits are there for a reason: to keep you safe!  Speeding is one of the main causes of fatalities in teen accidents.  
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings: This can be anything from kids playing near the road, to a sunset that makes it hard to see.  You can't always assume a child will stay out of the road, or that another driver will see you even though you are blinded by the sun.  Take precautions, and drive carefully.
  • Distracted Driving: There are so many distractions as a person drives down the road.  You have your cell phone, your friends in the car, a catchy billboard, etc.  Always stay focused on the road and be aware of what's going on.
Having an extra driver in the house can definitely be a positive thing.  So take the proper precautions and enjoy watching your teen become more independent!

Is Your Car Ready for Your Vacation?

As summer approaches, many of you are planning or have already planned a family vacation.  You're ready for a break from school and work, and just want to spend some quality time with you family away from home.  According to a survey done by AAA, 35% of Americans will be taking a family vacation this year.  With the drop in gas prices this past year, many of those trips will be road trips.  Maybe you will drive up to your favorite camping spot.  Perhaps you'll have a family reunion at a national park.  Or maybe you'll take a long-awaited trip to a theme park.  Wherever you go, you will try and plan for any possible mishap so you can spend your time enjoying each other, instead of worrying about troubles.

One item of your trip planning to keep in mind is your transportation.  If you are taking a road trip, you will want to make sure that your vehicle is well-maintained and up for the trip.  Some of the preparation you can do in your own driveway.  Some things to check for are:

  • Check all fluids and filters (engine oil, coolant, windshield washer solvent, etc.)
  • Check hoses and belts (for cracking, wear, misshapen, etc.)
  • Check tires (pressure, balding, uneven wear)
  • Check wipers and lighting
  • Check brake system
  • Check batter connection (be sure that there isn't any corrosion)
  • Check gas cap and be sure it is not damaged 

You can also bring your car in for a Pre-Trip Tune-up.  “A pre-trip inspection provides the opportunity to have service repairs made at home by your own trusted technician who knows the vehicle, and helps reduce the chance of costly and dangerous trouble on the road,” said Rich While. (Be Car Care Aware)  You can also ensure that your car is running at it's most efficient capacity, to ensure better fuel economy and safety.

We all want to have a safe vacation, and usually all it takes is some planning ahead of time.  We hope you have a safe and fun summer!

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

As the temperature increases and the days become nicer all around, you start seeing more motorcycles on the road.  You'll see every type of motorcyclist out there.  You'll see the scooters, the commuters, the leisurely driver, the guy in leather, the guy with a helmet, and sadly the guy without a helmet.  Unfortunately, you won't always see a motorcyclist and so it's important to take precautions, especially if you are the motorcyclist.

The first step you can take as a motorcyclist is wear the proper gear.  Wear a helmet!  I can't stress this enough!  According to consumer reports, "riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets."  Helmets have come a long way, and are lighter and more comfortable than they once were.  Also, wear protective clothing.

Another step you can take to protect yourself is to take a riding course with a nearby Motorcycle Safety Foundation.  The old adage is "Practice makes Perfect."  Why wouldn't you want to improve on your riding skill to be safe on the road.  There are multiple places you can take a course on riding a motorcycle.  These courses can also assist you in passing the motorcycle licensing test and help you become a more confidant and safe rider.

Watch for road hazards and bad weather.  A motorcycle is so much smaller than a car, that it reacts differently to some road hazards and bad weather.  A car can easily straddle pot holes in the road, but a motorcycle could be damaged and the rider hurt in the process if hit.  Also, be aware of the wind and rain.  Make allowances for unforeseeable mishaps.

As a driver in a car, there are also steps you can take to protect the motorcyclist driving near you.  First, be aware that he/she is there.  Always take time to look in your mirrors, and see those around you.  You are protected by the car, but the motorcyclist, not so much.  Be sure to check your blind spot when you change lanes, and leave enough stopping room when you travel behind.

We are all driving out there together, and it's important that we look out for one another.  If the roles were reversed, we'd want someone else watching our back.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Click It or Ticket

Every year in May, a couple of weeks are set aside to really focus on the wearing of seat belts.  This year the National enforcement period will be May 23-June 5.  Not only will police officers be enforcing the seat belt laws, but the law in Utah will actually change.  This year, as of May 12, a person can now be pulled over, just for not wearing a seat belt.  Previously, not wearing a seat belt could only be a secondary offense. (Utah Department of Public Safety)

You've been hearing it for years.  Wear a seat belt.  Buckle up your kids.  Make sure your kids are in the correct car seat/booster seat.

According to Click It Utah, "the seat belt has been credited with saving one million lives."  Even if your car has air bags, it's still important to wear a seat belt.  A seat belt will help keep you in the correct place to brace you for a crash.

According to Zero Fatalities the following statistics should motivate you to wear your seat belt if you are not in the habit of doing so:
  • Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury.
  • Wearing a seat belt also helps the driver stay in the driver seat and helps maintain control of the vehicle.
  • 3 out of 4 people who are ejected during a fatal crash die from their injuries.
  • Over the last 5 years, almost half of all people (45%) who died on Utah's roads weren't buckled.
  • When the driver is unbuckled, 76% of children also ride unbuckled. When the driver is belted, 87% of children also ride with a seat belt. Be an example and buckle up.
  • In a crash, unbuckled passengers can become a projective and increase the risk of hurting or killing others in the car by 40%.

Based on a survey prepared by the Utah Department of Public Safety, Utah's seat belt use rate in 2015 was 87.2%, which was 3.8% increase as compared to 2014. To read the complete survey please read more here. So the good news is on a whole, we are improving!  More people are wearing seat belts.  More people are buckling their kids up. Even when you are taking short trips, you still need to buckle up yourself, and your kids in the proper car seat.  It can save your life and the lives of your family members!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

April is National Car Care Month

Be Car Care Aware sponsors a National Car Care Month every April.  Many of you are already completing some spring cleaning in your own home, why not let that extend to your car(s)?

"Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value.  These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second largest investment," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Counsel.

You depend on your car every day to get you to work, school, kids' activities, errands, and so much more.  In order for that car to not let you down, you need to also make sure that it's being taken care of.  This could start with something as simple as taking your car to the car wash to wash all the dirt, salt, and grime off from winter.  Your car may look like a brand new car after that car wash.  You should also be checking for other possible repairs and maintenance that the cold of the winter months may have taken a toll on, such as: oil change, timing belt, drive belt, alignment, regular maintenance service, or any other concerns you may have.  Bring your car over to Jake's Auto, and we will gladly look it over.

Alignments -- What? Why? When?

At one time or another, we've all had a car that has needed an alignment.  We may have hit a pot hole, endured a cold winter with lots of freezing temperatures, or even just had some repair work done on a vehicle.

As such, you might be wondering what exactly an alignment is or does. An alignment adjusts the angles of the tires on your vehicle to ensure the most efficient and safe drivability. There are three components to an alignment: the camber, caster, and toe.

The camber is the angle of the wheels in proportion to the road.  If a tire is perfectly perpendicular the camber would be 0 degrees.  If a tire leans in toward the vehicle, it would be negative camber, and if a tire leans out away from the vehicle, it would be positive camber.  Each make and model of vehicle has it's own specifications set up by the manufacturer as to the degree of camber.

Caster is the angle of the tire as attached to the vehicle.  You will have a zero degree caster if the point of contact is perpendicular to the road.  The caster will be positive if the angle of the point of contact is angled forward, and negative if the point of contact is angled backward.

Finally, toe is the angle the tires are turned in towards the car and towards each other.  You can see the toe when you look down at the tires from above.  Positive toe is when the tires are angled in toward each other, and negative toe is when the tires are angled away from each other.

Having your tires properly aligned extends the life of your tires, steering, and suspension systems.  A vehicle that is not properly aligned, will wear tires.

What are some signs that your car might need an alignment?  Some signs that you car may need an alignment are:
  • Pulling in one direction
  • Excessive bouncing
  • Visible damage to a tire(s) or uneven tire wear
  • Loss of control when driving
  • Off-center steering wheel
  • Low tire pressure
Last December, we were able to add an alignment machine to our shop.  This way we can better serve you, our customers.  There are some repairs that require an alignment to be completed once the repair has been completed.  With our new alignment rack, now you will only have to make one stop before your car is back up and running smoothly.

Timing Belts and Chains

A timing belt or chain does exactly what it sounds like it would; it keeps things in time in the engine.  It coordinates the pistons coming up and the valves going down.  The valves need to close before the pistons come up, to prevent major engine damage.  Over time with the heat and the cold and just regular wear and tear, the timing belt will become cracked, stressed, or even break.  A timing chain will become loose and could also possibly break.  It's important to replace the timing belt before it breaks, because of the damage that could incur with a broken belt.  Plus, the cost of the repair will increase substantially without proper replacement.

It's not easy to tell if a timing belt needs to be replaced just by looking at it.  It's hard to get to the timing belt because it's behind the serpentine belt and a protective cover.  Also, when a timing belt is replaced, the water pump, tensioner, and pulleys should also be replaced.

Generally timing belts should be replaced between 60,000 and 90,000 miles.  If you do not have record of when the timing belt was last replaced, we strongly encourage you to have the timing belt checked and possibly replaced.  You'd rather have a timing belt in good condition, rather than be stranded and stuck with costly repairs.

The great news is Jake's Auto is very proficient at replacing timing belts.  We want to be sure that your car is maintained and safe for you to drive.  Please feel free to call us if you have any questions regarding your timing belt.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What are shocks/struts?

Shocks (or shock absorbers) are mechanical devices designed to smooth out rough roads. The devices do this by converting kinetic energy to another form of energy. Properly working shocks reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling. When shocks develop problems, driving on poorly leveled roads becomes unpleasant, and your vehicle may sway when turning. To have your vehicle's shocks diagnosed and repaired, visit Jake's Auto & Truck Repair today.

Much like a shock absorber (shocks), your car's struts provide a dampening effect as you travel over a road's surface. By absorbing the shock of the road, struts allow passengers to ride in a car without constant and uncomfortable motion. Struts work a bit differently than shocks in that they provide structural support for your car's suspension. This means that struts support your car's weight, unlike shocks which only regulate the speed at which the weight is transferred. Struts usually last around 50,000 or 60,000 miles. This is simply because the damping characteristics of the parts gradually deteriorate over time. 

Inspect shocks and struts for leaks, damage and loose mounting hardware. Replace if worn, damaged or leaking. Have your shocks/struts checked by a professional at least once a year.

Summer Driving Series: Don't Leave Your Kids in the Car!

Summer is here!  You are hopefully enjoying your air conditioner as you drive through town. (If not, make sure you call Jake's Auto to h...