Category Archives: Driving Tips

How to Use Your Tax Return on a Car

The majority of Americans get a tax refund each year. In fact, according to the Internal Revenue Service, the average refund is about $3,000. While this is technically your money that is being returned to you, people tend to look at tax returns as a sort of well-earned one-time-a-year bonus, which they put toward a major purchase or paying off their bills. Your tax return is also a great way to make possible your goal of getting into a new car, truck, or SUV.

Tax Return on a Car

Down Payment

There are a few ways you can use this money toward the purchase of a vehicle. The first is to use it as a down payment on a new or used car at Blackburn Nissan. It can typically take months to save up for a down payment. Your tax return, however, does this for you in one lump sum.

Drive-Off Payment

Another way to use your tax return on a car is to make a large drive-off payment on a new lease. With a larger up-front payment, you could potentially lower your monthly lease payments giving you an amazing new car to drive without paying a lot.

Current Car

If you aren’t in the market for a new car, you can still use your tax return money on your current car. Perhaps it needs a new set of tires or it has been having some mechanical problems. Use those funds to whip your car into shape again.

Having a sizable tax return is a fortunate problem to have, and we’re more than happy to help guide you in the direction that makes your money do the most work for you. To see what new Nissans might be most deserving of your hard-earned money, stop into Blackburn Nissan.

Preparing Your Vehicle for a Spring Break Road Trip

Are you ready for warmer weather and faraway places without the humdrum of the daily routine? If you’re gearing up for a spring break road trip, it’s a good idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for the task.

Nissan Spring Break Road Trip

Catch Up With Routine Maintenance

If you haven’t already, schedule a routine check-up with your dealership’s service department in order to have a professional look over your vehicle and make sure everything’s good. Have them perform regular maintenance like topping off fluids, changing oil, and checking your tires.

 Your Playlist

What’s a road trip without a proper playlist? Use your Nissan’s NissanConnect™ infotainment system to sync up your music library and put together the ultimate spring break mix.

Have Games on Hand

Sometimes, road trips just get boring on the way. Curb the boredom – and the whining – by having your loved ones play fun and simple road trip games.

Load Up On Snacks

It’s important to keep everybody fed and happy on a road trip, too, to prevent grouchy moods.

Drive Defensively

When you’re on a long trip, sometimes it’s better just to assume everyone else on the road has no idea what they’re doing. Drive with an extra bit of caution and implement defensive driving tactics to stay safe.

Our team at Blackburn Nissan fun on your upcoming spring break road trip with these five tips!

Christmas Travel Safety Tips

Christmas Lights

With the Christmas season almost upon us, many Americans will soon hit the road to visit loved ones. Since winter weather can create poor driving conditions and more difficulties while on the road, we at Blackburn Nissan want to help keep you safe, so here are some Christmas travel safety tips.

Prepare your car for winter traveling conditions

There are a few things you should make sure to check before setting out on your holiday trip. You will want to make sure that your tire treads are in good shape and not worn down, that your battery is strong, and that you have acceptable levels of windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze, and oil.

Make travel plans ahead of time                          

Come up with your travel plans far in advance to avoid some of the busiest holiday travel days, and include some flexible time in your schedule to allow for traffic and challenging road conditions. Although you may have good weather and clear roads near you, wherever you are traveling to may not, so you will want to check the weather for your trip and plan accordingly.

Have a winter kit in your car with some essentials

This last one is simple: keep an ice scraper in your car, along with some water, food, and extra jackets/blankets in case you are stuck on the road far longer than expected.

Fall Maintenance Tips to Keep You Safe All Season Long

Playing In The Fall

Autumn doesn’t come gently to Mississippi like it does to our northern neighbors, with their gradual cooling and lovely changing leaves. Down south, we might not lose much in terms of temperature, but the aggressive fall hurricanes and stormy squalls blowing up from the Gulf can make it a hazardous time to be on the road.

Now is the time to get ahead of the bad weather, so we’ve compiled a quick list of easy fall maintenance tips to keep you and all your passengers safe all season long.

  • Check your engine. Folks tend to drive longer and further in the summertime; your engine and/or other components under the hood might be in need of some attention. It’s always a good idea to stay one step ahead of that pesky Check Engine light.
  • While you’re at it, change your oil and check your fluids.
  • Replace your wiper blades. The rains, they are a-comin’—don’t leave yourself squinting through streaks on your windshield!
  • Check your brakes and tires. Again, Mississippians don’t need to worry about early snows and weather of that sort, but southern falls can be troublesome in their own way, with rains, mud, and other such road burdens. Make sure your tire pressure is proper and your brakes are fully functional.

At Blackburn Nissan, we have an experienced service team standing by to assist you. If these fall maintenance tips rang any bells for you and your vehicle, give us a call today to schedule a check-up!

Detailing Your Car for the New Year

Detailing your car

What’s the difference between cleaning and detailing your car? Well, one of them involves a car wash every once in awhile, while the other is much more in-depth and focuses on keeping the appearance of your vehicle like-new by doing meticulous detail-work. There’s no better time to give your car a good detailing session like New Year’s, so why not make it your personal resolution to make your vehicle shine?

Start From the Inside Out: The interior is crucial to keeping up appearances, so start with carpets first with a stiff brush and compressed air.

Don’t Underestimate Compressors: Spraying compressed air into the ductwork – like your heating and air conditioning system – on your vehicle will get rid of any dust and odd smells, and keep your car smelling brand-new.

Hand-Wash: Washing your vehicle with your hands is less harsh on your vehicle’s paint, and it allows you to get into any weird nooks and crannies an automated car wash couldn’t.

Polish and Wax: Polishing your paint will smooth it out, and you can use it in combination with wax for an extra layer of protection.

Do Glass Last: Get some top-notch glass cleaner and do your windows last – it’ll get gunk all over it from the previous steps, so wait until everything else is done first.

Detailing your car just takes a little bit of time and love, and doing some routine upkeep every season can keep the job from becoming too overwhelming.

Check Out These Thanksgiving Travel Tips While It’s Still Early

Thanksgiving
Be Safe this Holiday Season!

Do you have a long family trip ahead of you this holiday season? You are going to want to make sure that – before you dig into that turkey – your family’s trip to grandma’s is as efficient, safe, and short as possible.

Here are some Thanksgiving travel tips to help you prepare:

  • Be sure that every member of the family has everything they need by creating a separate packing list just for them.
  • Research your route ahead of time before hitting the road. If you rely entire on a GPS system to get you there, you may find yourself delayed or lost if there is traffic, construction, etc.
  • Pack non-perishable, healthy snacks for the road so that you will be less tempted to stop for fast food, which can make you sluggish behind the wheel.
  • If you’re taking to the skies, be sure to pack refillable water bottles that you can get through security and then fill up with fresh water before boarding.
  • Lastly, plan any air travel as far in advance as you can, ensuring that you have plenty of options and can make the right financial decision.

For more family driving tips or to check out our many available, spacious vehicles, visit us anytime at Blackburn Nissan.

Safety Tips for Driving near Bicycles

bicycleNow that spring is here, many more cyclists will be out and about. As drivers, we have to make room for them and respect their right to share the road. Driving near bicycles can be nerve-wracking, but if we follow these safety tips, we can make the road safer for cyclists.

First of all, you should understand that bicyclists are legally allowed to bike on the road, but they are not allowed to bike on the sidewalk, so don’t complain about them being in the road. If there’s no bike lane, you just have to deal with going slow for a while. It won’t kill you, but you could kill them, so keep that road rage in check.

Be very cautious when turning, especially making left turns. You may not realize how fast a bicycle is coming toward you and end up causing a collision, so it’s best to wait for them to pass. Always signal before changing lanes or turning, too—this is a given, but especially when cyclists are around.

Just be courteous, pay attention, and accept that cyclists aren’t going anywhere—and that isn’t a bad thing.

5 Important Benefits of Carpooling

carpoolDriving to work can be a pain, especially during hours of heavy traffic. If you have a few coworkers that all drive the same route to work, you should consider sharing the car with them instead of sharing the road. Check out these great benefits of carpooling.

  • Saves you money – By splitting gas costs with coworkers, you end up saving much more money than you would driving to and from work on your own.
  • Helps the environment – Less cars, lower emissions! Fewer cars on the road means less carbon dioxide and other gasses polluting the air.
  • Frees up the road – Fewer cars on the road means that your commute time could be cut down. Even three less cars could make a difference in your morning commute.
  • Convenient – Despite what you may think, carpooling is convenient! You can ride with the same people every day, or join different ones each day, all depending on your commute. Flexibility makes carpooling convenient.
  • Helps you make new friends – You work with your coworkers, but how often do you spend time with them? Carpooling helps you get to know them better and form new (maybe even lasting) friendships.

How to Protect Your Car from Salt Damage

saltDuring the winter months, there is bound to be salt on the roads to prevent snow build-up. And while this is excellent for protecting drivers from the snow, the constant salt splashing against your vehicle can damage the finish, cause rust, and even affect the mechanics.

To keep the salt damage to a minimum, there are a few major steps you can take.

  • Wash your car as frequently as possible, at least once every other week.
  • Don’t drive through deep snow, and try to avoid snow entirely when possible.
  • Try not to splash through large puddles, instead driving through them particularly slowly.
  • Give your vehicle a preventative, quality wax before the snowy winter months even begin.
  • Once winter ends, be sure to have all of the salt removed from you car as soon as possible.

You can’t escape it entirely, but there’s much more you can do to protect your car from salt damage. For more information on how to take care of your car in the winter, visit us at Blackburn Nissan.

How to Clean Your Car’s Interior

cleaning suppliesEspecially in winter time, the interior of your car can get pretty dirty. You’re tracking in mud, snow, leaves, and all kinds of things that don’t belong, so you’ll want to give your car a thorough cleaning sometime this season to keep it from getting irredeemably gross before spring hits. Here are some easy tips on how to clean your car’s interior!

First, get some supplies together. Make sure you have a vacuum with hose attachments and an extension cord that can reach from your car to an outlet. Get paper towels, window cleaner, a hose, and vinyl cleaner if you have vinyl seats.

Clear out any trash in the car before you start the actual cleaning. Next, take out the floor mats. Hook up your vacuum and sweep everywhere—the floor by your feet, under the seats, the seats themselves. Next, shake out or vacuum the floor mats and hose them down if they’re plastic and especially dirty.

If you have vinyl seat covers, spray them with a vinyl cleaner and wipe them down. Now, use window cleaner to clean the dashboard and windows. Then, you’re done!