Archive for Car Tips

How to Improve Your Fuel Efficiency This Fall

Improve Your Fuel Efficiency This Fall

Improve Your Fuel Efficiency This Fall

 

Each season brings its own challenges in terms of driving. One of the challenges to navigate each season is how to optimize your fuel efficiency. As summer gives way to autumn, you may be wondering how to improve your efficiency this fall. Steet Ponte Mazda has a few ideas.

  • Regularly check your tire pressure. Declining temperatures can mean a reduction in your tire pressure. Driving on underinflated tires is a sure-fire way to lower your fuel efficiency.
  • Get your seasonal maintenance. Fall is the perfect time to get car maintenance—Steet Ponte Mazda can inspect crucial systems, but we’ll also change your oil to make sure you get optimal efficiency this fall.
  • Slow down. Especially as it gets chillier outside, it’ll be tempting to get to your warm destination faster. But speeding is one of the worst habits to affect your fuel efficiency. By sticking to the posted speed limit, you can ensure you’ll burn through fuel at a slower rate.
  • Clean out your car. During summer road trips, trips to the pool, and participation in various sports games, you may have collected a lot of gear and luggage in your car. By emptying out things you won’t commonly use in the fall and winter—such as your golf clubs—you can reduce overall weight and improve your fuel efficiency this fall.

If you need help preparing your vehicle for fall, don’t hesitate to reach out to Steet Ponte Mazda’s wonderful service center today!

What to Do After a Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident

While we certainly hope you never experience one, car accidents happen and can range from major damages to small fender benders. Drivers involved in their first accident tend to make mistakes when it comes to the aftermath. Fortunately, you can deal with the accident and claims process with ease. Here’s what to do after a car accident from us here at Steet Ponte Mazda!

  • Call the Police – Call the police or property authorities in your area immediately after an accident has occurred, no matter how minor or severe. Doing so ensures that there will be an accurate record that will expedite the claims process and establish fault to some extent. Make sure not to sign anything unless it’s from the police.
  • Check for Injuries – Once the proper authorities have been notified, check yourself and passengers for any injuries. Ask others involved in the accident if they’re okay as well. If someone is unconscious, don’t move them. Wait for emergency responders to arrive.
  • Contact Your Insurer – Starting the insurance claims process quickly will get you back on the road faster. Once police have been notified and taken down your information for a report, contact your insurance agent or agency. Answer their questions, provide any pertinent information, and let them take it from there!

5 Car Spring Cleaning Tips to Live By

car spring cleaning tips

Enlisting a friend not only cuts the work in half, but also makes the time fly!

Spring has sprung, and along with the warmer weather and lighter evenings comes that one thing that people either love or hate—spring cleaning. While you might assume that spring cleaning is limited to inside your home, it’s important to take your car into account when you plan out your cleaning schedule this year.

Winter is a dirty time, with salt and grit coating the outside and underside of your car for much of the season. That’s why it’s important for you to give your car a thorough scrubbing both inside and out. Consider these car spring cleaning tips from Steet Ponte Mazda before you get started…

  • Clean under your floor mats. While you’re sure to remember to vacuum the carpets themselves, there’s almost certainly gunk underneath the mats that needs removing.
  • Swap out your tires. If you switched to winter tires last fall, it’s time to switch back to your all-seasons.
  • Check for trash. It’s easy to let stuff accumulate in your car over the winter, since it’s too cold to think about cleaning it out. Make sure you check in your trunk and under your seats, and get rid of anything you don’t need.
  • Wash and wax. Washing is a given, but waxing is an important step you might not consider. Waxing helps seal the paint and repels water and other debris, so your car will look clean for longer.
  • Clean the seats. If you have cloth upholstery, wipe it down with a hot, wet cloth. Avoid using chemicals—if you encounter a particularly stubborn stain, a little dish soap will work wonders. For leather upholstery, use leather cleaner and cloth to get your seats gleaming.

Spring is the perfect time for a fresh start, and your car is no exception. Make these five car spring cleaning tips a yearly habit and your car will thank you!

Read These Tips for Driving in Winter Weather Before You Are Caught in a Storm

Driving in winter weather

Are you nervous about driving in winter weather this year? You are certainly not alone. Snow and ice can cause some of the most hazardous conditions of the year, which is why it is vital to be prepared. To get yourself started, check out these tips for driving in winter weather:

Driving in winter weather

  • To begin with, avoid driving when you are sick or tired, which can reduce your reaction time and could be lethal on a snowy road.
  • Always increase the distance between your vehicle and the other vehicles around you when the roads are snowy, icy, or slushy.
  • Generally drive more slowly, which will also increase your fuel efficiency.
  • Whatever you do, you should neither accelerate nor decelerate quickly. Always slowly increase or decrease your speed.
  • If you find yourself skidding, try to remain calm. Gently aim your steering wheel into the direction of the skid, and your vehicle should regain control.
  • Just in case of an emergency, be sure to have a first-aid kit ready, as well as some blankets and other winter layers, keeping you safe if you have to pull off the road.

 

For more safety tips – or to check out one of our many available Mazda models with all-wheel drive, just in time for the season – contact us or visit us any time here at Steet Ponte Mazda.

How to Winterize Your Car

winter

winterNow that the winter months are upon us, it’s time to prepare your car for the elements. For both your car’s health and for your safety, there are a couple of precautions that all drivers should take. The following will show you how to winterize your car.

Prevent Rusting

One of the most important steps to take in winterizing your car is to defend your car against salt. The salt that the city lays down for the snow eats away at your paint and causes your car to rust. To prevent this, wash and wax your car regularly throughout the winter months.

Prepare for Emergencies

While most people make it through the winter without problems, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. Prepare an emergency kit that you keep somewhere in your car just in case something should go wrong. Things to include in this kit are a blanket, extra cell phone battery, water, canned food, emergency flares, and anything else that you think you may need in an emergency situation.

Following these simple steps will make your life much easier. If you have a family, remind them to protect their vehicles as well, and make sure they have an emergency kit in their car.

Safety Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles

Sharing the road with motorcycles can be a little scary—motorcycles are a lot smaller than cars, tend to weave around more, and easily hide in blind spots. Just follow these tips to keep yourself and the motorcyclists around you safe.

Sharing the road with MotorcyclesAgain: remember your blind spots. A lot more motorcycles are on the road during the summer, so checking your blind spots extra carefully before switching lanes is a must. You should also be extra cautious when switching lanes, especially on the highway, as you’ll create a gust of wind that can knock a motorcycle over if you do it too close. Put plenty of space between you and a motorcycle before you pass it.

If you’re driving behind a motorcycle, put more space than you usually would between yourself and the bike. If you have to stop suddenly, you don’t want to be anywhere near close enough to hit it—whereas tapping the rear of a car in front of you can cause a little damage, running into a motorcycle can be fatal to the rider.

Be careful at intersections, since it can be difficult to tell where and when motorcycles are turning. Any time you make a left turn, keep an eye out for approaching bikes—this is a major cause of accidents for motorcycles.

Never forget that we all have to share the road safely!

Travel Tips for Your Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer which means traveling, barbecue’s, swimming and spending time with family and friends. The most traditional way to travel is by car which means that this weekend you can expect some traffic. Here at Steet Ponte Mazda, we know you’re ready to kick off summer and are eager to get to your final destination, but here are some tips to keep safe while you travel this Memorial Day weekend.

Travel tips - road tripTiming is Key – If you’re able to set your schedule, take an extra day off of work to travel to avoid high traffic times. Also try driving at night since it will be cooler outside, the kids will sleep and you will probably burn less fuel. Semi’s usually take breaks at night so there will be less cars and trucks driving.

Switch Drivers – No matter how far or close your final destination is, switching drivers is always a smart idea. This allows everyone to stretch their legs, get anything they need out of the back, refuel the car and yourself and it will help reduce driver stress. If you are driving a longer distance, try swapping out drivers every two or three hours.

Pack Smart – Usually when you are getting ready for your trip and packing everything up, you pack twice as many clothes as you really need and not enough snacks. Snacks keep adults and children happy in the car and it will reduce stress, and even possibly tantrums. No matter where you are traveling to, you can always find a laundry center or shopping center in every town. If you run out of clothes you can always go wash them at the Laundromat or get some new threads at a store in town.

Stop Along the Way – If you switch drivers then stopping will come naturally. With some planning you can find some interesting places you can pull over and explore. Take some time to map out your route and see if there is any fun or unique places to stop along the way. This will break up the monotony of the road and gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs, a snack and drink before hitting the road again.

Remember to always get your car checked out before you head out for a long weekend road trip! Stop by our service department and let them look over your vehicle before you set out!

Repair a Dent in Your Car

Repair a Dent in Your CarSmall and medium-sized dents can be a blemish on your otherwise perfect car. Luckily for you, spending hundreds isn’t the only way to ensure your car returns to its state of perfection. Odds are you can do it yourself without even leaving the garage. We here at Steet Ponte Mazda have a few do-it-yourself remedies to repair a dent without spending much money.

  • Suction – A plunger can provide enough suction to remove a small- or medium-sized dent without spending any money. Grab a cup plunger (the one used on sinks) and apply water to both the plunger and the dent. Next, place the plunger over the dent and push and pull. The suction will fix the dent.
  • Heat and Cool – By using a hair dryer and can of compressed air, you may be able to cause the metal to pop the dent out on its own. Heating the dent with the air dryer will cause the metal to expand. Once it’s hot enough, turn the can of compressed air upside down and spray. The metal will contract as it cools.
  • Last Resort – If all else fails and you want to avoid a repair shop, consider buying a specialty kit. Although they sometimes they work and other times they don’t, spending $20 to $30 on a kit that does fix the problem is better than spending hundreds for the same result. At the very worst, you’re out $30 and you live with the dent or head to the repair shop.

Safe Mazda Customization Tips

Your Mazda is awesome, but have you ever wanted to customize it? There are tons of things you can do to your car, and safely! Here are some Mazda customization tips that will enhance your car’s performance.

Mazda CustomizationInstall a Performance Cold Air Intake

A cold air intake can increase your vehicle’s horsepower significantly. Since cold air is denser than warm air, there’s more oxygen per volume of air. Introducing cold air maximizes efficiency and performance.

Install a Cat-Back Exhaust

This changes the exhaust and usually includes a rear pipe, a resonator, and a muffler but can have more pipes, too. This allows more airflow than a stock exhaust, and this allows the engine to breathe more freely, which is healthier on the engine and increases horsepower and fuel efficiency.

Use a Mazda Bonnet Protector

A bonnet protector protects the paint on the front of your car from chips caused by rocks and other falling debris. If you do want one of these, be prepared for regular maintenance.

Tint Your Windows

This is pretty common, but it’s great for keeping the inside of your car cool, which lessens the load of the air conditioning system. Just be mindful of the regulations of your state on how much windows can be tinted.

EPA Ranks Mazda as the Cleanest and Most Fuel-Efficient Automaker

As other automakers throw all of their eggs in the hybrid and electric basket, Mazda has stuck to its conventional, gasoline-powered guns. And it’s working.

cleanest and most fuel-efficient automaker - Mazda CX-%According to the latest report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mazda ranked first in 2014 in adjusted fuel economy across its lineup, with an average 29.4 miles per gallon. It also boasted the lowest average emissions of any manufacturer, with 302 grams of CO2 emitted per mile.

In addition to being the cleanest and most fuel-efficient automaker, the EPA predicts Mazda will keep its reign at the top in 2015 and be the first to break both the average 30 mpg barrier and sub-300 grams of CO2 emissions per mile.

So there you have it. When you shop at Steet Ponte Mazda, you’ll find a lineup of cars that, on average, are cleaner and more fuel-efficient than anything you’ll be offered at other dealerships!