3 Safety Tips for Driving on the Road This Prom Season

promIts officially prom season again! Although this is an exciting time for high school seniors, it is also important to be safe on the road during this fun and joyous period. Smyth Automotive has provided teens with 3 safety tips while on the road during prom and graduation season.

1. Don’t Drink & Drive

Although the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old, unfortunately many teens still decide to consume alcohol. With so many different transportation apps on the market right now, it is hard to believe that drinking and driving still happens. Apps such as Uber, Lyft and your local taxi cab are all available 24/7 if you are too intoxicated to drive a vehicle. Each year in the U.S., over 10,000 people are killed and 350,000 injured due to drunk driving. Be smart and don’t drink in drive this spring.

2. Don’t Text & Drive

As harmless as it seems to check a quick text on your phone while driving, it still causes a distraction and could cause harm to yourself and other drivers. If you really need to text someone simply pull over for a moment. The text is not worth your life or others around you.

 3. Follow the speed limit

Since the party after the dance usually does not end until around 2:00am, many teens may feel the need to have fun on the empty streets at night by exceeding the speed limit. Just a reminder, there may be other drivers on the road and the speed limits are set to protect not only you but other drivers on the road.

Have fun at prom this season but always remember to be safe!

 

 

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What to Know Before Going to your Mechanic

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Every vehicle owner has to eventually struggle with going to the mechanic and paying for repairs. In fact, Consumer Reports estimates that over five years 4% of the total cost of your vehicle will be spent on repairs and maintenance. So before you go into a shop, it is important to be aware of some things. Below we have come up with 5 points you might want to look over before your next trip to the mechanic.

  •  Watch Out for Gimmicks: Coolant flushes and power steering flushes are really common ploys for quick lubes and big box shops. Always be sure to check your owner’s manual, not only for flushes but for anything that any mechanic suggests to you. Many cars are designed to go 10,000 miles without a fluid change, plus there are additives on the market, available at Smyth Automotive, that do a great job.
  • Licensing and Certifications Displayed/Reputation: Be sure that a shop that you use displays an ASE or AAA certification. Good mechanics and shops will proudly display reviews and references. If they honest and do good work, their reputation will be good, so always ask around and look at reviews before committing to any shop.
  • Synthetic Motor Oil is the Best Bet: Synthetic motor oils might cost you more, but they are going to get you a lot more miles between oil changes. We suggest to tell the technician or attendant that you want synthetic motor oil, if they argue, look for legitimate reasons why your specific car might not need it and make sure you do some research before you go ahead with their suggestion.
  • Check Engine Light: When your check engine light come on, it’s not always necessarily a mandatory repair. You do not need to have costly repairs every time that you have your check engine light turns on. In some cases, the system detects a failure, but it is not going to cause you any problems to keep operating your vehicle. Do some research into the necessity of the repair and go from there.
  • Supply Your Own Parts: Often mechanics prefer to buy the parts for your vehicle themselves, usually through a trusted source like Smyth Automotive, but the truth is, any part that they can get for your car, you can get, often for cheaper than the mechanic will charge you for. Ask your mechanic to see if they will install the parts that you supply— the only catch is that they might not provide a warranty for the work if the part was defective.

5 money savings tips for your car

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Happy February! How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? If one of them was to save more money, this post will definitely help you save more when it comes to your vehicle! Check out these 3 money savings tips for your car this year.

1. Find a trustworthy mechanic
Finding a trustworthy mechanic is extremely important. We would even recommend finding a good mechanic before you actually need one to avoid desperate situations. A trust worthy mechanic would always let you know every issue with your vehicle and will offer you a fair price. Ask a trusted friend, family member or co-worker about their mechanic if you aren’t sure of one in your neighborhood.

2. Know your car’s maintenance schedule
Knowing when your car is due for an oil change, tire rotation or when to replenish your car’s fluids are extremely key-these essentially keeps your car running smoothly. Not knowing your car’s maintenance schedule can eventually cause other issues with your car in the long run.

3. Utilize gas apps
Gas apps have been around since smartphones and have been used to find the cheapest gas at your nearest location. A lot of gas apps don’t just help you find the cheapest gas; they also help you plan the most efficient route, nearest restaurants; improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and more. A simple gas app search on your smartphone can save you a lot of money on your next road trip.

3 Helpful Tips for Driving on Black Ice

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Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year again when temperatures are frigid and the ground outside can be extremely dangerous due to snow, ice, and at times black ice. Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees below at the surface and rain is falling. The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating ice. The refreezing of the snow or the water can then cause black ice.

It’s important to be aware of black ice and be knowledgeable of the dos and don’ts when driving in these upcoming winter months. Below we are sharing 3 tips that will help you drive smarter, safer and more confident this season.

1. Invest in Winter Tires
It is extremely imperative to have good winter tires this season. Winter tires are made with a different rubber compound that has better grip in cold weather and an optimized tread width. Winter tires increases your break distance up to 25%-which could potentially stop a possible collision or simply just your car from sliding on the ice and snow. For increased safety be sure to change all 4 tires to winter tires this season.

2. Be sure to drive slow
Driving slow is definitely one of the best precautionary measures against slipping on black ice. Focusing on the road ahead and not being distracted by phone calls, text messages, or other people in the car is also important. We even recommend keeping a nice distance (about 1 car length) between you and the car in front you just in case of any immediate stops.

3. Be confident while driving
It’s important to be confident while driving. If your car begins to slide on black ice, simply take your foot off the gas pedal and keep the steering wheel steady, don’t slam on the brakes. Black ice can be hard to spot, but if you drive your car with conviction and follow these 3 tips you will know how to tackle this winter weather.

3 Ways to Keep You and Your Car Safe during the Holiday Season

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The holidays are officially here! While some of us are prepping for friends and family coming into town, hanging up Christmas lights and decorating the perfect tree, it is extremely important to not only have the time of your life this season, but also to be safe. Below we list 3 ways to keep you and your vehicle safe this holiday season.

Watch where you park

Before you indulge in your holiday shopping this season at your favorite mall, be sure you are conscious of where you park your vehicle. Try to park as close to the entrance as you can and give yourself a mental reminder to remember exactly where you parked. It is also important to be alert while you are walking to your vehicle, especially if it is dark outside. It is okay to put the smart phone away for a moment until you get inside of your vehicle with the doors locked.

Keep personal items/gifts in the trunk

As you are traveling from store to store trying to find the perfect gift for your loved one, remember to always place your gifts and personal items locked in the trunk. This definitely deters potential break-ins from happening and keeps your items protected. If you can, try to make a quick stop to your home in between shopping to ensure your gifts will be safe from harm.

Be attentive while driving

It is extremely important to be attentive while driving at all times of the year, but the holiday season is extremely important. There will definitely be a lot more vehicles on the road and your attentiveness is necessary. Be a defensive as well as an offensive driver. December is full of holiday parties which means a lot of alcohol drinking will be involved. If you suspect that someone is driving drunk do not hesitate to call 911.

Keep your Tank Full During the Winter Months!

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There’s nothing worse than realizing you don’t have enough gas to get to your destination. A lot of times just out of pure laziness, drivers just simply do not want to get out of their car to fill up. This winter, Smyth Automotive will like to share the importance of driving with a full tank of gas, especially in the upcoming winter months!

• Condensation in the Fuel Line

Due to the cold weather, the temperatures will drop and if you have a near empty gas tank it can cause condensation to form on the inside. This then causes the water to drip into the gas which can then creep into the fuel line. Once the water finds its way into the fuel lines, it will freeze up and block the flow of gas to the engine.

• Air in the tank

Over time, when space is not filled by gas in your tank it becomes filled with air. The air can cause rust to develop on the sides of fuel tanks which are made of metal which can cause problems in the future; such as fuel contamination and costly repairs.

• No service stations available
The most obvious reason drivers should always have a decent amount of gas in the winter is the possibility of the lack of service stations while driving. Nothing is more dangerous than getting out of your car to find a nearby gas station, but imagine if there were freezing temperatures outside! Be smart, and fill up before you hit the road, folks!

Celebrate your car during Fall Car Care Month!

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Winter is approaching, and so are the harsh weather conditions of the cold season which can be extremely tough on vehicles. Cars always need to be checked that they are in quality condition. Thankfully, October is Fall Car Care month! Smyth Automotive would like to share some helpful tips to drivers this fall to avoid car trouble before the temperature really drops. Could you imagine your car breaking down on the side of an icy road on a brutally cold day with harsh winds? Below are some ways that can decrease your chances of car trouble during the winter months!

1. Tires
When driving in the harsh cold conditions of winter it is important to have good tires. Winter conditions test tires to provide traction in unpredictable scenarios like black ice and heavy snow. Winter tires are specifically designed to challenge the combinations of cold temperatures, ice and snow. If you’ve had your tires a while, check to see that they have enough tread on them because worn tires are known to spin and slide more often on icy roads. Also, check that your car tires have plenty of air in them, especially in the winter so that they can take on the subzero weather.

2. Windshield wiper fluid
Salt and snow from the road can dirty your car during the winter months making it difficult to see the road. For that reason, it is necessary to have plenty of windshield washer fluid for your windshield wipers. While temperatures are low, it’s also important to have anti-freeze windshield washer fluid so that it doesn’t freeze on your windshield when cleaning your windows.

3. Car battery
Car batteries are more likely to die during the winter than any other season. Freezing weather leaves car batteries with power output drops. The ability for a battery to accept a charge decreases, so the battery doesn’t recharge as quickly when you’re driving. Vehicles tend to use a lot more energy during the winter season due to lights, heaters, wipers, heated seats, etc. This causes batteries to be used at higher rates.

The last thing anyone wants is to end up in a car emergency in the winter time. Have your vehicles checked out to minimize your chances of having car troubles or accidents.