What to Keep in a Summer Car Emergency Kit

summer car emergency kit

summer car emergency kit

Your emergency kit is one of the most important things you can keep in your car, and it needs to be updated a couple times a year as the seasons change. In warmer weather, you want a completely different set of items than you keep in winter, so follow these tips on putting together your summer car emergency kit.

First, make sure you have snacks that won’t go bad in the heat and a few bottles of water. Unsalted nuts and dried fruit are a great healthy option for this. Bring an extra phone charger and even a throwaway cell phone with a few minutes on it just in case you don’t have a way to charge your normal cell phone.

A flashlight and hazard triangles are both important things to have if you break down at night. Even if you aren’t handy with tools, have a few basic ones in your car so you can change a flat tire or jumpstart your car. It’s a good idea to have a towel you can lay on the ground and gloves in case you need to do some maintenance on the fly.

Snow Tire Technology: Are Winter Tires Right for You?

Buick Lineup in the Snow
Buick Lineup in the Snow

Buick Lineup in the Snow

With winter on the way, it may be time to consider the snow tire technology that’s available to drivers in the Midwest. If you hate getting stuck in the wintertime or simply want to increase your vehicle’s safety, then it might be time to buy winter tires.

According to Tirerack, most people like to stick with all-season tires because they tend to work fine when it’s snowing. While this is true, it’s important that customers understand the advantages to buying snow-specific tires. Winter tires are made with special compounds to stay flexible in cold temperatures, have deep treads, and feature channels to divert water.

If you do decide to get winter tires, you should always get a set of four, and ask the store or dealer to install them for you (sometimes they’ll do it for free). You should never just get two tires because this leads to dissimilar conditions between the front and back wheels, limiting control.

Finally, one concern for many people is that they’re spending more on winter tires. However, the reality is that your summer tires won’t deteriorate if they’re not on your car, so getting winter tires actually tends to extend the overall tire life. If your tires are made for the road conditions you’re driving in, they last longer. In the long run, you could just save some money.

How to Jump Start Your Car

Jump Start Your Car
Jump Start Your Car

How To Jump Start Your Car

There are some things every driver should know in case they ever break down on the side of the road. How to jump start your car is one of these things and while it should be a necessity, the reliability of modern vehicles has made it optional. With roadside assistance coming standard with many vehicles, you may never need to know how to jump start your car. Still, we here at Paul Sur Buick GMC will fill you in just in case!

Position the cars nose to nose about 18 inches apart. Automatic vehicles should be left in park, while manuals should be in neutral with the parking brake set.

Next, turn off both cars and find the positive and negative terminals on each battery. The positive terminal will be red and the negative terminal will be black. If you see any corrosion, then don’t attempt to jump start the car, instead call a professional.

Attach the positive (red) jumper cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal then connect the other end to the live battery’s positive terminal. Do the same for the negative end to the live battery.

Instead of attaching the negative end to the dead battery, you’ll want to attach the cable to a non-painted metal part under the hood. Look for a jumping post and avoid belts and fans.

Next, start the car that has the live battery, let it run for a few minutes and rev the engine slightly. Once time has passed, start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, let it run for a few minutes before disconnecting. Wait a few minutes and try again if it doesn’t.

Remove the cables in the opposite order you put them on. An owner’s manual can help out if you’ve forgotten.

Inflating Your Tires is Beneficial

Tire Pressure
Tire Pressure

Check your tire pressure! It’s important!

There’s quite a bit of maintenance you can do yourself if you have a simple set of tools and mechanical knowledge. Some of the maintenance doesn’t even require much mechanical knowledge. It doesn’t have to be a tune up or repair to improve how efficiently or cheaply your car runs. We here Paul Sur Buick GMC are here to tell you the benefits of inflating your tires!

First, inflating your tires provides better traction to the pavement. As a result, you’ll have more control behind the wheel. This alone increases safety and reduces the likelihood of an accident.

Second, proper tire inflation slows how quickly your tires wear down. As a result, you can keep more money in your pocket over the life of your car as you won’t need a new set as often. As an added bonus, properly inflated tires will also reduce the chance of bad wear patterns, when part of the tire wears down faster than the rest.

Lastly, keeping your tires at the optimal pressure can increase your fuel economy. As any driver knows, fueling up is a major cost to consider when buying a car. With properly inflated tires, you can go a little farther before stopping at the nearest gas station.

What to Pack in Your Roadside Emergency Kit

Roadside Help

Is your roadside emergency kit equipped for every situation?

 

If you’ve ever been stuck on the side of the road, then you can certainly appreciate the significance of a roadside emergency kit. Containing all of the safety, survival, and maintenance supplies you’ll ever need, an emergency kit could just save your life.

According to the DMV, your kit should consist of basic safety, survival, and maintenance supplies. Safety supplies include a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and flares or triangle reflectors. You should also think of keeping an old cell phone in your glove compartment to call 911 with in case your normal phone dies.

Survival supplies consist of food rations (like granola or power bars), plenty of water, and blankets. Consider keeping matches, work gloves, and a pocketknife as well. Flashlights are also invaluable, especially if you simply have to change a tire in the dark.

Last but not least, simple maintenance supplies can be a great help. Keep a spare reserve of oil, brake fluid, and coolant in case there’s a leak. On top of that, keep duct tape, a screw driver, and adjustable wrench in your trunk as well. With all of these supplies combined, you should be prepared for virtually any scenario.

With Spring right around the corner come into Paul Sur Buick GMC to get a check up and make sure that Winter doesn’t ruin your Spring!

High Time for Your Car’s Spring Cleaning

Woman happy on a spring day
Woman happy on a spring day

Spring is almost here! (HOPEFULLY)

Are we there yet? This winter has been particularly cold, snowy, and windy, but spring is almost here. Those of us at Paul Sur Buick GMC could not be more ready for the sunny, mild days of spring driving, and to share our enthusiasm, here is a checklist to help with your car’s spring cleaning!

  1. Spray the undercarriage. The salty brine of the pothole-ridden roads can agitate your car’s underside. A thorough spray (no soap necessary) will help keep rust at bay.
  2. Vacuum inside. By removing the salt and sand, you’ll avoid grinding it into your mats. You can optionally choose to shampoo your floor to make it look and smell new.
  3. Swap tires and wipers. Chances are you’ve been using winter tires, get them off to avoid excessive wear. Also, wipers get shredded by ice; get some new ones for the spring rain.
  4. Replace your cabin air filter. Allergy season is coming, and there may still be leaves and debris from last autumn stuck in the filter. Get a new one for spring.
  5. Check fluids. Not just your wiper fluid, but the transmission, oil, and brake fluid need to be checked too. If you don’t feel comfortable with this step, give the Paul Sur service department a call, and we will be happy to help!

Winter Car Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know

Woman cleaning her snow-covered car
Woman cleaning her snow-covered car

This image says it all!

Well, it looks as though that devious little rodent Punxsutawney Phil has seen his anything but elusive shadow – and six more weeks of winter for us it is. So in an effort to help you maintain the livelihood of your car, we’d like to offer some winter car maintenance tips.

First, make sure that you are keeping up with regular service appointments for your car – while we know this can be a hassle, we promise it will lead to the longevity of your car!

Second, be sure to test your battery. If it seems that it has headed south for the winter, consider replacing it – especially since it’s what gives life to your car.

Third, check your tire pressure, and consider the winterized options. According to Kiplinger.com, “Tires lose a pound of pressure for every drop of 10 degrees Fahrenheit…an underinflated tire won’t ‘bite’ through snow down to the pavement as well as one at pressure. It’s similar to hydroplaning on water – and just as dangerous.”

Lastly, we want to encourage all of our readers to be sure to pack a safety survival kit. We know this will do nothing to promote winter car endurance, but for the just-in-case-scenario, we want all of our customers to be safe!

We at Paul Sur Buick GMC wish all of our readers and patrons safe and happy travels during these waning months of the winter season.