Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

Reading Fun this Summer at the Westland Library!

Westland Library Summer Reading Program, you can read anywhere… at

home, in the car, on vacation, etc.  After each 100 minutes, stop by the Youth Services Desk for a prize and an entry into the weekly raffle.  When you reach 600 minutes of reading, you will receive a FREE BOOK and an invitation to our Wacky Science Show Finisher’s Celebration with Doug Scheer on Monday, July 28th. Finishers are also eligible for our Finishers Raffle!

If you didn’t make it, June 14th, stop by this week to sign up.  We encourage you to “check in” once per week for some special coupons and a chance to win a jar of treats!  Last day to report minutes is Saturday, July 26th.

For more details Visit: http://www.westland.lib.mi.us

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2014 Compact SUV Comparison: Nissan Rogue

We’re not going to tell you our 2014 Compact SUV Comparison Test ended up in a six-way tie for 1st, but each member in our gang of six had plenty to recommend it — a happy truth that we discovered during two long days of driving along the desert highways from Irvine, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, and through the mountain roads that constitute “the long way home” from Phoenix back to Irvine. Our group included three segment leaders — the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 — as well as the three new-for-2014 contenders in the field, the Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue.

At $32,395, the 2014 Nissan Rogue SL with all-wheel drive slotted in as the most expensive car in our field, but not by that long a shot overall. And besides, the 2-row Rogue SUV (really, you don’t want the 3rd-row penalty-box option) came lovely and loaded with leather seats, touch-screen navigation, streaming Bluetooth audio and the genius of Nissan’s Around View Monitor — the city dweller’s parking dream come true. Its 170-horsepower 4-cylinder engine was also the group’s EPA fuel-economy leader, sipping just 26 mpg in the city and 33 on the open road.

Some of us loved the Rogue exterior, some loved the Nissan SUV’s interior, but everybody liked both. Likewise, driving the new Rogue posed no challenges whatsoever. While not the most powerful compact SUV available, the Nissan never felt out of place, either on the highway or in the mountains. Its continuously variable transmission played its role in helping to dispense the 4-cylinder engine’s power to all four wheels.

Besides styling, the 2014 Nissan Rogue SUV’s star turn rests in its utility. There’s good room in the second row, made even more useful by split/fold-down seats that slide fore and aft for added comfort and room. In 2-row form, the new Rogue’s generous rear cargo space gets an added boost in smart-design points from its Divide-N-Hide Cargo System. Divide-N-Hide uses removable floor panels to both give you access to extra storage beneath the panels and — more to the innovative-design point — use the panels to create a second tier of storage space above the floor. In the end, stylish design and features like this are what made the Rogue the coolest compact SUV in our group.

As read on: http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/2014-compact-suv-comparison-nissan-rogue/2000010642/?scid=social_car_reviews23388164

What to Know Before you Tow!

It’s that time of year again! More trailers are on the road during the summer months than any other time of the year so making sure that your trailer is properly prepared can mean the difference between life and death for the family in the minivan behind you.

For that and so many other reasons, it’s important to take towing seriously. There are some simple rules to remember when hooking up so that your trip doesn’t end up a disaster, many of which apply from the largest car carriers down to the smallest scrap haulers.
It All Starts With Your Vehicle

First, you need a properly equipped vehicle. Just about any car on the road can be fitted with a hitch and it is important to consult the owner’s manual of your particular vehicle to find out how much it is rated to tow. Ideally, you shouldn’t be pulling more than 75 percent of the listed maximum for a safe feeling load. Hitting or exceeding the maximum weight not only puts extra strain on your vehicle, but it also makes driving more dangerous. That is why pickup trucks and SUVs are commonly used for hauling, because their heavy curb weights allow heavier loads to be controlled more easily. Powerful engines and body-on-frame construction also qualify pickups and SUVs over cars, but they aren’t essential for all hauling jobs.

There are also different types of hitch receivers ranging from class I to class V, with each designation representing how much a hitch can tow, how that particular hitch is set up and what type of specific hardware must be used. Class IV hitches are the most common and can be found on most new half-ton pickup trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.

SAE says that a Class IV can tow up to 12,000 pounds gross-trailer weight and 1,000 pounds of tongue weight. It must use a two-inch hitch receiver opening, which has to use a five-eighths inch pin to secure the ball mount in place. The ball itself must be a minimum of 1.25-inch diameter.

Starting with the proper hardware for your hitch is essential, and getting the right size hitch ball is a big part of that. Different trailers call for hitch balls ranging from one and seven-eighths of an inch up to 2.5 inches. Making sure the ball is the right size for the receiver will ensure a safe connection between your vehicle and the trailer, but that’s only the beginning.
Even Weight is Essential

Weight distribution is one of the most important factors to consider. As you increase weight on the tongue of the trailer, the rear end of the vehicle will sink, causing the front end to lift. That puts more strain on the rear suspension and reduces contact between the front tires and the road. In turn, that means less stopping power and reduced steering ability. Tongue weight – the actual amount of downward force being put on the rear end of the tow vehicle – should be between 15 and 20 percent of the overall trailer weight, though that can be tough to measure accurately. The easy way to check for proper weight distribution is to eyeball your rig and make sure that both the vehicle and trailer are sitting flat.

There’s more than one way to combat poor weight distribution. Ideally, you want about 60 percent of the weight on the trailer to be on top of or in front of the axle, distributed evenly from side to side. If you are hauling an ATV or a snowmobile, this is easily achieved by simply moving the machine until the weight is centered. With something like a travel trailer or a load of gravel, where you can’t simply shift the weight around, there are still ways to achieve proper weight distribution.

Hitch height is an important part of this. Measure from the ground to the top of the hitch ball on both your vehicle and trailer to make sure your tow vehicle isn’t too tall, or too short for your trailer. If the two numbers are different, the difference can be addressed with a drop hitch. Some drop hitches are actually adjustable, which is an ideal setup if you plan to pull more than one trailer with the same vehicle. These adjustable setups will usually also accommodate a trailer this is taller than your tow vehicle as well, although that isn’t as common.

If your hitch height is perfect but you near the vehicle’s maximum tow rating, odds are the rear end of your vehicle will still be sagging, the solution for which is a weight-distributing hitch. This type of hitch will spread the weight on the tongue out onto the trailer axle and to the front wheels of your tow vehicle, helping to achieve a flat ride.
Slow Down

There are several rules to keep in mind while hooking up your trailer, but one reigns supreme: never rush. Taking the time to double check connections and tie downs can mean the difference between arriving safely and going to the hospital.

With that in mind, the next step to hooking up is backing your vehicle up to the trailer. You always need a spotter to guide you into position with your hitch ball sitting underneath the hitch ball housing. Once lined up, open the handle on the ball housing and drop it onto the ball using the tongue-mounted jack. Close the handle on the housing and your trailer is now hooked up. But you aren’t ready to hit the highway yet.

Always use safety chains to ensure that your trailer will remain attached even if the ball somehow becomes disconnected. The key thing to remember with these chains is to cross them. The left-mounted chain on the trailer goes to the right side hookup and vice-versa. That way, if the tongue of the trailer falls off, the chains will act as a cradle and keep it from dragging on the road.

Once the chains are on and the tongue is hitched, it’s time to connect the lights. Most modern pickups and SUVs are fitted with receivers for both four-pin and seven-pin connectors. Adapters are available to make sure you can hook up the lights if your vehicle isn’t fitted with the right connection.

Smaller trailers generally use the four-pin setup, while larger trailers tend to use seven-pin. The difference is that larger trailers usually have their own brakes.

As a side note, make sure the connector is off the ground and covered to prevent it from rusting when the trailer isn’t in use. If your connection isn’t working, try spritzing it with WD-40. Sometimes that’s enough to solve the issue.
Always Double Check

So now your trailer is properly balanced, the safety chains are on and the lights are connected. That means it’s time for a circle check.

Commercial vehicle operators are required to walk around their entire truck before driving on the highway and it’s a habit that is important for personal vehicle owners as well.

Start by double-checking all of the connections at the hitch. Then walk around the trailer looking for any problems that may arise. Specific things to watch for are tire pressure , anything loose on the trailer or debris lodged in or around the axle. Make sure to check that all of the lights functions are working properly as well. Finally, make sure that whatever it is that you are hauling is secured properly to the trailer.

And that’s it! You’re ready to haul. Whether you’re taking toys out for a weekend adventure or hauling a load of scrap to the dump, towing can be hugely helpful and even fun as long as you remember to take it seriously.

As read on: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/06/know-tow.html?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

Ram reinvents the tailgate

tailgate-1

Ram is looking at reinventing the tailgate, albeit along the lines of venerable van setups. A Chrysler patent filed on February 20, 2013, by five different inventors (Danja McGoff, David Anderson, Gary Bastian, Trevor Garvey, and Eugene Paik), shows a split tailgate which can either open wide, like a door, or be laid down like a traditional truck tailgate.

As Allpar previously reported, the individual tailgate-halves, or “doors,” can be actuated by touchpads. They can be operated together, as a single tailgate unit, or separately, as a pair of doors.tailgait-2 copy

Steven St. Laurent referred us to patent 8,740,279, “Multi-Functional Tailgate.”  Along with multiple illustrations of the proposed tailgate setup in use, the patent notes that pickup owners often need to have one gate open (e.g. to let a long object stick out) and other one closed (to hold something else in). It may also be “desirable to have…a portion of the closure member [door] to be opened independent of another portion of the closure member.”

The pictures tell the story better than the words, as is probably already obvious, and those who have had or borrowed pickups can probably think of many times when it would have been handy to have doors on the back instead of a traditional tailgate, or twin tailgate segments. It makes climbing in easier, among other things, and is most likely much easier to operate than a heavy full-size-truck tailgate.

The Ram 1500 is due for a “minor update” in calendar-year 2015, and a major update in calendar-year 2017.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/06/ram-reinvents-the-tailgate

 

Outfitting for Off-Roading: A Guide to Trail Etiquette

If you’re new to the world of off-roading in your Jeep brand vehicle, learning the ways of the trail can be a little intimidating. That’s what we’re here for. In the last installment of Outfitting for Off-roading, we filled you in on some common off-roading terms to add into your vocab. Today we’ll highlight several of the unwritten rules of trail etiquette and take you through what to expect when you’re first getting out there.

Just like regular city driving, the world of trail blazing has its own unique set of rules. Below are some common situations you may find yourself in while taking on any trail.

Do: Keep other vehicles in sight. Especially if the trail you’re on is not particularly clear, it’s easy to lose track of other vehicles in your party. Make sure you can always see the vehicle behind you in your rear view mirror to prevent anyone from getting off track.

Don’t: Tailgate. Trust us, tailgating on the trail is even more irritating than on the highway. And it’s dangerous. Allow the vehicle ahead of you to completely pass over the obstacle before you make an attempt.

Do: Allow vehicles going up an incline to have the right of way. If a vehicle going up an incline loses momentum, it can cause a potential loss of traction. If you come across this situation on the trail, the vehicle going down should pull over as safely and quickly as possible.

Don’t: Speed. Trail riding is not a quick activity. Take your time, be aware of all obstacles and enjoy the environment around you.

Do: Be prepared. When it comes to spending time on the trails, we couldn’t agree more that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you bring the essentials, including tow straps, a first-aid kit, a CB radio and a spare tire among other things.

Keep an eye out for the next article when we go over the basics of tackling sand in your Jeep brand vehicle.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/adventures/outfitting-roading-trail-etiquette/

Victory Motorcycle Demo Ride Event at Dick Scott’s Classic Motorcycles!

VICTORY MOTORCYCLE DEMO TRUCK EVENT!

STARTS TOMORROW!
Don’t Forget to Join us THIS FRIDAY and
SATURDAY, June 6th & 7th

For our Demo Ride Event!

Friday Hours: 11am – 6pm
Saturday Hours: 11am – 4pm

Saturday Events:
LIVE Band from 12pm – 4pm
and we will have FREE Refreshments!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don’t miss your chance to ride a new Victory Motorcycle!!

http://www.ClassicMotorcyclesDetroit.com

Outfitting for Off-roading: Introduction

If you’ve never been off-roading in your Jeep brand vehicle, it’s time to pull out your calendar and mark a date. There’s no better time than summer to take an adventure outside of your everyday life and experience what it truly means to have a Trail Rated vehicle.

The Jeep Blog is starting a series here at the Jeep Blog called “Outfitting for Off-roading” in order to help you out with some of the ins and outs of prepping to hit the trails. So check back as we post some of there tips and tricks on our blog! Learn more about adventuring through various terrains and read suggestions on how to customize your Jeep brand vehicle with Mopar accessories in order to take on every trail headfirst.

To get you started, below is a list of off-roading terms you’re going to need to know as you’re preparing to hit the trails.

Articulation – Articulation happens when one or more wheels are elevated and others are planted on the ground. This helps your Jeep brand vehicle drive over rocks and other objects you may encounter on the trail while maintaining stability.

Crawl Ratio – Your Jeep brand vehicle’s crawl ratio is what allows it to climb steep inclines or take on taller rocks. It allows your vehicle to slowly maneuver up and over your obstacle without you having to use the accelerator.

Ground Clearance – Ground clearance refers to the height of objects your vehicle can take on without causing any damage to the underside of your vehicle.

Low-range – The low-range feature on your Jeep brand vehicle helps you to add additional traction when needed.

Traction – Traction is what helps keep your Jeep brand vehicle from sliding on slippery or wet surfaces. It helps you maintain control of the vehicle, particularly when driving in rain, snow and mud.

As read on: https://blog.jeep.com/adventures/outfitting-off-roading-intro/

DNR waives fees for recreation activities during Summer Kickoff, June 7-8

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the 2014 Summer Kickoff, with a variety of recreation activities across the state. During Summer Kickoff, fees will be waived for some of the state’s most popular outdoor activities, making it a great time to grab a fishing pole, ride an ORV or enjoy a day in the outdoors at a state park. The DNR Summer Kickoff includes:
–    June 7-8 is Free Fishing Weekend, when all fishing license fees are waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/freefishing.
–    June 7-8 is Free ORV Weekend, when ORV license and permit fees are waived for off-road vehicles. Anyone (resident or nonresident) may ride an ORV for free, but all ORV laws still apply. Find a trail at http://www.michigan.gov/orvtrails.
–    June 8 is free entry to all 102 Michigan state parks; no Recreation Passport required. Pack a picnic, bring some sand toys and make a day of it. This is the only day of the year when there is no vehicle entry fee for the state parks. Camping fees still apply for overnight visitors. Find a park near you at http://www.michigan.gov/stateparks.
In addition to waiving fees for recreation activities, the DNR will offer more than 50 fun outdoor programs and events throughout Michigan during Summer Kickoff, including:
–    National Trails Day – Saturday, June 7. Take a Walk in the Park with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the DNR in honor of National Trails Day. With events taking place statewide, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic walk with friends, family and neighbors. All events are part of the MI Big Green Gym campaign. Learn more at http://www.mibiggreengym.org.

–    Michigan Boating Week – June 7-14. This weeklong campaign offers many opportunities to get started with boating or get back into it. Michigan Boating Week also aims to educate boaters about how to become stewards of the water. This is a partnership between the DNR, the Michigan State Waterways Commission and the Michigan Boating Industries Association. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/boating.
The DNR calendar lists hundreds of events throughout the summer, most of which are free with a Recreation Passport. Be sure to check out all the event listings at http://www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at http://www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual, $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at http://www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at http://www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

Do Your “PART” during Tire Safety Week

Maintaining your vehicle’s tires is not only essential to getting better gas mileage, but it is also crucial to ensuring safety on the road. To maximize tire life, the Car Care Council recommends checking tire condition and pressure regularly, and there is no better time to start than National Tire Safety Week.

“It takes only five minutes to check tire inflation, including the spare. Since tires effect a vehicle’s ride, handling and traction, checking tire pressure frequently and having tires rotated and balanced are an important part of vehicle safety,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “We encourage all motorists to do their ‘PART’ and check vehicle tire Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread on a regular basis.”

Pressure – Correct tire pressure is good to your wallet and the environment as properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by three percent or ten cents per gallon. Underinflated tires are under stress and wear uneven, causing them to be replaced sooner.

Alignment – If your car is shaking or pulling to one side it could be a sign of an alignment issue. Because uneven or accelerated tire wear may indicate an alignment problem, it’s a good idea to have your car’s alignment checked at least once a year.

Rotation – Unless your car manual has a specific recommendation, the Car Care Council recommends having tires rotated every 6,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear. Unbalanced wheels can cause rapid wear of shock absorbers and struts, and wheel balance can change as a result of normal tire wear. Rotating the tires to keep their sizes equal is critical on full-size four-wheel drive vehicles as a difference of only 1/4 inch between the outside circumference of the front and rear tires can cause expensive damage. Replacing all four tires at the same time, rather than just the front or rear tires, is highly recommended for these vehicles.

Tread – Use the penny test and visually inspect tires for sign of uneven wear. If the tread depth falls below the minimum legal requirement or the sidewalls become severely cracked or punctured, tire replacement will be necessary.

The Car Care Council supports the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tire Safety Week (June 1-7, 2014). For more information on service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, check out the council’s free digital Car Care Guide online at http://www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2014/06/do-your-part-during-tire-safety-week/

ProMaster City Comparison

During yesterday’s reveal of the new Ram ProMaster City, Ram CEO Reid Bigland frequently used the term “Best in Class.”

Always up for a challenge, Allpar obtained the specifications for the ProMaster City’s primary rivals, the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200. The Chevrolet City Express is a rebadged NV200 and shares its specifications except for price.

Because final ProMaster City specifications have not yet been finalized, Allpar used the figures presented during the reveal where possible and filled in the blanks with specifications for the Fiat Doblò Cargo long wheelbase (LWB).

The Ram ProMaster City is significantly larger than the base Ford Transit Connect so the LWB version of the Transit Connect was used for the comparison. In addition, the Transit Connect has an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine that rivals the Tigershark in the ProMaster City. The optional engine adds $795 to the Transit Connect’s sticker.

As far as any commitment to pricing, Bigland would say only that the Ram ProMaster City will be competitive. Based on prices from Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet, that would indicate a base price, including destination charges, between $22,000 and $23,000.

In 2013, Chrysler, Ford and Nissan sold a total of 53,222 small vans in the U.S. Though May of this year, sales totaled 23,598, up 12.6% from May 2013.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/06/sizing-up-the-competition