Tips for Driving in the Snow

Tips for Driving in the Snow

Hitting the road for a family vacation during winter is something many families take part in to escape the cold weather. Snow- and ice-covered roads hold plenty of hazards in store for the unprepared and could put a stall, or end, to what should be a fun-filled vacation. Read up on how to handle the roads this winter. Here are a few great tips for driving in the snow from us here at L&L Motors.

  • Four-Wheel Drive – While four-wheel drive will help you get moving on slick roads, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to stop. Increased capability systems aim to move the vehicle, not stop it. Be prepared to stop at all times and keep your speed in check!
  • Cruise Control – While cruise control is fantastic on dry pavement, it can be detrimental on snow-covered roads. Using cruise control means you can’t take your foot off the gas to start slowing the car down. Instead, you have to hit the brake. That can cause a loss of control, especially on slick roads.
  • Skidding – Drivers who end up skidding tend to panic and that only leads to disaster. Instead, steer in the direction you want the car to go in order to straighten out. Avoiding hitting the brakes altogether as they could result in an even worse situation.

Tips to Defrost Your Windshield Faster

defrost your windshieldWe know how frustrating it is to defrost your windshield. Even with your air on full blast, it can take ages to chip away at the ice, which can cause you to be late or potentially even endanger you on the road if your visibility is poor. Thankfully, we have some great, easy tips for how to defrost your windshield faster than ever.

Use a Bucket of Lukewarm Water

Be careful not to use hot water, which can turn into a powder or crack your windshield glass. Just fill up a bucket with warm water and throw it across your windshield; the ice should become soft enough to use your windshield wipers.

Spray a Mixture of Rubbing Alcohol and Water

Many commercial de-icers use a similar formula, but the DIY method is to put a mix of rubbing alcohol and water into a spray bottle and spritz it across the ice.

Scrape With an Old Credit Card

This requires a little more elbow grease than the other options, but works well for thin ice that can’t be chipped at with a scraper. Turn your defroster on and scrape with an old, expired credit card.

Prevent Ice with a Towel

If you want to avoid defrosting altogether, drape a towel over your windshield overnight to prevent ice from forming.

Hopefully these help you to defrost your windshield or eliminate the need to defrost in the first place.

What to Do in an Animal-Related Accident

What to Do in an Animal-Related AccidentOne of the major causes of car accidents in the US are animals. Whether a deer totals your car or a squirrel causes you to swerve into a ditch, there are numerous types of animal-related accidents. There are also important things to keep in mind when you are involved in an accident with an animal.

You should always pull over to the side of the road and check to make sure if everyone is okay. This is standard protocol after any accident. The Esurance website also suggests setting up flares or road triangles to warn other drivers. Deer and other animals often travel in herds, so multiple and consecutive accidents are not uncommon.

Next, call the police. This is also mandatory after virtually every accident. In fact, fleeing the scene after you hit an animal is a serious offense in most states, which can lead to fines and other penalties. Document the crash with your phone if possible to corroborate the police report—something you can use for an insurance claim down the road.

Finally, keep an eye on the animal, especially if it is still alive. Most animals become violent when injured, so try and keep your distance. If you have small children, keep them in a safe area as well. Animals are most active during dusk and dawn, so always keep an eye out while driving during these times.

How to Remove Paint Scratches

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Getting a scratch on your car, whether on the road or removing items from your trunk, flat out sucks. If the scratch is noticeable, it’s just that much worse. Even if it isn’t too noticeable, once you see it, you can never forget about it. While you can come into our repair shop for major scratches, you can also fix little ones yourself. Here’s how to remove paint scratches.

Before you get started, you’ll want to take a good look at the scratches you’d like to fix. If you can catch your fingernail on them, they be too deep for an at-home job. Additionally, the scratches will be easier to fix the lighter they are. Attempting to fix deep scratches could result in a worse-looking paint job.

Once you’ve identified the scratches you think you can fix, clean them then grab a soft cloth and dampen it. Next, head to the bathroom and pick up your toothpaste. Add a few dabs of toothpaste to the cloth then rub it onto the scratch in a circular motion.

After a few rotations lift the cloth. If the scratch is gone, you’re done! If not, keep going.

Tips for Road Trips with Kids

Tips for road trips with kidsRoad trips can be fun, but if you have young kids, they tend to be exhausting. But before you spend money on plane tickets to avoid the car ride, first consider these tips for road trips with kids:

Print Out Games

It’s a classic fix, sure, and won’t last the whole time. But it’ll definitely keep them from asking, “Are we there yet?” for a couple of hours. About Travel provides you with a couple of links to printable games.

DIY Car Sick Bag

Kids can have upset tummies pretty easily, and even if they don’t, they might think they do. Make a do-it-yourself car sick bag with saltines, Gatorade, motion sickness meds, Tums, and Clorox Wipes and a plastic bag (just in case somebody gets sick in the car.)

Car Pulley System

This makes passing things to and from the front and back easy and fun. Tie a rope between the front and back handles on the ceiling of your car, then tie a bucket to the rope ends. Just shimmy the bucket back and forth! See how it works here.

Snacks!

Seriously, never underestimate the power of snacks so you don’t hear “I’m hungry” every five seconds. Pack your own snack bag with plenty of snacks and drinks.

Be Wary of These Sneaky Fall Driving Hazards

fall driving hazardsWe’re well into the fall season across the United States. This means beautiful colors almost everywhere you look, fun fall events like apple-picking and pumpkin carving, and some surprising fall driving hazards making your weekend cruise just a little more dangerous. Here’s our quick list of tricky fall driving hazards to be looking out for this season:

Fog and rain. Fall means hurricane season, and hurricane season means wonky weather across the country. Rain can be erratic and, at times, dramatic, bringing with it sheets of solid fog, especially in the morning. When you encounter heavy fog, avoid using your high beams; the light reflects of the moisture in the air and will only complicate your visibility further.

Deer. Deer don’t seem to mind the hurricane-inspired weather of autumn; in fact, they find it rather romantic. Fall is mating and migrating season for deer in America, so keep your eyes peeled for deer as they bound into the road and across the freeways.

Leaves. Fallen leaves, especially after those erratic rains, can make the roads extra slick. Avoid driving through patches of collected leaves on the road if possible. Also, keep your eyes on the road, and not on the beautiful, colorful scenery! Accidents happen when drivers are distracted by the beautiful sights of autumn all around; stay safe and pay attention to the road.

Fall driving hazards may not be as vicious as those you could encounter in the winter, but they’re nothing to take lightly! Drive safe this fall.

How to Jump Start Your Car

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Knowing how to jump start your car is an essential part of driving. It’s easy to forget since few drivers jump start a car often. Even with roadside assistance, knowing how to start a dead battery can save time and money. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to help you jump start your car!

  • Once you’ve parked both cars, pop the hoods and identify the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals on each car’s battery. Do the same for the jumper cables.
  • Attach the positive (red) cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Attach the other positive end to the live battery.
  • Attach the negative (black) cable to the live battery’s negative terminal. Attach the other end to a jumper post or unpainted bolt near the dead battery. Watch out for fans and belts!
  • Once everything is attached, start the car with the live battery. Let it idle for a few minutes while slightly pushing on the gas.
  • After a few minutes have passed, try to start the car with the dead battery. If the car doesn’t start, wait a few more minutes and try again.
  • Once the car starts, let both vehicles idle. After you disconnect the cables in the opposite order you attached them, continue on your way.

Does your car need more than a simple jump? Our service department can help!