Safe Driving Tips for Halloween

While most people spend Halloween night either passing out candy or walking through the streets with their trick-or-treaters, some of us may need to do some driving. If you need to get in the car, here are some driving tips for Halloween to help keep everyone safe along the way.

Halloween Driving Tips

  • Put away any potential distractions in your car, like your phone or food. Turn off the radio and roll the windows down if possible so you can better hear those walking around you.
  • Drive slowly and be extra vigilant while driving through residential neighborhoods. Kids can be very excited on Halloween and do not always act predictably.
  • When pulling in or leaving your driveway, drive carefully and look out for any walkers coming your way.
  • Make sure you come to a complete stop at all intersections to give any walkers a chance to cross. Try to make eye contact with them so they know you are letting them cross.
  • If kids dart out into the street, do not honk at them. Let them cross.
  • Turn on your headlights, even if the sun is still up, to give you better visibility and make it easier for any kids to see you.
  • Most communities hold trick-or-treat between 5:30-9:30 p.m., so be extra alert during that time.

Everyone here at Gossett VW Germantown wishes you and yours a safe and happy Halloween!

Packing a Roadside Emergency Kit to Stay Prepared

Roadside Emergency

You never know when you’re about to break down on the road, which is one reason it’s a good idea to pack a roadside emergency kit. Whether you’re taking a cross country road trip or simply commuting to work, it’s important to carry things like first aid equipment, flares, and more.

First, according to the DMV, one of the most important things to have is a first aid kit. We at Gossett VW Germantown recommend stocking it with things like Band Aids, gauze, and antiseptic. However, it’s also a good idea to carry aspirin for headaches, tweezers for splinters, and antacids for heartburn. Feel free to customize your kit based on your needs.

Many drivers also pack flares or road triangles. If you have a flat, it’s necessary to let other drivers know that you’re distressed. Plus, flares can double as a light source or even as a fire starter if you get stranded in the wilderness.

Finally, consider bringing things like a blanket for warmth, fresh water, and non-perishable food. If you’re travelling, modify your kit to include an old cell phone (most old phones can be used to call 911, even if not on a plan). These are just some of the things you should pack in your roadside emergency kit.

How to Change a Flat Tire

Change a flat tire

One DIY task that every driver should learn is how to change a flat tire. Follow the steps below to learn.

Supplies

  • Car jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Flares/reflective triangles
  • Wheel block
  • Owner’s manual
  • Something to kneel on (like a floor mat)

Steps                                              

  1. Pull over in a location that is as safe, flat, and solid as you can and turn on your emergency flashers. Set up flares or reflective triangles behind your car.
  2. Set your parking brake and put a wheel block behind the wheel diagonally opposite to the flat tire. Put your floor mat by the flat tire for you to kneel on.
  3. Open your owner’s manual and read through for any specific instructions for your particular vehicle.
  4. Remove the hub cab, if you have one.
  5. Use the lug wrench to loosen, but not remove, all the lug nuts on the wheel.
  6. Position the jack just behind or in front of the flat tire. There will typically be a particular area along the car’s frame, sometimes indicated by an arrow, where the jack can safely lift.
  7. Slowly raise the vehicle until the tire is just a few inches off the ground.
  8. Finish loosening the lug nuts, remove them, and slowly pull off the tire.
  9. Get your spare tire, which should be located in your trunk or possibly on the underbody (for trucks and SUVs).
  10. Line up the spare tire with the studs, slide it on, and finger-tighten the lug nuts.
  11. Lower the car slowly and remove the jack.
  12. Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts as tight as you can.
  13. Clean up your area.

If you need some new tires for your car, come visit us at Gossett VW Germantown.

Tips for a Healthy Summer

People enjoying a healthy summer

Summer is a season full of fun—you can go swimming, get a tan, and explore the great outdoors—but you’ll want to make sure that you safely do all these things. Here are some tips from us at Gossett VW Germantown on how to have a healthy summer.

Sunscreen, Always

Always remember to take care of your skin! Sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays and prevents sunburn and more serious problems like skin cancer.

Hydrate

Because of the summer heat, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Make a goal to consume at least eight glasses of water a day. If you find water boring, you can drink flavored water to spice it up a bit.

Exfoliate

Again, take care of that skin! Using an exfoliating lotion can remove dead skin and give you a lovely, healthy glow. DIY tip: Use a mix of oatmeal, milk, and yogurt to exfoliate.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!

Create an exercise routine and stick to it. If it’s too hot outside to jog, you can try yoga in your house or use a workout DVD.

Eat Healthy                  

Change your poolside snacks to healthy treats, like vegetable sticks, hummus, and yogurt. Sandwiches and salads are healthy and portable lunch options.

Enjoy summer to the fullest by following these tips for a happy and healthy season!

What To Do After An Accident

what to do after an accident
Accidents happen, and sometimes even the most careful drivers find themselves involved in a collision. There’s no doubt that car accidents are stressful situations. Knowing what to do after an accident can help you handle the situation should such a misfortune occur.

If a collision happens, before anything else you should take a deep breath. Try to get your bearings. This can be difficult in a scary situation like this, but if you’re not collected you’ll have trouble handling the rest. Next, check to see that everyone is ok. If there’s any chance of injury, no matter how potentially mild, call an ambulance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The next call you should make is to the police. You’ll need them there to file a report as well as to help clean up and to direct traffic. Once you’ve sent for their help, secure the area from traffic. If possible, drive damaged vehicles to the side of the road. Turn on your hazards, or set out traffic cones or emergency flares to help warn oncoming drivers. Make sure that you and any others are out of traffic’s way as well.

Lastly, notify your insurance agency. You’ll want give them as many facts about the accident as possible. From there, they can help you figure out the next steps in repairing your vehicle and getting back on the road.

Most of our used vehicles at Gossett Volkswagen Germantown are equipped with their own preventative and reactive security features. To learn more about features like these which may help protect you and your family, stop in and see us today.

Auto Service Basics: Importance of Tire Rotation

VW TireThe tires are one of the most important parts of a vehicle, seeing as how they keep you rolling along the road. Taking care of your tires is easier than you might think and can be done every time you get your oil changed. Rotating your tires is one of the simplest ways to extend the life of your tires. Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of tire rotation from us here at Gossett VW!

Rotating your tires prevents them from wearing out faster than they should. The front tires take on the weight of the engine and transmission. They also lead the car around corners, which means they wear significantly faster than the rear tires.

The act of rotating your tires is quite simple. Simply move the front tires diagonally and replace them with the rear tires. The front driver’s side tire, for example, should move to the rear driver’s side and be replaced by the rear passenger’s side tire. The front passenger’s side tire should move to the rear and be replaced by the rear driver’s side tire.

Don’t include your spare tire in tire rotations, as it’s for emergency use only. Make sure your vehicles aren’t asymmetric or uni-directional either; otherwise, rotating them the wrong way could cause problems.

Passat Earns Top Safety Pick Plus

2016 VW Passat
2016 VW Passat

Volkswagens should never be underestimated, especially concerning their safety. And the brand proved this when the 2016 Passat was named IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus.

On the 2016 Passat, there’s new front and rear styling that has given it that top safety score. The mid-sized sedan received the top score of “good” across all areas of testing. These wins include the small front overlap crash, the most difficult testing area, as well as an advanced rating for front crash prevention.

The Passat earned the important “plus” by receiving good ratings in all crash tests as well as superior rating for front crash prevention. The new Passat’s front crash prevention system is to thank for these wins. Front Assist, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, is standard on SE models and above.

The Passat isn’t the only Volkswagon on the list of vehicle to the Top Safety Pick Plus List. It joins the 2016 Golf, Golf SportWagon, Golf GTI and Jetta. Clearly, Volkswagons are proving that they are made to be safe and reliable.

Volkswagen Safety Technologies: Keeping You Safe Behind the Wheel

2016 VW Safety TechnologiesVolkswagen has invested in some innovative safety technologies to make sure you’re always safe and sound behind the wheel. Most new models feature active and passive systems, and you have the option to upgrade to the latest high-tech components on the market when you buy Volkswagen.

According to Volkswagen, some of the most recent and advanced Volkswagen safety technologies are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Area View, Blind Spot Sensor, and City Emergency Braking among others.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control automatically adjusts your speed to the vehicle in front of you and keeps the distance you set.
  • Area View uses monitors to monitor spaces around you, a technology that is especially handy in tight areas.
  • Blind Spot Sensor uses sensors to make backing out of parking spots and changing lanes safer by monitoring areas you can’t see as well.
  • Finally, City Emergency Braking automatically applies the brakes as you approach obstacles, reducing damage or avoiding accidents in general.

Other innovative safety systems include the Driver Alert System, Emergency Assist, Front Assist, Lane Assist, Park Assist, Park Pilot, Light Assist System, Multi Collision Brake, and Road Works Assistant to name a few.

Changing Your Brakes: When Should You Replace Them?

brake repairBrake maintenance is one of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership. Not only will replacing the pads make other brake components—including rotors—last longer, but it also reduces stress on your car. In the long run, regular maintenance can actually increase resale value, especially if documented by a site like CARFAX.

Changing your brakes can be easily performed by any mechanic; however, knowing when to take the vehicle in is vital. According to Cars.com, the life of your brakes varies depending on usage and where you are located. In urban areas, stop and go traffic means a shorter life. In town, 8,000 miles is a rough estimate of when to replace brakes, and in rural areas, you may go up to 25,000 miles. Unfortunately, there is no clear rule of thumb; however, a mechanic can check the thickness of brake pads and for wear or warping.

Many brakes have built-in sensors that scrape against the disc when they need replaced. This sounds like an annoying screeching sound. You should also listen for grinding and other squeaks that indicate your brakes are bad. Also, if your brake pedal pulses when you apply the brakes, it may be a sign that your rotors are warped.

What happens if you don’t replace your brakes? Aside from the obvious dangers that go along with greater stopping distance, taking care of your brakes early can prevent catastrophic damage. For example, letting your pads go too long will ruin rotors. Let rotors go, and shoes and linings can be easily damaged as well.

If you need brake work done on your car, bring it to Gossett VW!

Car Maintenance Tips: Signs Your Tires Are Bad

tireEspecially now that it’s starting to get cold and having tires with good traction is more important than ever, it’s time to start looking for signs your tires are bad or worn out.

Take a good look at your tires. There shouldn’t be any bulges, cracks, or gauges in the rubber; it’s a good idea to take it to your dealer to check for leaks. These are usually a sign of low tire pressure, which could indicate an air leak or just deflation.

An important thing to check is your tire tread. When it gets cold, you are definitely going to want tires with good tread! Not only do tires firm up more in the cold weather, which makes it harder for them to grip the ground, but tires with low tread are slicker on wet/icy roads as well.

Check your tire pressure regularly when it’s cold. Cold air reduces tire pressure, which reduces traction, so fill your tires up with more air whenever they need it. This is also important because driving on underinflated tires actually makes them wear faster.

Do yourself a favor and check your tires, folks!