Tips for Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

Fall is in the air, and that means that there are many great things to look forward to. The weather cools down, the leaves begin to change colors, and some of the best holidays of the year are right around the corner. Although planning parties for the holidays can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving feast. If you happened to miss cooking up something fantastic this year and want to prepare for what lies ahead, still make sure to tune in!

Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

Make a Plan


While it may sound simple, many people simply don’t have a detailed plan for how their day is going to go. Talk to everyone who is coming, and know exactly what each person is going to bring to the dinner. Assign jobs to anyone who is helping you, and make a timeline for how the day is going to play out.


Be Flexible


With that said, things won’t go exactly as you plan. As long as you accept that going into the day, it won’t cause as much stress. Be flexible, and don’t let the small things stress you out and ruin your day.


Prepare in Advance


Prepare as much of the dinner and decorations before the actual day as possible. There’s nothing worse than running around at the last minute trying to get things ready as the guests arrive.


Follow these simple tips and your Thanksgiving Day dinner will run much more smoothly moving forward.


How to Prepare Your Car for the Winter

Prepare Your Car for the Winter

As we move further into the fall months, it’s time to start thinking about cold weather car preparation. One often neglected aspect of this seasonal change is that people frequently don’t prepare their vehicles for the colder months. Here is how to prepare your car for the winter.

Prepare Your Car for the Winter

Clean and Wax


To protect your car against the inevitable salt barrage that comes with snow, clean your vehicle thoroughly. This means washing the entire exterior and undercarriage before finishing it with a wax job. This will help prevent the salt from eating away at your paint.


Fill With Supplies


While a majority of people make it through winter without an incident, it’s important to be prepared just in case. Put emergency supplies in an accessible part of your vehicle. This could be things like a warm blanket, food and snacks, emergency flares, an extra phone for emergency calls, and anything else you may be able to use in an emergency. This is often the difference between life and death in a winter accident.


Winter Tires

There are special winter tires that many vehicle manufacturers  recommend investing in. You may think your all-season tires will cut it but they don’t have the traction and reliability of a tire made for the icy winds of the season.


There are a lot of great things about the winter, but it’s important to be prepared for all scenarios. By following these two simple steps, you will avoid a lot of winter headaches.




What the Check Engine Light Means – Valparaiso, IN

check engine light

The check engine light is the most frustrating dashboard indicator light because there are so many things it could mean, from major problems to small issues. Here are some of the most common causes of the check engine light coming on. If you try a few simple fixes and the light doesn’t go off, you should head to a shop ASAP and have them run a diagnostic test to find out what the problem is.


You could have a loose gas cap, for example. This is a pretty common one that triggers the check engine light. Worn out spark plugs or spark plug wires are also a sign, and while this isn’t the most urgent problem, you will still need to replace them. You may have faulty oxygen sensors, your engine could be wet, or you might have deteriorated fuel injector rings.

Pay attention to your dashboard indicators and see if any other lights have come on in conjunction with the check engine light. Try slowing down and reducing the load on your engine and seeing if that makes the light go off. This isn’t a permanent fix, and you’ll still need to have it checked out, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Most of the issues associated with the check engine light are easy and cheap fixes, so see a mechanic and get them repaired as soon as they arise before bigger problems come up!

Tips for Recovering a Stolen Vehicle

recovering a stolen vehicle

If your car is stolen, it can be a shocking or scary situation. Believe it or not, vehicles are stolen once every 44 seconds in the US, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s why we’ve put together tips for recovering a stolen vehicle to help you handle such a crisis.

recovering a stolen vehicle

Get to a safe place. Take some deep breaths and make sure you are in a safe location. If you see your vehicle being stolen, don’t try to interact with the theft. Just be sure to contact the authorities and get to a well-lit area with lots of people. Safety is always a priority.

Be sure it was stolen. If you arrive to your parking spot to see your car missing, take a moment to consider if it has actually been stolen. Allstate suggests looking for “No Parking” signs, fire hydrants, or private drives. It may also have been repossessed if you missed some car payments.

Call the police. Whether it was repossessed, towed, or stolen, you’ll need to call the police. Most tow-truck drivers are required to inform the police if they take your vehicle. If it was stolen, then you can get a police report, which is necessary for insurance and legal purposes.

You will need a detailed description of your car, your VIN, license plate number, registration, and driver’s license number if possible. Keep copies of these in a safe location at home, that way you are protected in the event of a vehicle theft.

Call your insurance. Notifying your insurance will not only expedite your claim, but it will also keep you protected in case the thief does anything illegal with it. If they damage property or harm people, it can be difficult to dispute liability if you fail to call your insurance.

Prevent theft. Finally, be sure to park in well-lit locations, with the windows up and doors locked. Hide valuables under seats or in the trunk, and consider buying LoJack or OnStar to track your car.



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.

Improving Fuel Economy on Road Trips

Improving Fuel Economy on Road Trips

Improving Fuel Economy on Road Trips

Gas prices seem to be plateauing just in time for road trip season to start, but that’s no reason to get complacent. The best way to save money and enjoy our summer drives is to stop less at the gas pump, so follow these quick tips for improving fuel economy on road trips.

First of all, drive smart. Obey the speed limit, coast to a stop instead of hitting the brakes at the last minute, and speed up gradually instead of putting your pedal to the metal. Reasonable driving saves a surprising amount of fuel.

It’s also best to avoid driving in high-traffic areas at busy times like rush hour if you can help it. Idling is a big waste of gas, and so is stop and go traffic. Related to this, use your cruise control on the freeway! Cruise control reduces fluctuation in your speed, which means less fuel used.

Remember to turn on the air conditioner on the freeway and roll the windows down in town!

Do you have any tips on how to increase fuel efficiency during a road trips? We’d love it if you shared your own tips in the comment section below.

Tips for Driving in Strong Winds

Driving in Strong Winds
Driving in Strong Winds

Chicago is dubbed the windy city for a reason!

Here in Chicago, famously called the Windy City, we have to deal with driving in windy weather, but that isn’t just an important skill here—no matter where you live, you can be blown off course by a quick gust of wind, especially if you drive a lightweight car. Memorize these tips for driving in strong winds to save a life!

The best advice is to be alert and keep both hands firmly on the wheel so you can correct your course at a moment’s notice. When you go under a bridge or through a tunnel and you’re briefly protected from the wind, be ready to put yourself back on track when you get out.

The other thing about wind is that it doesn’t just affect your car—it can blow objects, branches, sand, dirt, or other debris into the road. Stay alert and be watchful of objects in the road so you can drive around them.

Driving in high winds is like driving in any other bad weather, so remember to go slower, maintain bigger distances from other cars, and pull over until it dies down if you feel unsafe.

A Few Health Tips for Beating the Winter Doldrums

beating the winter doldrums
beating the winter doldrums

Can’t Wait For This!

Beating the winter doldrums isn’t easy. When the snow goes from pure white to slushy brown, the cold settles in bone-deep, it’s dark when you leave for work and when you come back home, it’s easy to sink into a slump. Luckily, there are a few ways to combat this battery of bad feelings and keep your spirits high until springtime.

First things first, this melancholy is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD for short), and it’s a real thing that stems from a lack of sunlight thanks to winter’s shorter days. But, how do you go about beating the winter doldrums, this SADness? If you’re really feeling it, you can invest in a “sunbox,” or a fluorescent light that mimics sunlight. Sitting in front of the sunbox for 30 minutes in the morning or during breakfast can go a long way in boosting your energy throughout the rest of your day.

Keeping active is also a great way to keep your spirits up during the winter season, and not just so you can feel good about sticking to your New Year’s resolution. Exercise is an excellent natural antidepressant, and that’s true during any season.

Remember; if you’re experiencing intense feelings of sadness, you should seek professional help (don’t get all your emotional advice from your car dealership’s blog, as well-meaning as it may be).

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems: Keeping You Safe with Technology

Advanced Drive Assistance Systems from Buick Help Keep You Safe

Advanced Drive Assistance Systems from Buick Help Keep You Safe

New car technologies are being produced left and right, making it difficult to keep up with all of the new features that you might find while car shopping. Among these, driver assist technologies are among the most complex systems to recently hit the market, causing many car owners to scratch their heads.

According to CarTech, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) provide drivers with essential information, they automate difficult tasks, increase car safety, and more. These systems have technically been around since the early 1990s; however, there are more of them now than there have ever been before.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control. This feature lets you set a specific speed and distance from the cars around you, and it will automatically slow or speed up in response to the surrounding cars. This is great for tight traffic and on the highway, making it easy to sit back and enjoy driving without fiddling with buttons.
  • Automatic Braking. This pre-crash technology is really designed to reduce the severity of a crash, and is able of detecting imminent collisions and activating the brakes. Though in theory these systems should eliminate accidents altogether, they are really made to reduce damage by slowing the car.
  • Blind Spot Detection. Merging? No problem. This system will let you know whenever someone is in your blind spot.
  • Lane Departure Warning. This lets you know if you start swerving, a great option for people that are on the road a lot. Designed to prevent drowsy drivers from getting into accidents, some brands simulate rumble-strip vibrations to get your attention.

These are just some of the latest driver assist technologies that you might find in the automotive marketplace. Still confused? Talk to our friendly staff at Paul Sur Buick GMC.

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Now that December is gone, winter weather could come any day. Before the snow gets knee or waist deep, read through these winter weather driving tips to help you stay on the road.

  • Consider snow tires. If you frequently have issues in the winter tackling icy roads, consider switching out your tires for snow tires. These tires are specifically designed to cut through snowy, slushy roads to give you more traction. You also need to make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Get enough sleep. Avoid driving in heavy winter weather if you’re overly tired. Driving while tired is always dangerous, but this danger increases even more when the weather is treacherous.
  • Do not use cruise control. If the roads are slippery, using cruise control can actually make you lose control of your vehicle since it is trying to maintain a specific speed.
  • Look where you want to go. If your car starts to slip or spin, look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Keep your tank full. To avoid a frozen gas line, try to keep your tank at least half full. This will be extra handy if you do happen to get stuck in the snow since you’ll be able to periodically run the engine to keep yourself warm.
  • Leave more room. Stopping takes longer when the roads are slick. Leave more space between you and the car in front of you in case you need to stop.

What tips would you share for making it through the upcoming winter ahead of us?