Category Archives: Driving Tips

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.

Nissan, Adam Levine, and NBC Team Up for “Red Thumb Day” to Battle Texting and Driving

Red Tumb DayWe all know about AT&T’s incredibly successful “It Can Wait” campaign, which encourages young drivers to wait until they aren’t behind the wheel to text. Now, Adam Levine has teamed up with NBC and Nissan to launch a similar campaign called “Red Thumb Day.”

“Red Thumb Day” was inspired by “Red Thumb Reminder,” a program created by Steve Babcock of EVB advertising which encourages drivers to mark their thumbs as a visual reminder to not text and drive. Levine stars in a commercial which encourages viewers to mark their thumbs with red and adds “doesn’t matter how you do it, get creative.”

U.S. Department of Transportation statistics show that cell phones are involved in 1.6 million automobile crashes each year. These crashes cause half-a-million injuries and take 6,000 lives each year. It’s time to take a stand against texting and driving, and protect ourselves and those around us.

“The statistics are alarming. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. Twenty percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving,” said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. in a recent news release. “Together with Adam Levine, Nissan encourages drivers to put the phone down and get where they are going safely. A ‘Red Thumb Reminder’ may seem insignificant. However, every time you see it, it reminds you to not text and drive.”

Whether you tie some red string around your thumb, wrap it with a red rubber band, mark it with a red marker, or stop by Blackburn Nissan to get your official Red Thumb Reminder Band, take the initiative to make a change for the better.

Share your Red Thumb by posting across social media with the hashtag #RedThumb.

Nissan Celebrates National Drive Electric Week With the LEAF

This week, Nissan is celebrating National Drive Electric Week. Since Nissan is the official sponsor of this week-long event, it can only then therefore be granted that the Nissan LEAF is the unofficially official vehicle of National Drive Electric Week.

Nissan Celebrates National Drive Electric Week
2014 Nissan LEAF

To celebrate, Nissan has not only announced that LEAF sales in the US have crossed the 60,000 mark, but that it has achieved a number of impressive milestones in its journey to make the world a bit cleaner.

“With more than 60,000 U.S. sales and 50 percent market share among pure EVs this year, Nissan is the natural sponsor of National Drive Electric Week,” said Toby Perry, Nissan’s director of Electric Vehicle Marketing. “At events across the country, drivers of Nissan LEAF and other electric cars will get together to spread the word about the benefits of driving electric – lower operating costs, zero tailpipe emissions and they are just fun to drive.”

While Nissan has sold more than 61,000 LEAFs in America, it’s sold more than 135,000 of the little EVs globally. That adds up to more than 646 million miles driven in the US and 1.1 billion miles driven globally without a single drop of gas. The emissions saved thereby adds up to about 190 million kg in the US and 311 million kg globally.

Nissan LEAF sales are up big so far in 2014, and the future only seems to be getting brighter. Want to get in on the action? Stop in and talk to the Blackburn Nissan team about how you can make the switch to all-electric.

Ways You Can Organize Your Glove Box

The glove box isn’t the part of a car many people give a thought to. Along with the center console bin and side door storage, the glove box is often used as a catch-all for Happy Meal toys, expired insurance cards, and shopping receipts. To ensure that you can find what you need, when you need it—like your registration when you get pulled over—follow these tips on how to organize your glove box and maximize your storage space while enjoying a clutter-free car!

Make piles. To start your glove box-cleaning adventure, go through the bits and pieces of riffraff in your glove box, sorting it in to different piles. Keep in the glove box what you absolutely need—no, that doesn’t include your child’s Frozen toy—and throw away or move to another place anything you don’t need. Shred expired insurance cards, throw away expired coupons, and make sure everything that is to stay in your glove box belongs there.

Use some elbow grease. Before you begin gathering everything that is staying in your glove box, make sure you give it a quick once over with a simple solution of dish soap and water to clean up the dust inside. Lysol wipes also work, along with any number of the dashboard car cleaners out there. For something other than vinyl or plastic, a lint brush can also do the trick.

Focus on organization. As you begin to place objects back into the glove box, try to make it logical, keeping your registration and proof of insurance together and making it easy to access your owner’s manual. Also, using plastic sleeves to hold everything is always a great idea, along with book marking pages in your manual that you will use often.

By following these tips on how to organize your glove box, you will ensure yours always stays tidy! Do you have any tips you would like to share? Tell us about them below!

Bad Gas Does Serious Damage to One Driver’s Car

Bad Gas does Serious DamageRecently, a New Jersey gas station faced major charges when their pumps filled multiple cars with water. According to a recent AOL Autos article, one woman filled her almost empty tank, only to find her vehicle stopping dead just a short distance after leaving the gas station.  Though at the time, she had no idea what it could be, she had her car towed to her local dealership and found that her fuel tank had been filled with mostly water.

The gas station blamed the problem on a bad fuel delivery, but still took full responsibility and paid all affected drivers’ related bills, except this particular woman. Her bill came to more than $3,000, as the dealership replaced the fuel lines and injectors. The gas station claimed this was more than what was required, and may face sanctions from The Bergen County Division of Weights and Measures if the bills don’t get paid.

This scenario is very unlikely, but can happen if the gas station gets a bad fuel delivery, or when the station’s fuel tank is low. Water is heavier than gas, so if the fuel tank gets low, you may find that water has collected at the bottom of the tank. Of course, as consumers it’s nearly impossible to know if you’re putting water into your tank. In the unlikely event this does happen, it is recommended that you do your research on what repairs are required, and follow your shop or dealership’s guidance on such repairs.