Archive for the ‘summer’ Tag

10 Simple Summer Car Care Tips

The warmer months present some challenges to personal transportation and maintenance, but this list will help you enjoy summer. Here are 10 tips to keep your car — and its passengers — in good shape this summer.

1. Coolant System

Keeping cool is paramount, not just for ourselves but also for our cars. In addition to checking the level of coolant fluid in your car, go the extra mile and inspect the state of the hoses and the coolant reservoir. Keep an eye out for leaks, especially at joints and connection points, such as where a hose connects to the engine block. Also, squeeze the hoses (when the engine is cool) every once in a while to make sure they feel firm and not excessively squishy or soft.

2. Engine Belts

There is usually a serpentine belt that runs between the alternator, the fan and several other components. It can deteriorate, become loose, start to squeal, and sometimes just break for no apparent reason. It needs to be in good condition and at the right amount of tension. If you see cracks in the belt or small pieces missing, it’s time to replace the belt.

3. Wipers

Yes, it’s summer, but it’s probably going to rain at some point. Worn wipers create nasty streaks across the windshield and can affect your vision while driving. Replacing them doesn’t cost much, but it can be a fiddly operation. If you’re in the habit of taking your car in for oil changes, ask them about the wipers, too. Sometimes a dealership will sell you the wipers and install them for free.

4. Other Essential Fluids

Check oil, brake, power-steering and windshield-washer fluids regularly. These liquids never stop being used and consumed. Speaking of brake fluid, how do the brakes on your car feel in general? Are they lacking in bite? Feeling a bit spongy? If so, new pads and a system bleed might be required. This is the kind of maintenance you should have your mechanic or dealership take care of.

5. Air-Conditioning System

Air-conditioning is a summer essential. If the system hasn’t been working properly but wasn’t really a pressing issue over the winter, now’s the time to get serious. If it’s an older system, then leaking Freon into the atmosphere is not good. There are plenty of leak-sealing products and refrigerant rechargers available from hobbyist stores and even places like Walmart. Remember, if there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, you have a leak. Have a qualified mechanic fix the leak before paying to have the air-conditioning system recharged.

6. Air Filter

The winter’s decomposing leaves may be clogging up drainage points, windshield-washer nozzles or your car’s air filter. Now might be a good time to buy a new one or take the current one out and give it a cleaning. Many modern cars also have pollen filters or cabin filtration systems, so take a look at those, too. Sometimes these cabin filters are easy to change yourself. Like everything else mentioned here: When in doubt, consult a qualified technician.

7. Tires

Tires really need to be checked regularly all year round. Pressures must be correct (consult the manual because sometimes that information is on the inside of the fuel door or the door jamb for the driver’s door), treads should be free of stones, stray nails and the like, and all four should be in good condition. Good condition means no cracks, no uneven wear (this might be caused by a suspension problem) and plenty of tread depth. Since summer is a time for road trips, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a can of Fix-A-Flat that could at least get you to a shady spot where you could change the wheel more comfortably. The spare obviously needs to be usable, too.

8. Dashboard Sunshade

For those times when you’re not driving, but the car is still out in the sun, a cover that goes in the windshield will protect the dashboard against ultraviolet rays and help the cabin stay a little cooler. Some even have solar panels to keep the battery charged. Consider shades for the rear side windows, too, as they’ll provide some protection for the kids. This also helps prevent areas such as the rear seats and dashboard from fading over time.

9. Clean the Car

Those long, balmy evenings when the sun is a huge, orange orb hanging low in a pinky-blue sky sound blissful. But they can also be a hazard, especially when your car’s windshield is dirty. Even from the inside, that haze will diffuse the light and make things hard to see. That grime has a tendency to build up over a long period, so we don’t really notice it. Things look much sharper after your car has had a good wash, though. Keeping the exterior clean also protects the paintwork from the sun’s rays, as well as any damage caused by birds and insects. Finish off the cleaning with a good-quality wax. Car care makes financial sense in the long run.

10. Driver and Passengers

It’s hot out there. Make sure everyone’s hydrated. It’s better to make a few more bathroom breaks and stretch your legs than to end up cranky and fatigued. Plan road trips as if you were a general marching against an opposing army. Make a list of everything you’re going to need. For example: sunglasses, hats, travel mugs, games for the kids, snacks, chargers for the phones and tablets, route planner, weather forecasts, emergency triangle, flashlight and a small tool kit. If a scheduled service is coming up, think about getting it done before a long drive. It’s also wise to make sure your insurance and driving license are up to date. Have a great summer, enjoy the roads, and take care of yourself and your car.

Read more at: https://www.autotrader.com/car-news/10-simple-summer-car-care-tips-240454

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Dream Vacation or Nightmare Road Trip? Pre-Trip Vehicle Check Can Make the Difference

Road trip car trouble can be a real nightmare, but performing a pre-trip vehicle check helps drivers avoid a vacation breakdown disaster, says the Car Care Council.

“When dreaming about summer vacation, the thought of a roadside breakdown can be terrifying,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Performing a pre-trip driveway inspection gives motorists peace of mind by reducing the chance of unplanned, costly car trouble and providing an opportunity to have any repairs performed by a trusted technician before hitting the road.”

Right in their own driveway, motorists can determine how road ready their vehicle is with a 10-minute vehicle check. If service or repairs are needed, they can be performed in advance to ensure safety and reliability on the road.

Check the tires including tire pressure and tread. Underinflated tires reduce a vehicle’s fuel economy and uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.
Check the hoses and belts as they can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
Check filters and fluids including engine oil, power steering and brake, and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
Check the wipers and lighting so that you can see and be seen. Check that all interior and exterior lighting is working properly and inspect and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.
Check the brakes and battery to be sure the battery connection is clean, tight and corrosion-free and that the brakes are functioning properly.

The Car Care Council also recommends that motorists restock their emergency kit, consider a pre-trip tune-up to help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy, and order a free copy of the Car Care Council’s popular Car Care Guide for the glove box 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/dream-vacation-or-nightmare-road-trip-pre-trip-vehicle-check-can-make-the-difference/

THE JEEP® BRAND HAS YOUR SUMMER NECESSITIES COVERED

jeep lineup

If you want to make summer 2016 truly sizzle, hop in the driver’s seat of a Jeep® brand vehicle and take an excursion to the city, go on a backcountry adventure, or set off on a day-trip with the family. To celebrate the season properly you need a vehicle that’s capable enough to reach your destination and stylish enough to leave a lasting impression, from the ballpark to the campground and everywhere in-between. Here’s your checklist for the summer necessities. On your mark, get set…

Day at the Ballpark

Nothing says summer quite like America’s pastime. Start planning your day at the ballpark with the 2016 Jeep Compass High Altitude. The leather-trimmed seats and power sunroof will make getting to the game, well, a day in the park. Once you arrive, the generous cargo space and available flip-down liftgate speakers will make you the all-star of any tailgate. Just make sure you have Take Me Out to the Ballgame on your playlist.

Weekend Camping Trip

At least once every summer you need to get away for peace of mind. Head to the woods and clear your head in the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. The legendary off-road vehicle can tackle any environment, and has the Trail Rated® badge to prove it. On four-wheel-drive models, the standard Quadra-Trac II® 4×4 system features a two-speed transfer case that uses input from a variety of sensors in order to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and take corrective action – sending as much as 100% of available torque to the axle with the most traction so you can plan your camping trip in any location and in nearly any weather conditions.

Essential Summer Road Trip

The summer road trip is a right of passage in America. It’s a way to revive the senses and expand boundaries. For those daring enough to explore new locations, the Jeep Renegade 75th Anniversary edition will transport you to the far reaches of your city and your country. And since the best part of a road trip is the open-air freedom, the available My Sky® dual-panel roof will let in the sunshine and summer breezes. Just try to make it home before autumn, if you can.

Off-road Adventure

Whether there’s a trail in your hometown or you’re traveling to a Jeep Jamboree USA event, summer is the time to see what your 2016 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon — the vehicle Four Wheeler magazine named “4×4 of the Decade” — is really capable of. Every Jeep Wrangler is fortified with underbody skid plates to help protect the fuel tank and transfer case, and heavy-duty, forged-steel dual front and single rear frame-mounted tow hooks come standard, in case you come upon a fellow trail rider in a pinch. If the forecast is sunny and conditions allow, drop the top and take off the doors* for a truly exhilarating summer trail ride.

Day at the Beach

Want to turn heads at the beach this summer? Pull up to shore in the unforgettable Jeep Cherokee and stake your claim in the sand. Featuring the innovative Jeep brand cargo management system with handy hooks and removable holders, the 2016 Jeep Cherokee is ready to haul your beach towels, cooler, flying disc, wakeboard and umbrella to the beach, not to mention buckets and shovels for the kids.

Backyard Cookout or Company Picnic

The smell of a grill is the smell of summer. You’re obligated to enjoy as many cookouts as possible, and to play all the croquet and badminton you can handle. Arrive with the family in the 2016 Jeep Patriot High Altitude, with bright exterior accents and the available 4×4 system, and show your true colors. The Patriot helps protect your most precious cargo with safety and security features, including a total of six airbags† and available ParkView® Rear Back Up Camera.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/news/jeep-brand-summer-necessities-covered/

It’s Pothole Season: You May Be In For A Bumpy Ride

As the weather gets warmer, motorists will see more potholes on the roadways and avoiding them can be a real challenge. If you hit a pothole, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends watching for three warning signs to determine if your vehicle has been damaged.

Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling.

Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear, are symptoms of an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.

Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the wheel rim will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible, as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road.

If you feel your vehicle has suffered damage from hitting a pothole, it is wise to have it inspected by a professional service technician. Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement – usually through a crack – and softens the soil beneath it, creating a depression in the surface of the street. Many potholes appear during winter and spring months because of freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes can also be prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall and flooding.

“Pothole season may last longer these days as many municipalities do not have the resources to fill potholes as fast as they should, leaving drivers to dodge them well into late spring and summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Because hitting a pothole can put a big dent in your wallet, making necessary repairs right away could save you from more costly ones down what could be a very bumpy road.”

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/2016/03/pothole-season-may-bumpy-ride/

11 Ways to Reclaim a Relaxing Summer for Your Family

Summers start with the best intentions. We fantasize about long, peaceful days at the beach building sand castles with our toddlers or playing tennis with our teens. Casting off a busy school year, we’re excited to finally relax the rules. Yes to the ice cream cones with insanely sugary toppings just before bedtime (heck, what bedtime?). Yes to the car keys (so what if it’s three late nights in a row?). Breakfast brownies? Why not? Another TV show? Sure, go ahead. It’s summer vacation, right?

Then, in Week Three, reality sets in: the bedtime routine now takes twice as long, everything has become a negotiation, and those idyllic days at the beach — well, they’ve become the setting of the sunscreen wars. How did these relaxing summer days get so… stressful?

Whether your kids are having a throwback 1970s summer, a Free-Range or a Hovering Helicopter summer, beware of the ever-tempting “summer slide.” The summer slide is the parenting equivalent of the “summer brain drain,” where what we know as parents slides, well, down the drain. In an effort to keep our summer fantasy alive, we sometimes bend our rules just a little too much and then suddenly… SNAP.

Before things get totally out of control, let’s get back to the basics, kindergarten-style — and start digging our way out of this sand pit to avoid getting buried alive. It’s worth reminding ourselves that summer is a break from routine, after all, not a break from parenting.

Here are 11 things you can do now to reclaim your relaxing summer:

1. Stop with all the choices.
Teachers offer “choice” in small doses. They don’t offer a range of snacks and they don’t ask kids if they’d rather go to art class or gym class. Giving too many choices gives up too much control, and teachers know to do that sparingly.

2. Go ahead, disappoint.
You-Get-What-You-Get-And-You-Don’t-Get-Upset. Don’t be afraid to disappoint. Resilience, learning how to bounce back, is a skill that can be taught, but not if we’re smoothing over every conflict just to avoid a momentary tantrum or mommy guilt. We need to learn to live with the short-term discomfort and concentrate on the long-term gain.

3. Sloooow down.
Seeds grow slowly; chicks hatch when they are ready; important things take time. Children and teens don’t understand time — they want what they want when they want it. We too often react by jumping on their timeline. When we contort ourselves to suit their whims, we not only upend our lives, we give away the opportunity to teach them about patience.

4. Stop asking permission, OK?
“Mommy just has to run this quick errand, OK?” Teachers don’t ask permission. Ending declarative sentences with question marks is giving power to a little person who doesn’t actually want it. What children want is the security of limits and parents who know when to say no, even in the summer.

5. Let them clean up.
Overscheduled children don’t have time to clean their rooms or do their chores. Teens with summer jobs and SAT prep are just too busy to pick up their clothes off the floor. In school, if you haven’t cleaned up your mess, then you cannot move on to your next activity. By failing to insist upon this at home, we let our kids control the disorder in our houses and in our lives.

6. Revisit Oz.
The single most exciting thing that happens in kindergarten is that children take their first steps on the way to reading — starting on a yellow brick road that leads to a vast magical world they can now visit on their own. And then we and our kids get busy and forget about the Emerald City because life is too rushed and there is already too much reading assigned at school. Take back Oz; remember how lucky our kids felt when they first decoded the printed page.

7. Circle time.
It’s important to ask our kids about their day, every day. Create your own version of “circle time” at home. Tell the kids about your day, your challenges and triumphs, and ask them about theirs. This becomes even more important with teens, who will know that sharing what they are up to with their parents is just part of the deal.

8. Teachers, not friends or fairy godmothers.
When we try to be our child’s friend, we not only cede authority, we actually cheat them out of a more important relationship. We are there to teach and love and guide, not to grant their every wish.

9. Rest time.
Teachers know the importance of rest. Regular and adequate sleep is essential for kids at every age. Even tweens and teens should have a regular bedtime right up through high school. The end of summer should not be like a bad bout of jet lag, with no one able to get to sleep at night or up in the morning.

10. Mind their manners.
Manners never stop mattering. As parents, we all too often rush, cut corners, forget to be as polite as we could and let our kids get away with the glib manners of the 21st century. Nothing has changed; manners are still magical and it is within our power to teach them.

11. Summer doesn’t equal spoiling.
At every age, kids think getting everything they want will make them happy, and it will be a very long time before they learn this isn’t true. We know the truth, and if we don’t teach this lesson early and often, the unbridled greed inspired by media can soon overwhelm our family’s true values. Days at the beach are a treat. A family vacation is something special. Summer doesn’t have to equal spoiling.

Summer is just a different season, not a different childhood. It can be so easy to confuse the two.

As read on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/11-ways-to-reclaim-a-relaxing-summer-for-your-family_b_5566703.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000037

Ten things to do with your kids this summer.

Summer is in full-swing and your kids maybe starting to get a little bored around the house. The Plymouth-Canton area has many different activities and events that help make the most of your summer.

1. Watch a kid-friendly summer movies at Goodrich Canton Cinema

Movie-goers can go to see select children movies for only $1 at the Goodrich Canton Cinema at 10 am until August 15. Movies being shown include The Lego Movie,” “Wizard of Oz,” and Yogi Bear.”

Website: http://www.goodrichqualitytheaters.com/programs/kids-summer-movies/
Phone: (734) 844-3456
Address: 43555 Ford Road, Canton, MI

2. Watch a free movies at the Canton Public Library

Tuesday will be the first showing of family-friendly movies, starting with “Frozen.” The film will be shown at 2 p.m. and you are invited to bring your own snacks and pillows. Three more films will be shown throughout the summer.

Website: http://www.cantonpl.org/
Phone: 
(734) 397-0999
Address: 
1200 S Canton Center Road, Canton MI

3. Hear a story at the Plymouth Public Library

Throughout the summer the Plymouth Library hosts drop-in story-times for children. The next reading will be at 10 am on Tuesday.

Website: http://plymouthlibrary.org/
Phone: (734) 453-0750
Address: 223 S. Main Street, Plymouth MI

4. Drop-off your children at Kids’ Corner at the Summit on the Park

Would you like two hours to workout or take a class at the Summit? Kids’ Corner at the Summit allows parents to leave their kids for two hours in supervised care. While you are exercising, your children will be coloring, building legos and making crafts. Daily rates are $4 for members, $4.25 for residents and $5 dollars for non-residents.

Website: http://leisure.canton-mi.org/summit/classes.aspx
Phone: (734) 394-5460
Address: 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton MI

5. Spoil them with a night out

Kids can have a Friday night full of fun at the Summit. From 6 pm to 10 pm, children ages five to 12 can enjoy board games, the pool, pizza and a movie. The event will happen on July 11, August 8 and September 12. The price is $20 for members, $25 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

Website: http://leisure.canton-mi.org/community.aspx
Phone: (734) 394-5460
Address: 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton MI

6. Grab coffee at Jungle Java

While parents are enjoying an iced coffee, kids are enjoying Jungle Java’s huge play structure. There is also a smaller play area for children under five. Jungle Java also has cafe that has an assortment of drinks and food for all ages. Admission is $7 for children two or older, $3 for infants 12-24 months, and infants under 12 months are free.

Website: http://www.junglejavaplay.com/canton/
Phone: (734) 927-6680 
Address: 6481 Canton Center Road, Canton MI

7. Go bowling at the Super Bowl

Kids under 15 can sign up for the Kids Bowl Free program, where they can bowl two games for free at select times. Parents can get more information here. The whole family can enjoy bowling for a reasonable price. For $8.95 a person, you will get two games of bowling, two slices of pizza and a drink. The package is only available on Sunday from noon-5 pm.

Website: http://bowldetroit.com/super-bowl/
Phone: (734) 459-6070
Address: 45100 Ford Rd, Canton MI

8. Soar to new heights at Sky Zone

This indoor trampoline park provides an unique experience for the young and old. Activities available at Sky Zone include open jump times, workout classes, dodge-ball and toddler jump times. Open jumps prices are $10 for 30 minutes, $14 for a hour, $18 for 90 minutes and $22 for 120 minutes. Toddler times are $10 dollars. Parents with children ages 10-15 can also take them to SkyMania on Friday nights. For $18, kids will get 90 minutes of jump time, pizza and a drink.

Website: http://www.skyzone.com/canton/
Phone: (734) 981-0007
Address: 
42550 Executive Drive, Canton MI

9. Check out any of Plymouth’s 12 parks

Plymouth has many beautiful parks with different amenities including play structures, nature trails and picnic tables. For parents who have children with special needs the Lion’s Club Park on Burroughs and Harding Street has swings available that will meet their needs.

Website: http://www.ci.plymouth.mi.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/859
Phone: (734) 459-6070

10. Jump the day away at Pump It Up

Filled with inflatables and other fun activities, Pump It Up in Canton is sure to please kids of all ages. Pump It Up offers different type of open jump including events that include pizza and events only for preschool children. Prices for open jump range from $7-$10.

Website: http://www.pumpitupparty.com/canton-mi
Phone: 
(734) 495-1222
Address: 46090 Michigan Ave Canton, MI

No matter your interest, the Plymouth-Canton area has something to offer. What is your favorite summer time activities?

As read on: http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/groups/news-events-and-people-/p/ten–things-to-do-with-your-kids-this-summer_2c4f6790

Motorcycle Safety: Spring Brings New Hazards

As the snow melts away, the desire to experience the wind in your face gets stronger. Motorcyclists across the country are charging battery’s, checking tire pressure, and putting a good coat of wax on their trusty steed. Making ready for that first warm afternoon, when they can get out on the highway. Harley’s or Honda’s, all motorcycle riders look forward to the first spring ride in the country.

Before you blast out of your driveway, a few safety reminders are worth going over. In your hurry to be the first on the road, you don’t want to be the first to the hospital because you got in too much of a hurry.

We’ll assume you prepared your motorcycle properly when you put it in storage for the winter. To make sure your cycle is ready to go, check all fluid levels, check tire pressures, and add some fresh gas. Charge up the battery, and hit the start button. With a well maintained motorcycle, this is about all that’s necessary if you did your proper maintenance before winter storage.

The rest of your preparation has a lot to do with attitude. Being safe on the road depends primarily on how alert you are while riding, and how well you are paying attention to what’s going on around you.

After a long winter, with road crews working long hours to keep the roads clear of ice and snow, there is a very dangerous residual leftover from the plowing process. That is the SAND the highway department used on roads. Loose sand is everywhere in the early Spring. Corners, intersections, main roads and side streets alike. This accumulation of sand presents a severe danger to all two wheeled vehicles.

Remember when you went into that long curve last Fall. The one where you leaned way over as you went through it. Leaning allowed you to navigate that long corner at a faster speed, plus it felt cool. If you make the mistake of leaning over and powering through that corner in the Spring, when some left over sand is still on the road, your wheels will slide out from under you. Road rash is very painful, sliding on asphalt will rapidly grind skin and meat off your body. Not a good experience.

Watch out for loose sand at intersections as well. Stopping too fast on a thin layer of sand will send you sliding into the intersection. Possibly into the path of cross traffic. If your tailgating a city bus, you may find yourself doing a face plant right into the back end of that bus.

The dreaded four wheeler, people driving cars have forgotten all about motorcycles over the past few months. Even in good weather in the middle of summer a motorcycle is almost invisible to cars. Headlights on can help, but it’s vital that you ride with the attitude that everyone out there is trying to kill you. For all practical purposes they are, be it unintentional, but none the less tangling with a car is the last thing a motorcycle rider wants to do.

The inexperienced rider, new motorcycle owners will be out there in large quantities. With the price of gas reaching the stars, more and more people will be opting for the much cheaper to operate motorcycle for daily transportation. Not only should these new riders be extremely cautious as they have a lot to learn about safety, but the experienced rider can find themselves in trouble because of mistakes made by someone with little or no experience, that happens to be in their riding space.

When you head out on the road this spring, be aware. Know what’s going on around you and give yourself enough space to safely navigate around dangers. Motorcycle riding is one of the best ways to experience what our country has to offer. Be sure you enjoy it safely.

As read on: http://voices.yahoo.com/motorcycle-safety-spring-brings-hazards-1321887.html