Holiday Driving Safety

Due to the excessive number of travelers driving during the holiday season, it is important to remember the following to avoid any possible trouble on the road.

• Plan ahead – Plan time preceding your trip to assure your car is tuned up and ready for travel. Plan the route you will take, and leave early to ensure you get to your destination safely.
• Check your oil – Depending on how far you are traveling, it may be necessary to get your oil changed.
• Check your tires – Check the tread, and ensure there is sufficient tire pressure. This helps improve handling and increases your tires’ resistance to damage.
• Buckle up – Passengers have a lower tendency to wear their seatbelts during long road trips. Unfortunately, holidays are one of the most vital times to be buckled up due to the increased amount of cars on the road.
• Stay alert – Pull over and rest or switch drivers every so often. It is imperative to stay refreshed while driving during such a busy time of the year. Plan to make stops along the way.
• Slow down – Speeding can result in a ticket, a car accident, or worse. Slowing down also increases fuel efficiency.
• Avoid distractions – Do not use your cell phone or GPS while driving.
• Bring a safety kit – Include a flashlight, food and drinks, jumper cables, a first aid kit, an ice scraper, and anything else you feel you may need in the case of an emergency.
• Don’t over-indulge – If there will be drinking at your holiday celebration, designate a driver.

The holidays are all about family and friends. By taking a few extra steps when planning your trip, you can prevent any problems regarding travel and enjoy the festivities.

Should your College Student Take their Car to School?

Back to school can be a time of big decisions for parents and students. One of the most difficult is whether or not to take a car away to college. Consider the following when making this decision:

• Responsible use – Has your child done his or her part in taking care of their vehicle so far? Have they driven safely and not had a problem with speeding tickets or accidents? Keep in mind the atmosphere of college inevitably means less supervision and more opportunities for poor decisions, so trust is a major factor.
• School policy – Colleges have varying policies on cars for students. Many universities don’t allow first-year students to bring cars to campus. If your student’s school does allow vehicles, the next thing to look into is parking. Will there be a nearby lot or deck they can park in, or will they have to park further away? If the parking area safe?
• Convenience to family – Does it make sense to the rest of the family that your student’s car be gone for semesters at a time? There could be younger siblings near or of driving age that may need the car.
• Jobs or internships – If your student has a part-time job or internship this fall, especially off-campus, then it is important they have a reliable means of transportation.
• Cost – Does your child have a way to pay for gas, parking permits, etc., or will you be covering that? Come up with a plan, such as you paying a certain percentage if your student maintains a certain GPA.
• Rules – Should you make the decision your student will take their car, establish some ground rules. Classmates will surely ask to borrow or drive the car at some point.
• Alternatives – Should you decide your student won’t take their car, there are several alternatives to having a car on campus to consider.

Spring Cleaning & Maintenance

 

 

 

Wash winter’s grit & road salt away and enjoy the Spring weather in your clean ride!

[one_fourth_last]Spring cleaning checklist

Undercarriage flush With the onset of spring, all car owners should have their car’s undercarriage flushed.
De-grunge To remove grunge you need to wash your car with a strong detergent; most car wash solutions do not have the strength to cut through the dirt. Try a solution of 1 ounce of dish-washing detergent to 3 gallons of cool water to wash your car.
Clean and seal If your car’s paint feels rough, you need a cleaner. If your paint has scuffs and scratches, you need a heavier polish.
Treat If your car has a leather or vinyl interior, it needs to be treated before the onset of summer’s heat.
Dashboard Shine the dashboard with a clean fabric softener sheet. The antistatic elements will help repel dust from the dashboard.
Chrome & Windows To clean chrome & glass, sprinkle Baking Soda on a damp rag, scrub, & rinse clean.
Hubcaps To clean dirt & grime from hubcaps, spray with Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner. Let sit for 15 seconds and rinse clean.

Get Spring maintenance tips specifically for your vehicle http://www.carx.com/think-spring-part-one/

Get Summer Road Ready

Are you ready for the Summer?
summer
Let the ASE Certified Techs at Car-X Tire & Auto
make sure your vehicle is safe & road ready!

 
 
 

Get vacation ready w/ the following tips:

Battery– Have your battery checked along with the charging system. Most people feel that the cold is tough on a vehicle’s battery, but it is heat that truly wears a battery out!
 
Tires– Have your tires checked for wear and have them rotated if needed. Teen-agers really do not enjoy changing tires while on vacation. Swimming and boating is a lot more desirable to them then this activity.
 
Cooling system– Ensure that your coolant can handle the extra heat you will be asking it to absorb and make sure it is still protecting all the different metals in your engine. Have the belts and hoses checked as well. The number one reason for vehicle break down while on the road is a blown heater hose.
 
Fluids– Make sure that all critical fluids are full and ready to make the long trip with no problems along the way! This list includes engine oil, transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluid, and also differential fluid. Change any of these fluids that are at the end of their useful life.
 
A/C– No time is the air conditioning system needed more then during a long road trip with the family all on board the vehicle. Cooler inside temperatures usually mean cooler tempers and a lot more enjoyable road trip. The A/C system should be checked for proper performance including compressor operation along with the cooling fans. You need to ensure that vehicle will be properly cooled when the outside heat is 90 plus degrees. Most newer vehicles are now equipped with a cabin filter and this needs checked yearly especially if anyone in the family suffers from allergies. Lastly, the A/C system should be checked for any small leaks so that the A/C does not quit half-way through your fun filled vacation trip.
 
Click here to get more summer tips specifically for your vehicle.
 

Synthetic Oil or Conventional Oil?

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No doubt at some point in time you may have heard the ongoing debate about which type of motor oil is best for your motor vehicle. The particular motor oils in question are conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil. As an owner, or potential owner of a motor vehicle, naturally the topic will interest you. This is because you may have good reason to rethink your current choice in the case of current users, while potential users will know how to proceed. We will briefly explore the subject in an effort to assist with the decision making process.

Functions of Motor Oil

Although the primary function of motor oils is to lubricate all the moving parts of the engine, it carries out a few other functions as well. Motor oils serve to keep the engine cool and provides protection against wear by reducing friction. It also prevents corrosion and keeps the engine free from small pieces of debris.

Conventional Motor Oil

Conventional motor oil has its origins in crude oil, which is pumped from the ground and is processed. A base oil is produced to which additives are added. This changes the properties of the liquid giving it protection properties, improved heat breakdown levels, and viscosity.

Synthetic Motor Oil

Unlike conventional motor oil the base oil of synthetic motor oil comprises artificial or synthesized components, thus its name. Like conventional motor oil however, additives are added to give it properties similar to those of conventional motor oil.

Differences Between Conventional and Synthetic Motor Oil

Although they both carry out the same functions both oils have significant differences in addition to having their pros and cons. Conventional motor oil contains minute amounts of wax, sulfur, and asphaltic material, which are by-products of its manufacturing process. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, because it is chemically produced, has none of these contaminants. Another difference between the two is that synthetic motor oils will flow at much lower temperatures making it preferable in harsh winter conditions. At these same low temperatures conventional motor oil would freeze. Being more consistent in size and shape, the molecules of synthetic motor oils better withstand extreme temperatures; hence it will take longer to break down under extreme heat than conventional motor oils. Synthetic motor oils have very low viscosity ratings and in some cases have been known to flow up to seven times faster than conventional motor oils. This comes in handy at engine start up time, as that is when the most engine wear is likely to occur.

Making Your Choice

In deciding on which motor oil you will be using there are other factors besides those already mentioned, which will have to be taken into account. One of these is the type of car that will be using the motor oil. A high performance racecar owner will obviously choose the synthetic motor oil, as that is the oil they were specifically made to use. Newer cars with smaller clearances will also lean towards synthetic motor oils. The cost of the motor oil will play a significant role in the decision on which oil to use too, as the cost of synthetic motor oil can be as much as four times that of conventional motor oil. If someone changes their car yearly they may say why bother towaste extra money on synthetic oil. The car’s age could also play a part as waxes and sludge build-up by conventional motor oil could mask worn engine seals. These could come to light with the introduction of synthetic motor oils, which tends to break down and clean away those build-ups, thus possibly causing leaks and creating problems.

For all of your oil change needs be sure to visit Car-X.com The debate is by no means over and the points here by no means exhaustive, but it is hoped that they will at least point you in the right direction when the time comes for you to buy motor oils

Your Teen Behind the Wheel

Teenagers are dangerous enough when they’re on solid ground. Imagine what kind of havoc they can wreak at 45 mph! To calm your (and their) nerves, follow these tips on how to prepare your teen for his summer driving.

The freedom of the open road is exciting, but sometimes it can lead to reckless driving, especially among teens. Vehicle accidents are unfortunately the number one cause of death among teenagers. With this in mind, it is important to learn how you can prepare your teenager and his or her vehicle for a safe summer.

  1. Make sure the driver and all passengers wear seatbelts. In most states, law requires seat belt usage because of its effectiveness.
  2. Check the status of the car battery. If it is an older car, it might require a battery repair or an entirely new one. It is also a good idea to supply your teenager with a set of batter cables and proper instruction on how to jump-start a car.
  3. While it may sound insignificant, the quality of the vehicle’s windshield wipers is crucial to safe driving. Ask anyone who has dealt with faulty wipers during a storm- or even a sprinkle. Having a blurred vision is a hazard to the driver’s safety, as well as to others on the road.
  4. Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers that come from texting while driving. While he or she may feel invincible, the reality is that driving is a privilege that requires full attention. Losing focus can result in a horrible, even fatal, accident. Even talking on the phone can often be a major distraction, and in some states it is illegal for minors to do so behind the wheel. If you are concerned with not being able to communicate to your teen while he is in transit, consider setting this rule: if someone calls once, let it go to voicemail. If someone calls twice in a row, code for “important,” find a place to pull the vehicle over and return the call.

Whether it’s a drive across town to his summer job or a road trip across the state to visit friends, your teen’s experience behind the wheel should be taken seriously, and with absolute caution. A confident driver is a steadier driver, so give him the freedom he desires and the rules he needs to have a fun, safe summer.

Why Are Oil Changes Important?

Even the most inexperienced driver knows that engines have a lot of moving parts. If not properly lubricated, these moving parts begin to wear down as friction increases. A driver that does not have his oil changed on a regular basis may damage vital engine parts. In fact, the number one reason for engine failure is wear and tear that is caused by an increase in viscosity, which means the oil becomes thick and sticky, like mud. This worn-out oil clings to moving engine parts and instead of lubricating them, it destroys them.

What happens next?

If a vital engine part breaks, the vehicle will not move. It’s really that simple. Because these parts are intricate and replacing them requires a professional, it is often cheaper to simply buy a new engine or a new car. They are cheap and they only take a few minutes.

How Often?

Even the experts disagree about oil changes. Some say that you should get them every 3,000 miles, while others say every 7,000 miles is fine. Who’s right? That’s hard to say. But what we do know is that most drivers do not get their oil changed every 3,000 miles.

The average American drives about 10,000 miles each year. According to the purists, that average motorist should get his oil changed at least three times per annum. Most drivers do not follow this advice. Not because they cannot afford frequent oil changes, but because most folks don’t believe that oil is dangerous after only 3,000 miles.

The best advice we can give you is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation. The manufacturer only benefits if he is honest. Since he wants the customer to buy more of his cars in the future, it is better for him if the customer is satisfied with his purchase. All manufactures thoroughly test their cars and trucks and they know exactly how long they can go between preventative maintenance appointments.

This article was brought to you by Car-X Auto Service.

 

Cincinnati Area Quadruplets Get Accepted To Ivy League Schools

Wade quadruplets in their Car-X team sponsored soccer jerseys
Wade quadruplets in their Car-X team sponsored soccer jerseys

All four Wade brothers, who go to high school outside Cincinnati, have been accepted by Harvard and Yale, among other top schools. Car-X is proud to support the local community, including youth athletic and academic programs, like the Wade’s soccer team. Their inspirational story was featured nationally, including on the NBC Nightly News & in the New York Times.

Read the full New York Time’s article here.

Find my Young Driver – New Tracking Technology and Possible Privacy Concerns

Have you ever wished you could control how fast your teen drives? Or could find out where they are REALLY going when they say they’re “going to a friend’s”? As automobile technology continues to advance, these types of features are appearing more and more in new vehicles. There are a few different systems, but they all allow some sort of added control and monitoring of the vehicle.

Ford MyKey – This is a vehicle security system that is contained in the key itself. As with most of these programs, it is targeted to parents looking to monitor their young driver(s). MyKey is now a standard feature in Ford models. It allows parents to control the speed of the vehicle and audio volume, mute audio when seatbelts are not buckled, and starting with the 2012 Ford Explorer, send all incoming calls and texts for later review.

Hyundai Blue Link – Hyundai’s Blue Link technology also offers parental control features. Geo-Fence allows parents to set geographic parameters for the vehicle that, if violated, will result in the parent being alerted. Curfew alerts and speed alerts are also offered, which warn parents when a set curfew or speed limit is surpassed. Blue Link is now available in all Hyundai vehicles.

OnStar Family Link – Created for parents who want to know where their young drivers go, Family Link provides a Vehicle Locate feature that tracks the vehicle at all times. By logging into the OnStar Family Link website, parents can see the real-time location of all the connected vehicles. They can also receive Vehicle Location Alerts via email or text at intervals of their choice that provide the location of each vehicle. Features such as speed monitoring or geo-fencing are not currently offered.

The response to these types of programs has been mixed. Ford has said its market research shows 75 percent of parents like speed and audio limits, but, as can be expected, 67 percent of teens find them intrusive. The technology has also been seen as a way to increase freedom for young drivers, since parents have more control over their safety than before. According to a survey by Harris Interactive, if using such technology would lead to greater driving privileges, only 36 percent of teens are against it. As with any privacy-related innovation, the tools have been cause for some backlash from young drivers and organizations interested in individual civil liberties. But for the most part people are finding the technology helpful and a way to keep their children safe…and who can argue with that?

2015 Crazy K

The fifth annual Crazy K, an obstacle based 5k race aimed to raise money for charities, took place on September 19, 2015 at the Champaign County Fairgrounds and Crystal Lake Park in Urbana, IL. The run, which over 60% of the participants’ entry fee is donated to the charity of their choice, over 40 charities this year. This year, there was the 5K race plus a kid zone full of fun adventures and a Kid’s Fun Run which began at 10 am.

This year’s Crazy K consisted of 22 obstacles; 23 obstacles were set up, but due to large amounts of rain, the creek flooded and eliminated the Creek Cross obstacle. New obstacles this year included a Stockyard Stampede, Mud Tarp Crawl, High Stepper, Spider Crawl, Water Slide, Muddy Trench, and many more.

Obstacles included: Hay Tower Bridge (pictured below on the left), Foam Soaker, “Champaign Telephone Co” Foam Dance Club, Stockyard Fit, Mud Tarp & Feather, Suspension Tunnels (pictured below on the right), Beach Crawl, Tractor Tires, Cannonball Hill, High Stepper, Tirade Bridge, Stairway to Heaven, Waterslide, Hammock Crawl, Fire Escape, Cargo Net Climb, Muddy Hill Crawl, Infield Obstacle Field, CarX Window, Plank Walk, Dumpster Pit, and Mud Pit.

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There were 1,844 racers, which is up 200 racers from last year.
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The event was hosted by Paul Farahvar. Entertainment included 90’s Daughter, Brat Pack, Chris Cavanaugh, and South of 80. Hot food and cold beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) were available throughout the day. There was a post-race party at 5 p.m which included live entertainment, beverages, and the announcement of winners.

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The Car-X Crazy K’s very own Parham and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s alum Kevin Anderson Tennis joined the THE BRAT PACK on stage.

The amount of money raised is expected to be announced within the next two weeks! Check the Crazy K website at http://carxcrazyk.com/ or the Crazy K facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CarXCrazyK.