Category Archives: Driving Tips

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!

Do You Know These Lesser-Known Car Facts?

Cars have become one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In a matter of years, this invention revolutionized the way we travel, connecting people from across the globe. We’ve put together a list of lesser-known car facts as a tribute to these mind-boggling machines.

highwayAccording to Autonet, the number of cars on the planted reached one billion in 2010. That means that one in every six people owns a set of wheels. In the US, more than 250 million cars are registered, which means that roughly 70% of citizens have their own car.

New car smell is derived from an array of chemical compounds found in the interior of your car. Emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), synthetic materials create what many people have come to associate with freshness. Believe it or not, it has even been bottled as a fragrance.

How many parts are in your car? Try 30,000, including nuts and bolts. The transmission alone often has up to 1,000 individual parts.

It would take you roughly six months to reach the moon if you travelled at highway speeds the entire time. Think twice next time you complain about your morning commute.

The AutoTram Extra Grand is a German vehicle developed to carry 256 passengers. Consisting of four bus-length compartments wrangled together, this model is nearly 200 feet long.

Finally, the longest traffic jam lasted for 12 days in Beijing in 2010. Located on the road National Expressway 110, the string of cars was over 62 miles long.

How to Improve Fuel Efficiency in Cold Weather

frozen windshieldWe use more fuel in the colder months, but we don’t have to, or at least not as much. If you follow these tips, it’ll be a snap for you to improve fuel efficiency in cold weather.

There are a lot of reasons we use more fuel when it’s cold. It takes longer for cars to warm to their optimum temperature for fuel, for one. Plus, when we use heaters, seat warmers, and the defrost, it takes more energy, which uses up more fuel. Cold air also increases wind resistance, decreases tire pressure, and hurts your battery’s performance.

But there are plenty of easy things you can do to reverse some of these problems. Don’t warm up your car before you go somewhere—idling is the biggest waste of gas there is. If you have a garage, park inside it, so your car spends less time getting up to temperature. And check your tire pressure regularly! If they’re low, fill ‘em up.

The One, Easy Tip to Prevent Your Engine from Overheating

overheating engineIn the summer, the engine of your car is at a higher risk than ever for overheating. Do you know how to prevent your engine from overheating? Will you be prepared if it does?

Fortunately, preventing the overheating from ever happening in the first place is pretty easy. All you have to do is practice regular maintenance on your car. This means regularly checking your oil, coolant level, cooling system, and thermostat.

If your car is getting a once-over from a quality mechanic, or if you’re able to evaluate these things properly by yourself, you should be in good shape. However, if your engine does overheat, it’s important to know how to react.

Safely pull over and stop your car. Lift up the hood to allow air to vent the overheated system. Do not touch the radiator cap, which will almost certainly burn you. Take a look at the major players, such as the coolant, and then call an expert.

How to Decide Between Manual Vs. Automatic

manual transmissionCars with manual transmissions—the fearsome “stick shift”—get a bad rap. But once you learn to drive one, there are plenty of advantages to a manual transmission—just as automatic transmissions have their pros and cons. Here’s a rundown of how to decide between manual vs. automatic.

Automatic cars are easy. You brake to put the car into drive or park, and the car shifts to the right gear for you as you speed up. It’s convenient and lets you keep your full attention on your surroundings. However, automatic cars are more expensive than manual cars, and their fuel economy and acceleration tend to be worse.

automatic transmissionSo while you get more bang for your buck with a manual, there are also plenty of drawbacks. Most cars are automatic, so your choices for a manual are limited, and they can be difficult to handle, especially in dense stop-and-go traffic that requires a lot of shifting. Plus, since most people aren’t looking to buy manual, you might have trouble reselling it.

If you have the time to develop the skill, manual could be a better, cheaper option for you, but automatics are great too! It all depends on your preference.