Many drivers welcome the long, sunny days of summer. Compared to the snow, ice, and gloom of the winter, summer driving is a walk in the park. This kind of driving is not entirely risk-free, however. The summer brings with it a number of new hazards of which drivers should be aware. Here are five of the most common summer driving hazards and ways to avoid them, courtesy of our team at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep.
Additional Road Construction Works
The summer months make it easier for local authorities to undertake road repairs, but this presents problems for drivers. Routes may be blocked and diverted, or may be much slower than normal. If you are planning a long distance drive, check ahead to find out where there may be additional construction works. Ideally, plan a different route if possible. If not, prepare yourself to get stuck in a traffic jam.
Traffic jams can occur all year round, but during the summer months certain routes fill up with drivers on their way to popular holiday destinations. Traffic jams can last for many hours and miles and can take their toll on you and your passengers’ patience. Make sure that kids have plenty to keep them occupied and that you have plenty of water and snacks on board. Allow plenty of time for your journey too.
With the hot summer weather, cars are more likely to overheat than they are during the winter months. The added pressure of air conditioning and/or being stuck in traffic can take its toll on your car. Before taking a journey during the summer, make sure that you check your engine oil and coolant level before you set out. Also, ask your service department to check your thermostat, cooling fan, and radiator, particularly on older cars. It’s far better to be safe than sorry.
The summer months will probably attract many people to the roads that might otherwise have left the car at home. Teenagers and young drivers may take to the roads more in summer due to the perceived improved driving conditions. For some people, the annual vacation may be the only time that they really drive long distance. Whether you like it or not, this means that you need to be extra vigilant and extra patient, as people may make some silly mistakes.
The temperature extremes of the winter can make the road surface crack and become very fragile. When the warmer weather sets in, this damage can manifest as potholes and, in some cases, can become a real hazard. A large pothole could seriously damage your car or cause you to lose control. On poor road surfaces, slow down and try to navigate around potholes if you can.
The summer is a glorious time for sunny days out, but it can also be dangerous if you are on the road. Pay attention to summer road hazards and make sure you reach your destination safely.
With the cost of fuel generally on the rise, savvy car drivers are always on the lookout for ways to improve gas mileage. There are many different factors that can influence your fuel efficiency. The car you drive certainly makes a big difference, but so does the way you drive, the road you drive on and even the weather conditions.
During the summer months, your car is likely to endure high temperatures and a lot of sunshine. So what impact will this type of weather have on your fuel efficiency?
As soon as the weather gets hot, most drivers are likely to reach for the air conditioning to cool them down. Many drivers believe that air conditioning may increase the fuel consumption, preferring instead to roll the windows down. By allowing fresh air to keep the car cool, you may believe that you are conserving energy. However, this idea may be untrue.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conducted a study to see whether it was more fuel efficient to drive with the window down or to have the air conditioning on. What the study found was that when you drive at speeds of more than 55 miles per hour with the windows down, the fuel efficiency can decrease by more than 20 percent. Conversely, by having the air conditioner on and the windows closed, the fuel efficiency decreased by only 10 percent. By keeping the window or windows open, you will interfere with the car’s aerodynamics, causing more drag. This means that the engine has to work harder and consume more fuel to maintain the speed you want.
Therefore, when driving in summer at speeds above 55 miles per hour, it is better to have the windows closed and the air conditioner on. However, this may not be the case if you are simply cruising around town. At lower speeds, the study recommends that you switch the air conditioner off and open the windows. At these speeds, the engine is not producing enough energy to make the air conditioning efficient, so you will actually see better gas mileage if you roll the windows down. This may not be desirable in stationary traffic, but it is important to be aware that if the car is stationary, then fuel efficiency will suffer if you have the air conditioner on.
It is also worth remembering that driving a long distance in a convertible with the top down will drain the fuel faster than with the top up. The sunny weather and blue skies may make the convertible seem like a romantic option, but consider the significant increase that this will create in fuel consumption before you get too carried away.
If you have any questions regarding your fuel efficiency, or if you are in need of a service appointment before hitting the road for your summer vacation, do not hesitate to contact our team at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep today!
Myth: Premium gives the best gas mileage
Fact: Gas is expensive. At Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep, we don’t want you to waste your money believing this longstanding myth.
While premium gas does enable high-performing engines (such as that of a luxury car) to perform at their full potential, that does not necessarily make it better for your car than regular gas. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, the vast majority of cars are designed to run fine on regular. Unless otherwise stated, premium gas will not improve the fuel economy or performance for most cars.
The only guarantee with premium gas is paying up to 20 cents more per gallon, and our team at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep wants you to save money in the long run. Therefore, we suggest choosing the correct fuel grade for your car based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Automotive suspensions have grown increasingly complex as consumers demand better handling, a kinder ride, and greater sophistication from their automobiles. While the quality across the board is improving with automotive suspensions, they require periodic inspection and maintenance like other systems on your vehicle.
So how do you know if your suspension is healthy? To start, you need to know the basics of how suspensions work. Usually, there are springs to support the weight of the vehicle, shocks and/or struts to dampen up-and-down motions (think of the thing that keeps your screen door from slamming – it’s the same idea), and a series of bars, arms and joints that keep your wheels pointed in the right direction and at the right angle.
From a drivers’ perspective there are several things to look out for. Worn suspensions often creak or clunk while steering or going over bumps. Turn the radio off and drive normally for a period of time at various speeds to see if you hear anything you don’t remember hearing when the car was newer. Next, try driving on a straight road. Does it feel like your car is pulling to one side? Does it seem to wallow around curves and over bumps? Is there irregular tire wear or awkward handling? All these things can point to worn suspension components. This type of wear tends to creep up gradually, so things may feel “normal” to the person driving the car every day. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your car to the dealership as soon as possible to have your suspension inspected.
There are dozens of moving parts involved in your suspension, and by keeping a careful eye on them you will likely enjoy longer component life. As always, we suggest a preventative approach to keeping your suspension healthy. When your car is at our dealership for other maintenance, ask that your shocks, struts and ball joints be inspected for damage or wear. Evidence of problems is often hidden in the deepest recesses of your vehicle’s undercarriage, so having it up on a lift in the hands of one of our professional technicians is the best way to check for damage. Leaking shocks or struts, cracked or visibly worn componentry, or torn rubber bushings can be signs of problems to come.
The best approach is of course to ask your service manager to keep an eye on your suspension. Being aware of impending problems and having them addressed early will keep you safer and help you save money in the long run.
For more information about keeping your suspension healthy or to schedule a service appointment, contact our dealership today.
We all know how risky texting while driving can be, but it’s not the only kind of distracted driving that can have dangerous consequences.
In response to concerns over the swarm of new technology in today’s cars, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have released a set of voluntary guidelines for automobile manufacturers to help limit dangerous distracted driving practices.
While these guidelines are directed towards auto manufacturers, we at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep think that these recommendations can be useful for drivers, too.
Keep your eyes on the road
The NHTSA suggests that vehicle makers limit the amount of time that drivers have to take their eyes off the road to use certain functions on electronic features. The recommended time limit is two seconds at a time for a total of 12 seconds. To stay safe while driving, try to limit the amount of time you spend fiddling with your car’s gadgets so you can keep your eyes on the road.
Don’t use certain features while your vehicle is in motion
The NHTSA also recommends that automobile makers program certain features to automatically disable when the car is in motion, such as internet browsing functions, video content, and social media. If your current vehicle has these types of features or others that might be too complicated to use while driving, consider pulling over and stopping in a safe place before using them.
The take away for drivers is that while in-vehicle technology can be convenient, it can also pose risks if not used safely. Help decrease your chances of getting in an accident and avoid being a distracted driver by exercising caution when using these features.
If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, the NHTSA has several resources available on their website. And be sure to check out the Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Facebook page and let us know how you stay safe on the road.
Whether your daily commute consists of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway or a serene drive on the countryside, one thing we all have in common is the desire to save money on gas. Our team at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep came up with these helpful tips that can not only save you money at the gas pump, but also reduce your overall fuel consumption.
1) Utilize gas station finder apps
In just one city, gas prices can vary up to 20 cents per gallon. Save time and money with gas-finder applications, such as Fuel Finder or GasBuddy, which allow drivers to find the cheapest gas prices in their area. Not only are such apps user-friendly, many are also available for download at little to no cost.
2) Avoid extra weight
Not surprisingly, heavy loading can negatively affect your car’s overall performance. But did you know that extra weight can also affect your car’s fuel economy? According to the Department of Energy, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle may reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. Remove excess weight from your car or trunk to save money in the long run.
3) Take a detour
Getting from point A to B isn’t the only benefit of your GPS, as the rerouting technology standard with most systems also saves time – and gas. For instance, while stuck in traffic, the idling and constant braking wastes your car’s fuel. In such driving conditions, it is wise to deviate from your scheduled route and take advantage of your GPS capabilities to avoid wasting your gas and–ultimately–your money.
4) Use air conditioning sparingly
While that cold burst of air from your air conditioning may feel amazing on a hot summer’s day, it is also significantly reducing your fuel economy. If rolling down the windows isn’t your first choice, try utilizing your car’s air conditioning recirculation option to reduce the amount of hot air in your car and considerably save on gas.
5) Drive the speed limit
Not only is speeding dangerous, it is also hazardous to your gas tank — and your wallet. When driving at speeds above 60 miles per hour, your gas mileage rapidly decreases. According to Fueleconomy.gov, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas.
Here at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep we aim to help you save time and money while driving more efficiently. What are your tips for saving money at the pump?
Automotive aerodynamics have fallen under increasing scrutiny as the price of oil, and thus gasoline, diesel, and other fuels, has increased. As automakers work day and night to improve efficiency, improving aerodynamics is one of the most cost-effective means of attaining greater fuel economy. Other means include improving engine efficiency of internal combustion engines, reducing weight and pursuing hybrid technology – all of which are considerably more expensive and difficult than improving aerodynamics.
As we know, aerodynamic designs tend to lend themselves to a smooth, rounded design, but some things that are easy to overlook, such as the side skirts and underside of the vehicle, whether it be a car or truck, have just as much bearing on overall aerodynamic efficiency as other, more visible, attributes, such as the profile of the windshield.
As a regular driver who wants to make the most of their vehicles’ aerodynamics without resorting to drastic measures, such as adding shrouding to the wheels or undercarriage, there are still several simple things you can do. To start with, keep as much of your luggage and accessories inside your vehicle as possible. Bicycles, excess storage bins, and even ski racks all create turbulence and drag that can not only cost you at the pump, but also be noisy and potentially dangerous if not properly secured. So if at all possible, put all of those items in your vehicle.
Additionally, on both cars and trucks, traveling at highway speeds with the windows down is believed to actually use more fuel than riding with the windows up and the air conditioning on. So if venturing into speeds in excess of 35 mph, roll up the windows and enjoy the A/C. Another way of taking full advantage of the aerodynamic qualities built into your vehicle is by ensuring that all the air dams and factory installed spoilers are properly installed and undamaged.
On pickup trucks, a soft or hard tonneau cover seals off your truck’s bed from wind and the elements, and helps save fuel, particularly on the highway. If you need help finding a specific tonneau cover for your truck, visit us for a conversation. It may just pay for itself over the life of your vehicle.
There are other more drastic things that can be done to improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle, such as using narrower tires, disk-style wheel covers, or lowering your vehicle’s ride height – which may compromise handling, ride, or grip, so we’d suggest you proceed with caution if you wish to do any of these alterations.
A sure detriment to your vehicle’s aerodynamics is adding spoilers, wide wheels, increasing the ride height, and adding bug guards.
Our team at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep wishes you many thousands of miles of safe, happy, and efficient motoring through the coming years.
Driving a rental or loaner vehicle can be a fun break from your usual vehicle, even if you have been forced to do it by factors outside your control. If you are driving a car of this sort, however, you should not assume that it is simply a case of taking the keys and cruising away. We at Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram want you to understand what your obligations and responsibilities are. Here are some tips to remember when driving a rental or loaner vehicle.
It is vital that you check your liabilities for gas. In some cases you will be supplied a vehicle with a full tank of gas, and you must return it on that basis. In other cases, the tank will be close to empty, and you will simply have to put in the gas that you need to use. In the case of the former, make sure that you fill the tank up completely or you may be charged a nasty re-fueling fee. In the case of the latter, ensure that you do not put more fuel in the tank than you need or you may be funding the next user’s driving.
Make sure that you have checked the car over for damage BEFORE you drive it away. In most cases, you will be issued with a damage report. Check this carefully, and do not be frightened to be too picky. In many cases, you can be held liable for all damage to the vehicle and if it is not on the report when you take the car away, you will be unable to prove that you did not cause the damage.
Your rental or loaner vehicle will normally be supplied with inclusive emergency breakdown coverage. Ensure that you have all the details to hand that you may need in the event that you need to call for assistance. Check this before you drive off, but if you forget, give the rental company a call from home to clarify the contact details and level of cover that you have. Make sure that you are aware of any additional responsibilities that you may have. You may be asked to give the rental company a call as well as the assistance number, for example.
You cannot assume that you are able to drive the car for unlimited mileage while it is on loan to you. In some cases, you may be limited to a reasonable mileage limit, after which you will be charged a hefty fee on a mile-by-mile basis. If you are on a mileage-restricted contract, ensure that you confirm the car’s mileage before you leave and that you reset the counter to zero so that you can easily keep tabs on your usage.
Keep all the documentation related to your rental or loan vehicle. Do not leave it in the glove box or on the seat in the car. If the car is stolen, you will not have any paperwork related to the car. Make sure that you do not blindly sign every piece of paper put in front of you either. Like any other type of contract, make sure you know what you are signing before you sign it.
If you’re looking for local Greensboro information of value, here are ten terrific Twitter accounts – in no particular order – well worth your time. The Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram team looks forward to seeing you on the Twittersphere!
Greensboro Weather @GreensboroWX
Should you ditch the sweater or grab an umbrella? Greensboro Weather will give you the low down on the ups and downs of weather predictions for the day, and a complete seven-day forecast so you can plan your picnics or prepare for a storm.
Neill McNeill @NEILLMCNEWS
Whether you’re looking for local news, national news, or Neill McNeill’s own brand of folksy, fun, and friendly news and commentary, you get it all if you follow the Fox 8 anchor’s Twitter account. He’ll cover the tough stuff in a serious way, but he is most beloved for his wit, wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor.
Greensboro Coliseum @Gbocoliseum
The Greensboro Coliseum Twitter account keeps you informed of upcoming events with cheerful, enthusiastic tweets that are really fun to read. Get the scoop on who’s coming to town from professional bull riders to Carrie Underwood to Greensboro’s very own Super Flea Market.
Greensboro Public Library @GreensboroPub
It sounds like it would be easier to get a beer than a book in a place with this Twitter handle, but what’s in a name? The Greensboro Public Library tweets all the interesting, entertaining, and special events and programs they sponsor – and you don’t have to be 21 to attend.
City of Greensboro @greensborocity
Greensboro’s official Twitter feed tells you what’s happening on a day-to-day basis, including power outages, people in the news, and upcoming events.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro @UNCG
You don’t have to be a student to benefit from following the UNCG Twitter account. Learn about what’s happening on campus and become part of the vibrant community that supports UNCG students, faculty, and academics. Keep track of the UNCG calendar of public events and keep up with your neighborhood university—there’s fun stuff happening.
Triad Stage @triadstage
Love local theater? Peek behind the curtain, and get connected to Greensboro’s professional regional theater by following Triad Stage tweets. Find out what’s coming up next, what’s on stage now, and even go backstage to find out what’s happening behind the velvet curtains.
YMCA of Greensboro @GreensboroYMCA
Staying active and fit seems easy if you follow the Greensboro YMCA‘s tweets. Sign up and join in any of the fun activities all the local branches have planned.
Greensboro, NC @greensboro_nc
Follow this site and you’ll be treated with tweets that go from sports scores to tech talk to weather warnings to just about any mention of Greensboro that’s currently buzzing around social media platforms.
According to Time.com, one of the 140 best Twitter feeds of 2011 belongs to Teresa Britton of Greensboro. Britton has over 108,000 faithful, frugal followers who find freebies, coupons, deals, and discounts by following her tweets, which now total over 50,000. Britton’s followers also share money-saving advice and make plans to tweetup for monthly coupon swaps.
The newly redesigned 2013 Dodge Charger is sure to delight to your visual and tactile senses with its delightful interior, bold aggressive exterior lines, and choice of pleasing powertrains. Here are 10 cool things that the Crown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram team enjoys about this car that may just woo you into a Dodge showroom.
1. The base Dodge Charger SE packs 292 horsepower with its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. Those craving more can choose from two V8 engines, one being the the 5.7-liter V8 with 370 horsepower.
2. The head- and taillights on the Charger are accented with LED lights, the rear with 164 individual LED taillights – making it hard to miss (or mistake for something else) at night.
3. The Dodge Charger is assembled in Brampton, Ontario.
4. Wheel and tire package choices range from 17 inches to a whopping 20 inches, helping to get all that power to the pavement.
5. New for 2013 is the eight-speed automatic, standard in most configurations of the V6 models. A specially developed five-speed automatic is standard, if you want a bit more control.
6. While the streamlined roof may suggest diminished headroom in the rear, all five seats in the 2013 Charger enjoy ample headroom.
7. The Dodge Charger is one of the few full-sized sedans available in the US to offer available all-wheel-drive, which makes it a capable performer in treacherous conditions.
8. The IIHS named the 2013 Dodge Charger a “Top Safety Pick”.
9. The newly redesigned 2013 Dodge Charger offers a greatly improved interior over its predecessor – helping put it in the class of many far more expensive rivals.
10. Often disappointed with factory stereo systems? The 900 watt, 19 speaker and a 12-channel Harmon Kardon audio system may change your mind, with the exclusive GreenEdge technology to maximize sound while minimizing power consumption..