Remote engine starters have been available to drivers for several years now, but have generally been the sort of feature you would find in a luxury car. As with most developments, manufacturers are now starting to include remote starters in more models, making them much more mainstream. You may have read about them in auto reviews, but what are the advantages of having this feature? Our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville has the details.
Your car may have climate control or air-conditioning, but these systems take some time to moderate the temperature inside the car. On a scorching hot day summer day or a freezing winter night, you might be stuck waiting for the air conditioning or heat to kick in. A remote engine starter takes this problem away for you.
By using the remote engine starter, you can get the car engine running and activate the heating or cooling before you even get inside. That gives you the opportunity to stay indoors in the warmth (or the cool) until the car is ready for you. You need only wait a few minutes, but you can enjoy getting into a perfectly cool or warm car. This can be particularly handy if you have young children and babies, or anyone else that is very sensitive to extremes temperatures.
Starting the car remotely can be safer, too. First off, it gives your engine the chance to properly warm up in the winter. And once the car has warmed up, for example, itâ€™s easier to clear the windows of ice. Brake lights and headlamps will also clear of snow and ice, allowing other cars to see you more easily.
Even simple things can be easier with a remote engine starter. If you have your hands full or you are dealing with children and pets, it isn’t always ideal to have to fumble around with a key in the car door. A remote engine starter will start the engine and unlock the doors for you with the simple touch of a button on your key fob.
Remote engine starters are now becoming more common on new cars. If you don’t already have one, however, you can talk to our dealership about having one fitted. According to where you live, it could make your life much easier and safer.
However experienced a driver is, there will be times when bad weather or other factors will make road conditions more dangerous and they’ll find themselves in a position where their car suffers a loss of traction. This can quickly cause a loss of control and increase their risk of their becoming involved in an accident. In addition to the effects of snow, rain, and ice, oil and other spillages can reduce the grip between a car’s tires and the road surface. It’s important for drivers to understand what to do if their car loses traction. Read on for tips from our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
An instinctive reaction of most drivers when their car loses traction and begins to slide out of control is to apply the brakes. However, even when the vehicle has anti-lock brakes, this response is likely to make it harder to regain control of the car. Reducing speed by taking your foot off the accelerator will be far more effective as a means of improving the traction of the car, and it’s less likely to increase the risk of an accident.
Another method of improving traction is to change your gear to a lower setting. By increasing the level of deceleration, this will improve traction by reducing the speed of the car. However, with the increased differentiation between gearing ratios in automatic gearboxes, this approach may not always be advisable. Nonetheless, a gradual reduction of speed, rather than the aggressive reduction resulting from braking, will be more effective in terms of regaining control of your car and improving its level of road traction.
When a car loses traction, it’s natural for a driver to turn the steering in the opposite direction. Again though, this can easily increase the loss of control of the car. The effective approach to steering if your car loses traction is to turn the steering wheel in the same direction you are already moving.
Awareness and driver behavior
Finally, awareness and adaption of driving behavior are important elements. The impact of bad weather conditions on road traction is likely to be more prevalent in rural and freeway areas, which have less protection from the elements. To reduce risk while travelling on these roads, it’s important for the driver to adapt his or her driving to reflect the conditions – for example, by lowering speed and increasing distance from the car in front.
The daily morning car-warming ritual is carried out faithfully in most parts of the country from late November to early March. But is it necessary? Crown Nissan of Greenville has the answer.
The purpose of warming up your car. The main reason drivers start their car and let it idle is to warm it up by getting the oil circulating through the engine. Modern fuel injection systems, however, with the elimination of carburetors and chokes, have made engine idling unnecessary. After about 30 seconds, the oil is circulating and your car is ready to go. The Hinkle Charitable Foundation’s Anti-Idling Primer, in fact, asserts that idling forces the engine to operate in an extremely inefficient mode, which can harm the engine’s performance and lower its mileage. If you’re still skeptical, instead of idling, drive a little slower for the first mile or two.
Warming up the inside. Many commuters couldn’t care less about engine efficiency at 6:00 a.m. in the morning when it’s frigid cold. Instead, they just want a semi-warm vehicle to step into when it’s cold. However, according to the California Energy Commission, idling your car isn’t an effective way to warm up a vehicle. A more effective way to warm up your car is to actually drive it. If you really want to be on the cutting edge, electric cars allow you to pre-warm the vehicle via remote access without ever having to idle.
Idling and the environment. Still not convinced about the inefficiency of idling to warm up the vehicle? Perhaps you think engine inefficiency is a small price to pay for not freezing your fingertips when you enter your car. Maybe, a look at environmental effects will unfreeze your stance. Exhaust is harmful to human health, especially children. Certainly, exhaust is a necessary component of driving a car, but unnecessarily spewing exhaust adds to air pollution. Because idling often takes place close to curbs and sidewalks, pedestrians and children are especially at risk to the negative effects of exhaust.
The cost of idling. If air pollution and the potential harmful effects of unnecessary exhaust don’t convince you to cut down on idling, perhaps the cost of gasoline will. Idling wastes gas. Gas costs money, therefore idling wastes money — your money. Motorists are advised to turn off their engine when idling more than 10 seconds (traffic stops, excluded). You’ll save money. You’ll save the environment. You’ll save your engine. A new engine, by the way, costs money too. A lot of money.
Proper car warming procedures. Don’t stand by idly and let this information go to waste. If you’re worried about your engine’s performance, warm the car by driving it slowly. If you’re worried about being cold when you hop in the car, bundle up, start the car, adjust the radio, turn on the heat and get going.
Drivers who live in areas where winter brings a mixture of ice and snow covered roads should pay close attention to the tires on their car. Efficient traction becomes more important for safety when driving through bad weather conditions. Be aware of the pros/cons when comparing the use of winter tires versus all-wheel drive. Read on to learn more from our service team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
Benefits of winter snow tires
Consumer tire testing is frequently conducted in Scandinavian countries on test tracks that lie north of the Arctic Circle. If a winter tire product can perform well under those extreme conditions, experts agree that consumers should choose similar tires for added safety, especially if they drive through extreme winter weather conditions. While there are pros/cons for winter tires, the traction pros outweigh any cost-savings if you don’t have them. When you suddenly find yourself sliding across a sheet of ice while driving, your car can stop up to a full car length sooner if you have winter tires than if you have all-season tires.
Pros/cons of all-wheel drive (AWD)
An AWD vehicle distributes more torque to tires and gives the most traction to all four wheels when needed. This means your tires slip less and your vehicle has better acceleration. This feature benefits performance and should not be confused with a safety feature. Many AWD drivers prefer the cost savings when using all-season tires during winter. What they don’t realize is that an AWD vehicle might offer less chance of tire slippage when power is applied, but this feature can mask the seriousness of an icy surface. AWD owners often find themselves in ditches because they under-estimated the road’s slippery conditions and their tires didn’t have the traction needed to help.
Do I need winter tires if I have all-wheel drive?
If you drive your AWD through extreme winter weather, the answer is “yes.” Winter driving safety is not determined by vehicle acceleration, but by the traction of your tires. The better traction you have, the shorter the stopping distance. Most consumers don’t realize that tire grip is but one function when tire tread meets the road surface. Quality grip is determined by your tire tread rubber compound construction and how this material reacts during cold temperatures, wears with age, size of grooves in the tread, and tire air pressure when your AWD comes in contact with a patch of ice.
Quality traction should always be your priority when it comes to safety. Engine power needed to push through slippery roads won’t give your vehicle any more “gripping” traction when you need it most.
Q. If I have a window chip repaired, could it still develop into a full blown crack?
A. Nothing lasts forever, including windshield repair. Because no two cracks or dings are alike, thereâ€™s no hard and fast rule about how long a repair will last. Read on for a detailed explanation of what to do if and when your windshield cracks from our service team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
The size, severity and location of the crack, as well as the quality of the repair, all play a role in the life of the repair. Thereâ€™s no guarantee that that three-inch crack wonâ€™t spread.
Many repairs are as strong as the original glass, but you just wonâ€™t know until it fails. Making sure you go to a reputable shop will help you get the highest quality repair job– your dealer is a good choice if you have a new car. Over-the-counter kits are a bit dicey.
If the worst should happen and you need to replace your windshield, make sure you get OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) glass. OEM glass is made to the same specifications as your original windshield. Aftermarket glass is often cheaper, but, unfortunately, you get what you pay for. Inferior quality glass can be a poor fit causing whistling and leaks and, worse yet, it can pose a safety risk. This is one area where spending a little more is definitely worth it.
Winter travelingâ€”be it visiting grandma for the holidays, daily commuting, or for emergenciesâ€”can be wrought with hazards. These three mobile apps, recommended by our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville, take some of the hazards out of winter driving, so you can feel secure as you travel.
The Weather Channel. You’ll definitely want to have access to daily and hourly weather reports during the winter driving months. The Weather Channel app, available on iPhone or Android devices, provides access to all the information you might need to avoid or escape a winter storm. The Weather Channel app is convenient and unobtrusive, delivering temperature alerts displayed in a systems tray. It also offers an extensive amount of local weather information, exactly what you need for the daily commute. With extended forecasts, animated radar maps, video forecasts, detailed precipitation facts and forecasts and health and safety information, The Weather Channel has your winter driving covered.
Dark Sky. You checked out the weather forecast and it mentioned the threat of snow or tricky driving conditions, but you need to know exactly where it’s snowing at the exact location you’re driving to. The Dark Sky weather app is what you need. Dark Sky uses state of the art weather forecasting to predict rain or snow down to the exact minute at your exact location. The app ties into radar available from the U.S. government to predict precipitation hourly wherever you are. The app’s stunning radar animation lets you track the path of a storm, so you don’t get stuck in it.
Winter Survival Kit. If you find yourself stuck or stranded in severe weather conditions, your safety might ultimately depend on your smartphone. The Winter Survival Kit app will help you determine your current location, call 9-1-1, contact friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine without succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning and how long you can run your engine before you run out of gas. Of course, you’ll want to put together a physical winter survival kit as well. The Winter Survival Kit app will help by providing the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service information on how to put together a physical winter survival kit, how to prepare your vehicle for winter driving and how to stay safe if stranded in a winter storm.
Perhaps you’ve noticed an increase in gas prices once the calendar approaches summer. And although the approach of winter isn’t met with the same anticipation as the approach of summer, you can anticipate a decrease in gas prices. Learn why from our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
The seasonal gasoline transition. The seasonal gasoline transition occurs twice every year in the United States. Although it sounds like an ancient oil festival, It is not accompanied by wild celebrations and revelry in oil producing states, such as Texas and Oklahoma. It’s actually accompanied by oil companies switching their gas supplies from summer grade fuel to winter grade fuel or vice versa. The seasonal gasoline transition is one of the reasons gas prices rise in the summer and go down in the winter.
The Reformulated Gasoline Program. The Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG) owes its existence to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The switch from winter to summer gasoline blends began in 1995 as an attempt to reduce pollution. Summer gasoline uses different fuel additives to prevent it from evaporating too quickly. How quickly a gas evaporates is based on its Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). The higher a gasoline’s RVP, the quicker it evaporates. All gasoline has to be below 14.7 psi or it would no longer be liquid. Summer gasoline is usually between 9.0 and 7.8 psi. That’s something to think about the next time you’re filling up the tank.
Higher gas prices in the summer. The ultimate question when it comes to the differences between summer blend and winter blend gasoline is why does gas go up so much in the summer. There are many factors. Lower RVP gasoline costs more because of the additives that are needed to keep the RVP low. Demand is also higher in the summer. In addition, during the spring months, most energy companies in the United States conduct maintenance on their refineries, which limits their capacity. These maintenance shut downs are part of the seasonal gasoline transition and lead to a limited supply of fuel. This lessening of supply while demand is greater has a large effect on gas prices.
The environmental impact. The justification for lower RVP gasoline blends stems from the federal government’s attempt to lower emissions and smog during the summer months. With less gasoline evaporating into the atmosphere, air quality increases. Just how much effect this changing of blends has on cost is estimated to be anywhere from 2-15 cents per gallon, which combined with the additional costs incurred by higher demands and lower supplies strains many a budget.
Whether you’re looking to have the coolest car on the block, the ability to alter your ride level on the fly, or better load carrying capabilities, itâ€™s time to look into getting an air suspension system.
An air suspension system replaces conventional springs with air springs. These air springs are basically bags inflated to a specific pressure or height with an outside compressor via a valve on the bag. An air suspension system offers five key benefits as outlined in Hot Rod. Read on to learn more from our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
Adjustability. Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of spending weeks adjusting and fine tuning springs and shocks in order to get the “perfect” ride would have gladly traded a platinum wrench (which may have ended up thrown through a garage window out of frustration) for an air suspension system. Because an air suspension system provides a lot more room for error when it comes to height, load, and rate, you can get the system fine-tuned in much less time, even on the fly.
Handling. In additional to being super cool, an air suspension system provides superior handling. They’re progressive, which means the more they compress, the stiffer they get. Combined with the aforementioned enhanced adjustability, you’ve got yourself enormous performance potential.
Customization. Everyone has his or her own idea of what a perfect ride feels like. With an air suspension system, the way your car handles can be accommodated with little or no component changes. A wide range of riding styles can be achieved by a simple adjustment of air pressure and shock valving.
Height. If those who switched from conventional suspension systems to air suspension systems were honest, quite a few would admit they got an air suspension system because they wanted to look cool. The cool continuum runs the spectrum between low riders or mini-trucks to the more common driver who simply wants to lower his or her ride for a unique look. Most air suspension kits put the vehicle several inches below standard vehicle heights and usually can be adjusted up for normal driving, filling it up with gas, or rolling it onto a truck bed.
Load carrying. Although air suspension systems are more commonly associated with young men trying to impress young ladies on a Saturday night with their sweet new ride, air suspension systems were originally designed for commercial use. More specifically, they were designed to help 18-wheelers carry more of a load while providing more comfort for the driver.
If this heretofore little known vehicle component intrigues you, check with our dealership service department to learn more about your options.
The day you bring home your new car is well-worth celebrating. The day you trade it in for a new vehicle can be just as exciting, especially if you have maintained your vehicle well over the years. Learn why proper maintenance is so important, both during ownership and when trading in, from our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville.
Cost vs. Benefit.Â There are two primary reasons individuals don’t get proper maintenance on their vehicles: time and money. Those who don’t have enough time to keep their vehicle maintained will definitely not have enough time to get it repaired down the road. Those who are worried about the cost of maintaining a vehicle need to examine two things: the cost of getting a vehicle repaired due to a lack of maintenance, and the increase in resale value as a result of proper maintenance.
Documentation. So you followed your maintenance log that came with your vehicle, right? Great! You also documented each and every oil change, tune up, tire rotation, windshield wiper switch, and whatever else you could think of documenting, correct? Having this information on hand makes your vehicle much more attractive to buyers. If you tell a prospective buyer that you’ve meticulously maintained your vehicle, he or she will be more likely to believe you if it’s properly documented in a log book, especially when accompanied by receipts.
Recommended maintenance and what to record. If you haven’t kept a log, gather your receipts. If you don’t have receipts, go through credit card statements. Make sure your records are accurate. Here are some of the things you should document:
- Fluid changes
- Tire rotation
- Paint or body shop receipts
- Engine repair paperwork
- Car detailing receipts
- Inspection reports
- Smog certificates
Other recommended maintenance. Obviously, nobody wants to buy a car that doesn’t run well, but in your haste to document and maintain mechanical aspects of the vehicle, don’t neglect to maintain the exterior and interior. Unsightly blemishes on the exterior or a torn, ripped, or dirty interior can distract from your well-organized documentation as well.
Pre-sale preparation. In addition to routine cleaning of the car’s exterior and interior, there are a few things you’re going to want to pay special attention to when preparing a car for resale. Clean the windshields inside and out. Use a high-quality product to return the luster to vinyl surfaces and components on the inside. Vacuum the upholstery and carpets. Wipe down surfaces. If you’ve been doing this all along, you’ll have no problems when it comes to preparing the vehicle. Keep the exterior free of debris and give it a good detailing when preparing it for sale.
There are more factors than routine maintenance when it comes to maintaining a car’s value. Take note, however, that an unmaintained vehicle will fetch less money, regardless of its make or model.
Bus drivers take their lives into their hands every day on city streets and interstate highways. Despite challenging traffic conditions and the responsibility of a large vehicle and numerous passengers, bus drivers find ways to stay safe while keeping up with demanding routes and schedules. These unsung heroes of the road universally command respect, but they also offer important lessons to ordinary drivers who share busy roads with buses every day. Our team at Crown Nissan of Greenville has the details
Modern technology has caused an addiction for many bus drivers as they struggle to communicate while safely driving a bus. An Italian bus driver was caught on video simultaneously using two cell phones while steering his bus with his elbows. This talent showed the world that cell phone use behind the wheel might not present the extreme danger most people expect. Seriously, bus drivers can provide some good examples of how not to drive. Although many states have laws in place restricting the use of electronic devices while driving, many states do not. All drivers should avoid risking their lives and the lives of passengers by reserving cell phone use to emergencies while driving.
A New York City school bus driver named Juan DelValle side-swiped a car on a crowded city street and was subsequently attacked by the offended driver. DelValle was within days of his long-awaited retirement and died from severe injuries to his brain. This one example shows how a minor traffic incident can quickly escalate into a life-changing event for unprepared drivers. Drivers should exercise extreme caution every time they have an incident with another driver. After an accident, drivers who feel threatened can call police and wait in their cars until help arrives.
Bus drivers illustrate why no one should sit behind the wheel of a vehicle when fatigued. Investigators determined that a tour bus crash in New York that killed 15 passengers was caused by a sleepy driver. The bus driver, Ophadell Williams, was charged with criminally negligent homicide. His life might never return to its previous state. Drivers who spend time getting the sleep they need might arrive late at their destination, but they also arrive with a clear conscience, an alert mind, and living passengers.
A Transit bus in Los Osos, California rolled down an embankment after colliding with a car on a dark and wet stretch of road. Bus drivers know they cannot count on the driving skills of other motorists for safety, so they drive defensively. In the Los Osos case, the bus driver managed to stay alive after the Mercedes crossed the center line. Although the driver of the automobile died in the wreck, all the bus passengers lived. Every driver should periodically take time to review defensive-driving tactics or to attend a defensive driving class to improve their ability to respond to unexpected circumstances on the highway.