It’s almost July 5th! (If you’ve lived around
Seattle long enough, you know that that’s when we usually start seeing the
sun.) I know I’m ready for summer;
are you? Better yet, is your car? Here are a few tips for a fun, hassle-free
pressure in your tires. Gases expand when heated: basic physics. When your
tires repeatedly hit the hot asphalt, a poorly inflated one may overheat.
your A/C! Hopefully we’ll be needing this over the summer! As we head into
summer, run your A/C to make sure it blows cold. If it doesn’t, your system
might need a recharge. (We do that! Bring it on down to Daltons!!)
have enough wiper fluid? How are the wiper blades? Summer drives mean lots
of bugs on the windshield. You want to be able to clean them off!
going on a road trip, get ‘er checked out. A quick inspection of hoses,
belts, and other fluid levels can provide some basic reassurance before heading
out on an adventure.
Pay us a visit over in Clearview, for any or all of the
above! Enjoy your summer!
Summer is here! And, so are fun summer activities. You don’t
have to go far to enjoy yourself around here. You may be familiar with most of
the summertime events in the area, but here’s a run-down in case you aren’t:
The annual Kla-Ha-Ya Days, held the week of July 17th
this year. Did you know that this native word means “welcome”? This festival,
which includes various events such as a 5K run and a car show, is the local
welcome to summer! https://www.klahayadays.com/
Who likes live music? <raises hand enthusiastically>
Head on down to Lake Tye Park any Friday in July at 7pm! The music is free, and
there will be food trucks, as well as beer and margaritas for sale. https://events.time.ly/93cvc77?event=30223356
For those who don’t mind going further afield, check out the
third Thursday art walk in downtown Edmonds, on Thursday, July 18th.
This fun community event runs from 5-8pm, and many local artists and creatives
display their work. And, plenty of food and wine for sale! (If you miss July,
no worries: it’s the third Thursday of every month!) http://www.artwalkedmonds.com/
How did I not know about this… there’s
a food truck festival in Everett? And, there’s an accompanying fun run,
offering tastes of food along the way? I’m intrigued! If you are, as well, head
toward the water on August 24th. https://www.liveineverett.com/yum
And, let’s not forget the weekly downtown Snohomish farmers’
market on Thursday evenings! (Held from 3-7pm.)
Happy unofficial beginning of summer! With warmer weather on tap, a road trip might be on your mind! I know I’m always up for a good drive: I’ll bring some good tunes, some good snacks, and – hopefully – some sunny weather! Another thing you might be considering is optimizing your fuel economy. Whether you’re heading out for a road trip, or just a trip down the road to Costco, we all want to get the most out of what we pay for our fuel. So, what are a few simple tricks to make sure our gas mileage is the best it can be?
Check Your Tire
Are your tires inflated to their proper pressure? If not, an
under-inflated tire takes more fuel to move. Even if your tires look fine upon
visual inspection, it’s a good idea to use a gauge to make sure everything’s
good before heading out on a long drive.
Don’t Use Your A/C
When You Don’t Need It
Using air conditioning asks more of the engine, which
creates more work, and uses more fuel. Of course, if you’re driving mid-summer,
find a balance between fuel economy and personal comfort!
Get Rid Of The Extra
Junk In That Trunk
Extra weight consumes extra fuel when moving the car. Yes,
on a road trip, you want to bring stuff! Just don’t bring your whole house.
Make Sure You Have
Routine Oil Changes Performed
Clean oil means that you no longer have dirty oil running
through the engine. A cleaner engine performs more efficiently!
Watch Your Speed
I almost didn’t mention this one… ha ha… but unfortunately,
high speeds – and too many fast starts – can consume more fuel.
Come on by Daltons for any or all of the above! (Well… maybe
not ridding of the junk in the trunk. But engine tune-ups and oil changes!
Anything that helps you get on the road and enjoy life!)
We use and abuse our cars so much, tracking in dirt, leaves,
and… who knows what. Then, one day, you notice an odor that not even those
tree-shaped air fresheners can fight. What to do? Here are a few tips to try to
get your car smelling fresh again! (Alas, no tips to return your car back to
factory “new car” smell…)
You may have some of these lying around at home – fabric
softener dryer sheets. Stick a few of these under the seats, and that may take
care of things!
Remember To Regularly
This goes without saying, right? Especially trash which may
be food-based. You may find that simply disposing of the trash that’s been
sitting in your car will nicely freshen things up!
Place some coffee beans in a mesh bag, and set them in the
car. The beans absorb odors, and they smell nice! Just don’t blame me if you
have more Starbucks cravings than normal.
This entails a little more effort, but hey, it gets the job done, especially on fabric upholstery. Sprinkle baking soda around the interior of the car, and let it sit several hours. Then, vacuum it up, after it has absorbed (hopefully!) unwanted odors. For an additional fragrance boost, add a few drops of fragranced oil to the baking soda and mix it around before sprinkling in the car!
Try these out! Do any of you have suggestions for
deodorizing your car? Share them here!
For some of us, a road trip just isn’t a road trip without our furry friends. However, you want to
make it fun and safe for everyone involved. Here’s how:
We need to take breaks every few hours (or
less), so it makes sense that they do, as well! Give your pet some
time to walk around, do their business (abiding by appropriate laws, of
course), and get a snack and water!
Make sure, however, that their paws aren’t
exposed to hot or cold surfaces for too long. Remember that we have shoes to
protect our feet, and our pets do not!
Do you have a bigger truck or SUV? Might your
pet need help climbing into your vehicle? Consider investing in a ramp, or a
step, that they can take to climb in easily.
Also, don’t travel with your dog in the back of
your pickup truck – many dogs have been injured jumping or falling out.
Finally, please never leave your pet locked in your car, especially during the warmer summer days. The interior of your
vehicle will turn into an oven, and it can become quite harmful for your pet.
Lastly, before you set off on that big adventure, if your
pet isn’t used to travel, get them acclimated by taking a handful of short
drives, first. After that, you should be good to go for adventure!
So, you’re driving along, carefree, and it happens: that
scary “check engine” light pops up on your dash. Should you pull over? Should
you run for cover? What’s going on? Aaahhhh!!!
What does this mean? Truth be told, just the light popping
on doesn’t really say a whole lot. However, you don’t immediately have to pull
over (unless the light is flashing – we’ll talk about that later). Please do
get the car checked as soon as you possibly can, though.
This light can illuminate for many reasons, ranging from a
loose gas cap to serious engine problems. When the light comes on, the car sends
a code to its computer system which indicates the nature of the problem. This
code can be read by a handheld scanner at your local auto repair shop. But,
these simple scanners can only give you general information on the problem;
it’s best to get this checked out by a local mechanic with a modern scanner.
If your “check engine” light is blinking – luckily, this is
rare – it is an indicator that there is a serious problem with your engine that
needs immediate attention. Do not ignore
this! Pull over, stop the car, and get a tow to your local shop.
Based on this information, you may be tempted to drive
around with the “check engine” light on for a while. This could be costly,
and/or become a safety hazard, especially if you don’t know the nature of the
problem. As with many things in life, if you take care of the smaller problem
now, it will often be less costly in the long run. And, it is less likely to
leave you inconveniently stranded!
Uh oh. Your car battery’s dead. Or, you’re in a parking lot,
and someone else with a dead battery is asking you for help. Clueless no more!
Read on for some quick tips to safely jump start a dead car battery.
Make sure the vehicles are close to each other,
but not touching each other. Also,
make sure the car batteries are the same voltage.
Turn off the ignitions and all accessories of
both vehicles, and put them in park (if automatic) or neutral (if manual
transmission). (Also, remember to put the parking brake on, so the car doesn’t
Clamp one end of the red positive (+) cable to the
positive (+) post of the dead battery. Then, connect the other end of the same
cable to the positive (+) post of the healthy battery (in the booster car).
**Make sure the other ends of the cables are not touching anything metal!!!
Next, connect the black negative (-) cable to
the other post of the healthy battery; and then, make the last negative (-)
cable connection to an unpainted metal part of the stalled car, away from the
Start the healthy car and let it run for a few
minutes. Then, start the dead car.
Carefully remove the cables in the reverse order
in which they were put on, taking care not to let the clamps contact each
other, or other parts of the car.
Now that your car has been revived, go for a bit of a drive
to build up more of a charge on your battery! (Excuse for a short road trip!)
If the jump start didn’t work, it could unfortunately be
something more complicated, such as a bad alternator, or a faulty ignition
switch. We will always happily diagnose any of those for you! (but would rather
have you on the road, worry-free!)
After our recent storms here in the Northwest, you may be
interested in investing in a vehicle better-equipped to handle wintry
conditions. But is that an all-wheel drive (AWD) or a four-wheel drive (4WD)?
No, the two are not interchangeable!
Here’s a little guidance to assist your selection.
First, either one can provide you extra traction in the
snow. Both 4WD and AWD are typically designed to send power to all four wheels
of the vehicle as needed (as opposed to a front or rear wheel drive vehicle,
which has power to only two wheels), allowing it to increase traction. Since
AWD’s mechanism isn’t quite so heavy-duty, it tends to be not quite so useful
for offroading. In general, 4WD has heavier-duty mechanisms – this can be both
a pro and con, as the vehicle is powerful, but it has decreased fuel economy.
Both AWD and 4WD options can be more expensive. If they are
out of your price range, also consider a 2WD vehicle with traction control,
which has advanced computer systems to help you maintain traction in snow and
Keep in mind that these types of vehicles can help you get through the snow, but they won’t give
you any additional help stopping in the snow or ice! So, whatever you’re
driving, please exercise caution, and stay safe!