• Tips for Winter Weather Driving

    Winter Weather DrivingDuring this time of year, the weather outside can be pretty frightful, especially when driving on the road! When you live in a state like Michigan, you need to be prepared for winter’s worst. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways that you can make your driving safer during this time of the year. Be sure to follow these tips for winter weather driving in order to avoid any chilling experiences on the road.

    Tip #1: Don’t Use Your Cruise Control

    Cruise control is a very helpful feature for driving on highways and keeping up with traffic. However, when there is a wintry mix covering the roadways, you will want to rely on your own driving skills in order avoid any possibility of losing traction while driving.

    Tip #2: Increase Your Following Distance

    Due to the conditions of the road during winter, many vehicles may need to stop at any time to avoid a nasty situation. If you want to avoid making contact with the back end of one of those vehicles, you will want to leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you at all times.

    Tip #3: Avoid Stopping on a Hill

    When descending a hill covered in ice and snow, it is important to always be in control, as you could start sliding down. The only thing more frightening than descending down a hill going forward is descending it backwards. Avoid stopping when ascending or descending to help avoid sliding during your drive.

  • Holiday Travel Tips to Reduce Stress

    Holiday Travel TipsHolidays are stressful to begin with, and travelling tends to exacerbate the situation. That’s why we’ve put together a list of holiday travel tips, specifically those that’ll help you stay relaxed on your trip. Whether you fly, drive, or take a train or bus, there’s tips any traveler can appreciate.

    To being with, ignore your instincts and pack light. According to The New York Times, you should avoid packing your vehicle to the brim if possible. If flying, ship your gifts in advance—don’t let them be ripped open by TSA agents.  “I’ve seen instances when TSAs had to rip open beautifully wrapped gifts, which is not a fun way to start off a holiday,” David Solomito, the vice president of marketing at the travel search engine Kayak, has said.

    Solomito also notes that the best day to travel is—believe it or not—the actual holiday itself. You’re statistically likely to find fewer crowds, less traffic, and better airfare on Christmas Day, than, say, a day or two before. If you can avoid flying or driving home before the actual holiday, you could have a much more enjoyable trip.

    Finally, take the direct route. For drivers, this is more obvious. However, if you choose to fly, you might consider spending a little extra for fewer layovers. Connections will drastically increase stress, especially because holiday flights are prone to delays and overbooking. Unless you save hundreds of dollars, it might be worth it to take the shortest route.

  • Car Fluids You Should Check Regularly

    fluidMost drivers know about checking engine oil, but there are several different fluids your engine needs to keep running smoothly. Here are some car fluids you should check regularly to maintain your car’s health and functionality.

    Transmission fluid is one of the most important fluids in your car, as it lets the gears run smoothly. While when checking your engine oil the car should be cold, transmission fluid is best checked when the car is running. When you check transmission fluid, your concern is the quality, not the quantity. If transmission fluid is low, there is a problem with your car. If it’s dirty, it needs replaced, but this shouldn’t be necessary more than every 50-100 thousand miles.

    Coolant is another important fluid to replace, as it keeps your car from overheating. This is easy to check, as you can just glance at the fill line in the clear tank. Check your brake fluid when you do an oil change. If it’s brown instead of golden, it needs replaced. You should also keep your power steering fluid levels high, but you’ll most likely never need to replace it.

  • Just in Case: Essential Items to Keep in Your Car

    jumper cablesWhether you drive long commutes that make it feel like you live in your car or go short distances around town – no one is exempt from the occasional flat tire or dead battery. Are you prepared for when it happens to you? Here is a brief list of essential items to keep in your car for those “just in case” scenarios.

    To be ready for a flat tire, be sure to keep a spare tire, car jack, and wrench located in the trunk of your vehicle. You may also want to consider keeping a tire inflator and sealer as well. In case you’re out of practice, here’s a brief brush-up on how to change a car tire.

    A dead battery: it’s happened to the best of us. You go out to start your car and realized you left your lights on…oops! To get that battery up and running again, be sure to have a set of jumper cables. Here is a refresher video on how to jump your car battery.

    first aid kitIt is also a good idea to always keep a first aid kit in your vehicle as well.

    We at College Chevrolet Buick encourage all of our readers to double check your vehicles and make sure you have these essential items, and if you have any questions, we’d be happy to help!

  • Preparing in case of a Auto Accident

    Unfortunately, auto accidents happen. Why not be as best prepared as possible? There are a few things you can do to get yourself and your car ready… just in case!

    First, be sure to always carry your insurance card with you. Some keep their card in the glove box while others keep it in their purse or wallet. Many insurance companies now have identification cards available to print online or you may also be able to pull up a digital copy on your Smartphone. Just make sure that you have a copy of your insurance card easily accessible in case of an accident.

    If an accident occurs, move carefully after impact. Do not injure yourself trying to remove yourself from the vehicle or by helping someone else. Next, be sure to call emergency personnel to the scene. Contact 911 for assistance and call a towing company if you are able.

    Next, be sure to get all of the information you need for insurance purposes. Get everyone involved to exchange contact information, insurance information and plate numbers. The police will be able to help you with this task.

    The next step is to document the accident. The police and emergency personnel will be able to help you with this task also. Use your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the scene. Also try and get the names of any witnesses if possible.

    The last step after an accident is to reach out for assistance. Contact your insurance company to file a claim. Check with your provider to be sure and get your claim entered on time. Also reach out to your local dealership, College Chevrolet Buick, to help you get back on the road quickly.

  • Must Have Items in your Car

    Unfortunately flat tires and dead batteries happen. When on the road it is important to remain safe and prepared for any situation that may arise. Here is a list of must have items… just in case!

    • Jumper Cables – If you or a friend has a dead battery while out on the road, you will be happy you had these.
    • Fuses – These can help fix many common electrical problems.
    • Flashlight – Need to check something under the hood at night?
    • Tire Pressure Gauge – Tire Pressure should be checked once a month.
    • First-Aid Kit – For minor cuts and scrapes a first-aid kit always comes in handy.
    • Tire Changing Tools – Getting a flat is horrible, but having the right tools will help you get back on the road quickly.
    • Old Cellphone – An old cellphone could be of great help if your new cellphone loses charge or shuts off unexpectedly.
    • Warning Triangles – These will help keep you safe if for some reason you must pull over.
    • Multi-tool – For fixing minor mechanical issues
    • Paper Towels – Spill your soda? Need to check your oil? Paper towels can help you (and your car) stay clean.
    • Duct Tape – From a blown hose to a cracked windshield, duct tape can help you get home or at least to the nearest service station.
    • Maps – There are some places that your satellite navigation simply cannot reach.
    • Spare Key – If you lock yourself out of your car and lose the key, you aren’t doomed! A magnetic key case can store a spare key on the outside of your vehicle.
    • Bucket – A bucket can be used to hold items or to help you transfer water you need to refill the radiator.
    • Owner’s Manual – What does this button do? The Owner’s Manual can answer many basic questions about your car.
    • Garbage Bags – Get caught in the rain on your last hiking adventure? Garbage bags make great seat covers!
    • Gloves – Keep your hands (and car) clean by wearing a pair of gloves while changing a flat tire or checking the oil.

    Do you have any other must-have items in your car? Let us know by responding in the comments!