4 Important Fall Car Maintenance Tips

16Fall is the perfect time to perform regular maintenance on your car, especially as we prepare to launch into winter. While winter may not be as brutal here in North Carolina as it is in the northern US, it is still crucial to perform some routine maintenance in the fall to keep your car running smoothly until spring.

  • Test your lights: It’s going to start getting darker sooner. Make sure all lights—headlights, taillights, brake lights, etc.—are in working order. Replace any bulbs that have burnt out.
  • Change your oil: Changing your oil is the most crucial routine maintenance task. The changing of the seasons can serve as your quarterly reminder to check your oil level and get it changed at Nissan of Clinton when you hit your next milestone.
  • Change out your wiper blades: Fall and winter can bring some powerful storms. Make sure your wiper blades can provide clear vision for you by replacing them before you get caught in the rain or snow.
  • Test your battery: Batteries die more frequently in colder weather. Test your battery strength and replace it if necessary.4 Important Fall Car Maintenance Tips

Need help with your fall car maintenance? Bring it in to Nissan of Clinton today.

How to Beat the Summer Heat

When it starts to get hot outside, it starts to get hot in your car, too! Here are some ways to beat the summer heat and cool down your car.

Air Ventilation

Letting a little air into your car might help keep it cool when it’s parked. If you have a sun roof, open it a bit or leave your windows cracked. Just be careful of the rain!

Beat the Summer HeatSun Shades

Use sun shades on your windshield to stop sun from heating up your car. Sun shades are especially helpful when you can’t find shade on your own.

Find Shade

When you can find shade, use it! And if you can’t find enough shade to cover your entire vehicle, make sure you at least cover your driver’s seat with the shade so the heated-up steering wheel won’t burn your hands.

Use Remote Start

Many cars (including Nissans!) have remote start key fobs with A/C. Use it to your advantage by starting your car and A/C before you get in so it’ll already be cooled down by the time you get to it.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to keep your car cool, Nissan of Clinton is always here to help!

Tips for Thanksgiving Travel: The Best Ways to Enjoy the Holiday

tips for Thanksgiving travelThanksgiving can be one of the busiest travel days of the year. That’s why it is important to follow these tips for Thanksgiving travel. You’ll find the best ways to get ahead on the holiday, helping you to enjoy the time you spend with your family rather than worrying about travel. Read on for some helpful tips.

According to the Travel Channel, one of the best things to do is start planning at least a week ahead. Map out the best route by taking holiday travel into consideration, and consider the best time to leave (Sunday afternoon is the worst time to drive or fly). Also, make sure you are stocked for any long trips, including the emergency first aid kit.

Travel as light as possible. Eliminating unnecessary baggage will make the ride more comfortable for everyone, especially if you have to travel for several hours. Make a list of everything you need, and cut it to the bare essentials. If possible, see if you can arrange for laundry accommodations if you stay for several days. This will make it easier to leave some clothes behind.

Finally, relax and have fun. One of the quickest ways to ruin the holidays is to stress out. Work on delegating tasks to other family members to help ease the burden on single family members, and be sure to set reasonable expectations.

Check Out These Spring Driving Safety Tips and Tricks For the New Season

Spring Driving SafetyThe snow may be melted, but spring has brought with it a whole new set of challenges. Stay safe on the roads this year by following these spring driving safety tips:

  • Be extremely wary of rain. The first 10 minutes or so of fresh rain make vehicles prone to hydroplaning, so be sure to lower your speed.
  • You will find more wild animals crossing the road than you saw all winter, especially at night, so keep a sharp eye out.
  • Additionally, pedestrians are far more likely to take a stroll, and kids are more likely to play in the road during this warm time of year.
  • After the winter snow is gone, many roads find themselves full of potholes. Do your best to avoid these.
  • Lastly, just like the rest of the year, it’s extremely important to keep your tires inflated properly.

For more safety tips or to start out your spring season with a brand new car, visit us anytime at Nissan of Clinton.

And The Truth Shall Set You Free: Dispelling Car Myths

Car myths - cell phone at gas pump

Is using your cell phone while pumping gas dangerous? We debunk some car myths

The reason that some car myths persist is because they are so essential to the classic action-movie shootout. Think about it. How many times have you seen the protagonist dive behind a vehicle to escape a hail of bullets? Without that vehicle, he or she would be a goner, and that makes for a bad action movie.

The only problem? Vehicles don’t stop bullets.

There are some other car myths that are less dramatic but just as untrue. Take the idea that manual transmissions are more fuel efficient than automatic transmissions. Anyone who promulgates this notion is merely guilty of being behind the times. Stick shifts used to be more efficient, but thanks to advances in technology, automatics have surpassed their manual counterparts.

One old car myth has actually created a new, opposing myth. The old myth was that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Nowadays, you can do more like 5,000 to 10,000 miles. However that doesn’t mean that you never have to change your oil, as another myth insists.

What about when the protagonist shoots the bad guy’s vehicle and it blows up…is that real? No, that’s not real either. Bullets pass through gas tanks without incident. So, you can breathe easy next time you are driving past that gun range.

Tips for Driving with a Baby

Especially for first-time parents, there are a billion things to think about and remember when you have a new baby. One of the least talked about is driving safety. Besides making sure your car seat is secured, here are some tips for driving with a baby that will keep you and your little one safe.

One tip is to avoid giving your baby food or small toys while you’re driving. If they should start to choke, you don’t want to be going sixty miles an hour down the freeway.

You should also make sure their pacifier is secured to their clothing or the seat, so that if they spit it out and start crying you aren’t rooting around in the backseat looking for it.

The same goes for toys—keep your baby entertained and prevent them from throwing toys across the car.

Another important tip is to register your car seat. You’ll get information on recalls or defects promptly!

Drive safe, and above all else, keep that carseat strapped in tight!

Tips for Dogs in Cars – Always a Danger

Tips for Dogs in CarsIt’s important to remember that during the summer, temperatures inside of a parked vehicle can become extremely hot. In fact, if it’s roughly 85 degrees Farenheit outside, the interior of a parked car can shoot up to more than 120 degrees in just ten minutes.

This is why you should never keep a dog inside of a parked car in the summer. If you find yourself stuck in a sticky situation, here are some tips:

  • Ask if you can bring your dog into whatever location you are headed to.
  • Call a friend or family member and ask them to watch the dog.
  • Tie the dog up outside of the vehicle – if you are in a safe location.
  • Try to park in the shade, where the vehicle won’t get as hot.
  • If it isn’t very hot outside, and your dog will be in safe but uncomfortable conditions, offer it extra clean, cool water.
  • Simply turn around, and go home. It’s not worth it!

Do you have any other tips for dogs in cars? Let us know your ideas in the comments.

Know the Hazards of Bulky Winter Coats in Child Safety Seats

Winter Coats in Child Safety SeatsYou’ve already heard everything you need to know about car seat safety thanks to Child Safety Protection Month in November: types of car seats, which one is best for you, and how to install it. What else could there be to discuss?

As with everything, winter makes a big difference.

Our instinct in the cold season is to wrap our young children in the biggest, puffiest winter coats to keep them warm. While that may be useful outdoors, inside the car a bulky coat can be dangerous when paired with a car seat. If it makes the harness too loose, and there won’t be enough constraint during a crash, which could result in ejection.

First, check to see if the coat is too big to wear under the harness. Consumer Reports explains how to do this: put your coat on your child, place him/her in the car seat, and tighten the harness until you can’t pinch any more of the strap. Remove your child from the seat without loosening the harness. Remove the coat, and then put your child back in the seat. Once he’s buckled, if you can now pinch webbing from the harness strap, the coat is too bulky.

If you find the coat is too bulky for proper safety, you can still keep your child warm. After securing your child (minus the coat) in the safety seat, put the coat on backward so it acts like a blanket with arms. Or take the coat off the child and lay a blanket snugly across the seat.

We at Nissan of Clifton want to keep our children warm as much as you do, so remember our instructions when putting winter coats in child safety seats

Techniques for Saving Gas on Your Summer Road Trip

2014 Versa If you’re planning a summer road trip, we at Nissan of Clinton have some tips on what you can do, short of setting the gas prices yourself, to get the most miles per gallon from your vehicle. For any vehicle, large, small; old, new; alternative fuel, old-school gas guzzler; these techniques will help them all.

  1. There is no need for speed. Part of taking a road trip is enjoying the actual trip, not just the destination. Besides, if you ease your foot off the gas pedal a bit, you’d be surprised how much further you could go on a gallon of gas.
  2. Steady wins the race. Be careful not to accelerate too quickly or brake too abruptly. This not only decreases your fuel efficiency, but it’s also damaging to several vital parts of your car, including the engine and transmission.
  3. Pack lightly. Obviously, you’ll have to use your own discretion, but the more junk in the trunk, the more gas it will take to move you down the road. Also, if you absolutely must tie luggage, etc. to the top of the vehicle, try to keep it as flat as possible. If you aren’t using your bike rack, take it off. All of these factors will increase wind resistance and decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

There’s no need to let fuel prices get in the way of your summer fun. Keeps these tips in mind as you drive, and go have a great time! Let us know how far your summer travels take you.

How to Wash Your Car by Hand

How to wash your car by handWashing your car by hand can be a relaxing way to spend your summer weekend. Not only does it give you a way to cool of in the scorching summer heat, but it also gives you a car that shines like new. If you find that your car ends up with splotchy water spots and crusty soap, follow these tips on how to wash your car and make sure your car stays spot-free!

Park it somewhere shady. Not only will parking in the shade keep you from getting sun burnt, but it will also prevent premature drying, which causes the majority of water spots that show up on your paint.

Gather your supplies and prep. Gather two buckets, soap (preferably special car washing soap), a sponge, and rags. Combine the water and soap according to the bottle’s directions in one bucket, and then fill another bucket with plain water. After you’re done filling the bucket, hose off the car to rinse it off, pointing the hose downwards on the surfaces to avoid scratching your car.

Begin washing. Soak your sponge or large wash mitt in the soapy water and begin cleaning your car. Don’t use a brush on the car, since it will scratch. Be sure to start at the top and work your way down, circling around the car several times. When you’re done washing one area, make sure you rinse it out to avoid the soap drying. This will also prevent droplets from drying and leaving water spots.

Keep your sponge or wash mitt clean. Make sure you frequently rinse the sponge or wash mitt in the bucket with plain water to keep it clean.

Save the lower body and wheels for last. These are the dirtiest part of the car, so make sure you use a separate sponge or mitt when washing them. For the wheels, use a wheel-brush to clean the spoke openings and the sides of the wheels.

Dry the vehicle. Use your fresh towels to dry the vehicle, making sure to use a new towel once the one you’re using gets damp. This will prevent streaks from forming, keeping your car squeaky clean.

Do you have any tips on how to wash your car? Share them with us below!