Archive for the ‘water’ Tag

Roadside Emergency Kit a Perfect Gift for the College Bound

School is almost back in session and students across the country will soon be packing up their cars and heading off to college. If you are searching for that perfect gift for the college-bound kid in your life, the Car Care Council suggests putting together a roadside emergency kit.

“A roadside kit is easy to assemble, not too expensive and extremely useful, plus it could be a life saver in the event of an emergency,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “While it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected while on the road, the best option is to avoid breakdowns and car trouble wherever possible. Performing basic maintenance and observing a regular service schedule can help avoid unforeseen road emergencies.”

Roadside emergency items can fit into a small duffle bag or rubber storage tote and include the following:

– Jumper cables

– Emergency flares

– Flashlight with batteries

– Blankets and extra clothes

– Non-perishable snacks and bottled water

– First aid kit, including essential medications

– Portable USB charger to keep the cell phone running even if the car is not

– Ice scraper, snow brush and small shovel for winter driving

– The Car Care Guide, available free of charge at carcare.org

Visit the Car Care Council’s website to access a number of tips and resources for vehicle maintenance, including a free custom service schedule.

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/roadside-emergency-kit-perfect-gift-college-bound/

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Winterizing Your Car

Winter is right around the corner. Depending on where you live, colder weather and shorter days will bring some driving challenges. Don’t wait to winterize your car if you haven’t done so yet. This is also a good time to prepare yourself for the need to change your driving habits with the change of seasons. A little preparation now can give you added confidence when things get slippery. For folks that know “winter is coming”, here is some advice on what you need to do right now for safe winter driving.

Winterizing Your Car Starts With This

An inspection. It’s a good idea to give your car a thorough inspection once or twice a year. There is no better time to do this than in the fall, before the cold weather sets in. Even if you live in a more moderate climate, the days are shorter in the winter months, so you will likely use your lights more often. That’s why looking over things like headlights and signal lights are a good idea. Many automotive service centers will do a comprehensive check for free. But even if it costs you a small fee, the safety value is priceless.

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Check Antifreeze

Starting with the obvious, you need to make sure that your antifreeze has adequate freeze-protection for the climate. Properly mixed antifreeze also adds an important measure of corrosion protection to the car’s cooling system. The normal 50/50 ratio between water and antifreeze can get watered down if you’ve kept adding water when topping it off. Also, antifreeze should be changed periodically as needed (check your owner’s manual). A mechanic can use a simple antifreeze/coolant testing tool to quickly measure whether the concentration of antifreeze is adequate to protect your engine. If the recommendation is for a “flush and fill”, this is money well spent. It just might save your engine block from cracking due to water freezing inside.

Check Belts and Hoses

Also take a look at the belts and hoses, as a failure there can leave you stranded without warning. Look for any signs of cracking.

Check Tires

The next obvious thing is the tires. If you live in a region that requires it, a snow tire may need to be fitted for the season. If you live in the mountains, you may need to keep a set of tire-chains in your trunk. If not, you should make sure you have sufficient tread of the correct design for your climate.

Less Obvious Things to Check

Now for the not so obvious. When you are checking the cooling system, make sure the engine thermostat is working as designed. A malfunctioning thermostat can make a car overheat, but a lesser known problem in the winter is that it will take the car longer to warm up, making it uncomfortable to drive and causing a reduction in fuel economy.

While you are at it, make sure the defroster works. You never know how much you need a defroster until you miss it. Something that is easily overlooked is the windshield washer fluid. Properly mixed, it will not freeze, and it can be a vital aid for clearing the windshield.

With these things out of the way, a cursory check of the brakes, suspension, and lights is always a good idea. If your wipers are no longer up to the task, or you can’t remember the last time you changed them, go ahead and do it now. Better safe than sorry.

Winter Safety Tips: What to Keep in Your Trunk

It’s a good time to get some basic winter-related safety items in the trunk. This is another thing that varies by the driving conditions you may encounter, a basic list of winter safety items could include:

Flares

Blanket

Sand bag(s)

Shovel

Flashlight

Drinking water (leave room for freezing)

Non-perishable snacks

Ice scraper

First Aid Kit

Jumper cables

More Car Winterizing Tips

Here a few simple tips to make your winter driving easier:

A little smear of petroleum jelly on the door weatherstrips will help keep your doors from freezing shut.

A small shot of WD40 keeps door locks from freezing.
If your door lock does freeze, heat the metal key with a cigarette lighter before putting it in the lock to help thaw it out. Never force the key.

Pull your visors down to a vertical position when you run your defroster to help trap the warm air against the windshield.

Your floor mats can be a traction aid in an emergency. Place them in front of the drive wheels and slowly try and pull out, it works more often than not.

Read more at: http://www.carfax.com/blog/winterizing-your-car/

Flood Safety Tips

Floods can occur anywhere, with floodwaters rising gradually or flash floods striking suddenly. Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the United States — most flood fatalities happen because people try to drive through deadly waters rather than avoid them. (Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2005)

Water’s powerful force can easily overtake vehicles caught in a flood. Follow these tips to stay safe in your car during a flood.

How to Drive in a Flood

Pay attention to barricades.
Don’t ignore them by driving past them.

Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

Take extra precautions if you’re forced to drive through water.
If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water.

– Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).

– Drive slowly and steadily through the water.

– Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in — electric current passes through water easily.

– Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you’re in their path.

– If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

– Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.

– If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.

– If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.

Read more at: http://www.progressive.com/vehicle-resources/flood-safety/

Water Fun in Ann Arbor: Pools, Spraygrounds, & Beaches

There’s nothing like water when it comes to beating the heat and entertaining kids! KidsOutAndAbout provides its extra-special list of great places in and around Ann Arbor – Detroit where kids can splash to their heart’s content.

Buhr Park Outdoor Pool features a six-lane, 25-yard pool with a deep well and a separate zero-depth entry children’s wading pool with interactive play toys. Also 39 acres of rolling hills, picnic areas with grills, a children’s play area, softball diamonds, soccer fields & outdoor tennis courts are features at our park.

Canton Parks: Splash Playground: Cool down at Canton’s Splash Playground located in Heritage Park near Heritage Hideout. Just touch the fire hydrant to start the water fun!

Fuller Park Pool has something for everyone to enjoy, including a waterslide; seven-lane, 50 meter lap pool; shallow area with ramp access; 12 foot deep diving well and plenty of open space and lounge chairs to relax.

H2O Zone Sprayground In Westland: The H20 Zone is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.,Memorial Day through Labor Day (weather permitting).

Independence Lake Park: Spray Zone: Blue Heron Bay is the perfect place to bring your family for some water fun! Whether you are taking a ride on our water slides, eating a delicious lunch at our new concessions building, or running through our many water-spraying structures, you are sure to have a great time.

Indian Springs Spray ‘n’ Play: Children of all ages will enjoy Indian Springs Metropark’s Spray ‘n’ Play. Get soaked in the water spray area, scale a rock-climbing wall or cargo net and explore a maze. Three distinct areas accommodate older children. A toddler area includes a painted labyrinth and sand pit with oversized scoopers for digging. The Spray ‘n’ Play play area is open year round while the water spray area is open Memorial Day to Labor Day 11 am – 7 pm daily.

Island Lake Recreation Area: The park has great canoeing, volley ball courts, picnic shelters, swimming and cabins to rent.

Kensington Metropark: Enjoy a day in the water at Martindale Beach all summer long. Martindale Beach will be open May 24 through Labor Day, from 10 am to 8 pm daily

KLR Splashpad in Oxford: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Noon -7:00 pm

Lake Erie Metropark: Escape the hot days of summer and take a plunge into the “Great Wave” wave action pool at Lake Erie Metropark. Hold steady and practice your balance against three foot waves for hours of fun.

Lake St. Clair Metropark: Swim in Lake St. Clair or at the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Lake St. Clair Metropark. The lake waters and 50-meter pool with waterslides and a diving well are the perfect places to cool off and enjoy a warm day. The pool is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, and the lake is open from May 1 to September 30. A beach shop and food concessions are conveniently located nearby.

City of Livonia Aquatics: Outdoor Splash Pad – Open June – Labor Day, The City of Livonia has two fifty-meter outdoor pools and one twenty-five meter outdoor pool. They all offer lessons, open swimming, pool rentals for parties, swim passes and special events. Outdoor Summer Swim Lesson Registration starts Mid-May.

Mack Indoor Pool is the city’s only indoor public pool and offers a variety of programs and opportunities for every swimmer. Our six-lane, 25-yard main pool has an attached 30 by 42 foot children’s tot pool. A ramp leading into the pool provides for easy accessibility. Our heated indoor pool allows you to swim, even if the weather is not “summer like,” while our huge windows let in the sunshine.

Macomb Township Aquatic Center: 2 pools with water slide, a lazy river, and other water features

Mt. Elliott Park Water Feature on the Riverfront: universally accessible water feature with cascading waterfalls, water cannons and shooting bubblers, paved pathways stamped with animal prints, fishing outlooks, lush landscaping, restrooms, a security station and numerous seating options, Mt. Elliott Park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, water feature runs from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day

Splash at Palmer Park: OPEN: 10 am – 8 pm every day, FREE to the public; parking at the Splash Park lot in Palmer Park, (former swimming pool lot) on Merrill Plaisance between 6 and 7 Mile Roads,west of Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48203

Plymouth Sprayscape: If you’re looking for a place to cool off this summer venture out to Township Park and take a run through our Sprayscape! Township Park is located at 46640 Ann Arbor Trail, just east of Beck Road.The Sprayscape includes approximately 2600 square foot of space with 24 spray features including: Water Cannons, Horse Charger, Froggy-O, Daisy Mae, Water O’s, 12 ground sprays. The Sprayscape is designed to accommodate all ages and is available at no cost!

Red Oaks Waterpark: Kids enjoy the Soak Station, children’s water playground with 68 features, including water jets, curtains and slides, plus bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket; must be 56″ or shorter and be accompanied by an adult. Or the Spray & Play, a water play area for toddlers, with 15 water jets and bubblers at zero depth.

Rolling Hills Water Park: With so many attractions, we’ve got something for everyone to enjoy – Float down the lazy river, catch a wave in the wave pool, or take a trip down one of our awesome water slides! The Activity Pool is popular with younger children due to its zero-depth entry, gentle bubbler, geysers, a waterfall and a kiddy slide for children under 45″ tall. Relax in the chaise lounges and sand chairs on an extensive sun deck located throughout the waterpark and natural shade or shade umbrellas in several grassy areas surrounding the deck.

Stony Creek Metropark: Enjoy a summer day in the water at Baypoint and Eastwood Beaches at Stony Creek Metropark. Beaches are open 10 am to 8 pm throughout the summer, Memorial Day to Labor Day. Comfort stations, food bars and first aid facilities are available. Fires, alcohol and glass containers are not permitted at the beaches.

Veterans Memorial Park Outdoor Pool features a fan-shaped zero-depth area with a “raindrop,” interactive water play apparatus, a handicap access ramp and a 125 foot waterslide. Minimum height requirement for use of the slide is 42 inches. We offer lounge chairs, picnic area, grills, tennis courts and a shaded deck area.

Warren Indoor Water Park: At the Warren Community Center, 5460 Arden (South of 14 Mile Road, west of Mound Road) 586.268.8400

Wayne County Family Aquatic Center: The Wayne County Family Aquatic Center opened originally in 1998, located at 12600 Chandler Park Dr. Detroit, Michigan 48213. We are located inside the City of Detroit’s Chandler Park 1/2 mile south of the Conner Exit (Exit 220B off I-94).

Willow Metropark: Cool off at the swimming pool: glide down the family slide, play a game of water basketball or just soak in the shallow area while your kids run through the water.