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.

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...