Winter Driving Tips


The weather may be less than the usual in terms of winter driving with a lack of snow and ice on the ground but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared in case. New York weather has the tendency to change when least expected. Having a vehicle ready for such changes can mean the difference between being to work on time or getting the whole family to the destination without any incidents. Here is some tips on how to be ready for winter driving.

*Check your tires:
A major things to be sure is ready for the ice and snow. Tires are keeping you on the road and ensuring your have grip when most needed. Check over the tires to see how mean the summer was on them and to see if any of the tread has been lost. Also make sure that the tire is properly inflated.

There is nothing worse than being caught in a snowstorm with broken wiper blades or lack of wiper fluid. Ensure that the fluid is filled to maximum as there will be a lot used to clean up the mess of snow and dirt that always ends up on the windshield. Be sure that the wiper blades are functioning properly and are properly wiping away the grime. If not, now is the best time to pick up some new ones.

This is something to help both you and the other drivers. Headlights should be cleaned and providing plenty of light to see through any flurries. This will also make sure that if someone is having a tough time seeing on the road, they’ll be able to make out your headlights on the road ahead and can avoid a collision. Headlights and taillights should be bright and clean for the winter.

*Be aware:
There’s only so much that technology can do to help protect us on the road. At some point, it does fall on the driver to be ready for the random things that can occur. They are the ones to be on the look out for black ice or to know how to properly steer during a spin-out. A driver who is going to be out during bad weather must be aware of how to handle driving emergencies when they happen.

As always, there are plenty more that we didn’t get to that can be done to better a vehicle in preparation of the winter weather. These are simply ones that are very common and most drivers don’t take handle until after they become a problem. Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself being proactive and having much better chances to have good travel during the winter.

To schedule your vehicle for a complete check-up, contact our service department at Bayside Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

Spring Vehicle Maintenance Check-List

ID-10085780One of the first things I heard when I moved out to New York concerned the weather.  I was told “Don’t like the weather?  Just wait.”  It wasn’t too clear to someone who came from a region with four discernible seasons, but after a few years I get it.  Spring is coming, and it can’t figure out if that means warm or cold.  What that means for you, as an auto owner, is that it’s time to make sure your vehicle is in working order.

Pat Dougherty, the VP of Sales at Mopar, put together a list that drivers need to have checked out as the weather warms up.  “Vehicles need to be in shape for the summer travel season.  Preventive maintenance keeps vehicles on the road longer and save customers money in the long run.”

Here are the parts that need checking:

  • Engine, Belts, Hoses, & Fuel Filter:

Replacing belts and hoses on a regular basis helps to avoid a breakdown or engine damage.  Replacing the fuel filter will make sure that your engine is running properly and will maximize your fuel economy.

  • Tires:

Check the air pressure for all of your tires.  That includes the spare.  If the pressure is off, that can lead to premature ware.  That, in turn, leads to decreasing your fuel mileage.

  • Brakes:

Brakes are used frequently throughout a single day.  Every time the brakes are applied, a thin layer of the pad disintegrates.  Make sure you inspect and replace those pads to ensure proper performance.

  • Oil:

Make sure your engine oil level is checked often and changed and refilled on a regular basis.  If the oil is dirty or too low, you can experience engine problems.  Not something you want happening to you in New York summers.

  • Air Filter:

Replacing a dirty filter will help protect your engine from airborne contaminants.  The car will get better air flow.  That helps decrease on fuel consumption.

  • Fluid Levels:

Dirty fluids have an impact on the performance of your vehicle and can lead to breakdowns.  Make sure you’re checking that everything is filled to the proper levels and on a regular interval.

  • Battery:

It’s been a rough winter and that meant some rough cold-morning starts.  Make sure there’s no corroded terminals or cracks on the case.  It’s never fun to have a battery fail in the middle of the city.

  • Shocks & Struts:

A rough winter also hurts the city streets, filling them with numerous pot-holes.  Make sure you have a smoother ride by seeing if those bumps caused any damage.

  • Wiper Blades:

Spring brings with it plenty of storms.  Don’t get caught in the rain with broken wipers.  You never want to have to fight to see through a downpour.

  • Headlamps, Tail Lamps, Turn Signals, & Hazard Lights:

Always make sure your lights are in proper working order to avoid two things, accidents and the cops pulling you over for a citation.

Bring your vehicle into our service department and we’ll give it the look over to ensure it’s ready to face the on-coming weather.  Best to get it out of the way before your vehicle develops problems on a road-side and your great vacation out of state has turned into a few hours waiting for the tow truck.

Schedule an appointment online at our website or contact us at 888-425-7294.  Like Bayside Chrysler Jeep Dodge on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for a full list of our special monthly offers.

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Beat the Gas Price Increase With These Helpful Tips!

ID-100109424Bad news for drivers out there; gas prices are on the rise.  Hopefully it won’t be long before they go down again, but it’s best to prepare just in case.  To that end, we’re here to help you with some tips on what you can do to keep your costs down.  You don’t have the power to make the numbers with dollar signs next to them go down, but you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your vehicle.

PRNewswire has put together a good list, courtesy of the Car Care Council, of what you should be doing to help ease the pain you feel when reaching for your wallet at the pump.

  • Reduce your gas mileage by 4 percent by keeping your car tuned.
  • By keeping your tired inflated to the right amount can improve the gas mileage by 3.3 percent
  • Make sure to replace dirty or clogged air filters and improve the gas mileage by 10 percent

Other means you can take to improve your gas mileage is by observing these tips while you’re driving:

  • Take a look at the speed limit.  When you’re above 50 mph, your gas mileage goes down fast.  For every 5 mph over 50 you go, that’s an additional 25 cents per gallon for gas.
  • Don’t idle your car.  You only need a minute or two to heat up your car.
  • Don’t do any quick starts or stops.  In the city this can lower the gas mileage by 33 percent and 5 percent when you’re in the city.
  • Bunch trips together.  It’s better to make a lengthier trip than multiple shorter ones.
  • Check to make sure you don’t have extra weight in your car.  Empty out unnecessary things from your trunk and back seat.  The added weight can be causing you to need more gas than you normally would.

Follow these pieces of advice and you may find yourself more capable of weathering higher gas price periods.

If you’re in the Queens area and are in need of a tune-up, stop by Bayside Chrysler Jeep Dodge.  We offer monthly parts and service specials for you to take advantage of.  Make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more tips and monthly offers.

Image courtesy of markuso /