As the days get shorter and the trees start to fill with color, it is time to get your vehicle ready for fall. While you might think there aren’t too many things to worry about this time of year, here are some common fall car maintenance steps you can take.
Check your wiper blades
Vehicle experts recommend you change your windshield wiper blades every 6-12 months. Over time, the rubber can harden and deteriorate. If your blades are leaving streaks or stuttering across your windshield, they likely need to be replaced.
Make sure your heater is working
Here in South Carolina, autumn nights can be chilly, especially if you are heading into the mountains. Before it gets too cold, make sure your heater is working properly. If the heater is blowing cold air instead of hot, it could be a problem with a thermostat, heater core, or water pump.
Inspect your lighting
With longer nights, you will spend more time driving with your headlights on. Make sure all exterior lights are working correctly. If your headlight lenses are cloudy or the lights are angled incorrectly, you should resolve those issues, too.
Catch up with maintenance
Perhaps you’ve put off an oil change or other routine maintenance for longer than you should have. Now is the time to get caught up on your routine maintenance before it turns into a major, expensive problem.
Winter might be over, but that doesn’t mean its effects are. Your car is probably still be littered with salt, stains, and odors from months of chilly, wet weather. These handy tips for spring-cleaning your car will help ensure that your family vehicle is just as fresh as the spring air.
Get Rid of the Junk
The first step is the simplest: toss all the junk from your car. That means wrappers, cups, lids, papers, and anything else that belongs in the trash and not your vehicle.
The last few months of sloppy, muddy weather have probably done a number on your upholstery. Once your car is clear of junk and the seats are fully exposed, vacuum thoroughly and then use a microfiber cloth to wipe as much as you can. Stains or hardened gunk might require brushing; for leather seats, use a protective cleaning solution.
Wash Your Exterior
Once the seats are clean, the next step is to wash your car’s exterior to rid it of the grime, salt, and debris that have built up all winter. Not only will doing so make your ride look shiny and new, but it will also help prevent rust and damage to your exterior.
Winter can be a harsh time of the year for any vehicle, but when you have a shiny new sports car, you definitely want to shelter it from winter’s worst. Fortunately, you can protect your prized possession from the ice and snow with these helpful sports car storage tips for winter.
Step #1: Complete routine maintenance
It could be quite some time before you’re behind the wheel of your sports car if you’re storing it for winter, so be sure to complete routine maintenance like an oil change before you store it away for months on end.
Step #2: Find a place to store your vehicle
This step is usually pretty easy if you have a garage or shed, but can be harder if you only have a driveway. If the latter scenario applies to you, try to place it in a spot where it will be most protected from ice and snow, but don’t place it under a tree, as ice can cause tree limbs to fall right onto your car.
Step #3: Raise your sports car with jacks
The last thing you want to encounter after storing your sports car all winter is flat tires. Prevent this by raising the vehicle off the ground using jacks.
Step #4: Block any openings
Little rodents and birds might be looking for warm places to rest during winter, and the various openings on your sports car can make for a desirable venue. Prevent them from entering these spaces by blocking them during winter.
Nothing beats discovering something new on a summer road trip. But long drives can do a number on your body if you don’t have some steps to prevent aches and pains. Follow these tips for maximizing road trip comfort.
Take a break
While it can be tempting to drives for as long as possible without taking a break to shorten the drive, it’s best to pull over and take a break every two or three hours. This gives you time to stretch your body and will significantly reduce road trip-related fatigue.
Stretch your back and legs
Every time you take a break, perform some simple shoulder rolls and back stretches to give your back a needed reset. Regularly stretch your upper and lower legs when you take a break. Your legs tend to remain in the same position for extended periods of time while driving, which can lead to cramping.
Relax the shoulders
For many, it’s difficult to maintain perfect posture while driving long distances, and the shoulders tend to hunch forward eventually. This can strain the shoulders and neck so make a point of relaxing the shoulders while driving and give them a stretch every time you stop.
While many people prefer warm weather for leisure activities, there are still many activities that you can engage in during the winter. For example, there are many things to do in Greer this time of year, from visiting local parks to driving around the countryside. Simply hop in your car and start exploring the area this winter season.
According to Trip Advisor, one of the top places to visit in Greer, SC is Greer City Park. While the weather is a bit chilly during the winter, there are still tons of things you can do outdoors. Additionally, Pelham Mill Park is another great place to visit. Pelham Mill Park has a dog park that’s great for walking your pets, and Greer City Park is itself a historical landmark that has walking trails for adults.
Winter weather and the holidays can cause a lot of stress, and some of you may still be trying to recover from the past few months. That’s why you should visit MG’s Grand Day Spa or Salutem Organic Massage for a relaxing massage or spa day. Stay out of the cold and let the stress melt away when you have your next spa day.
Finally, check out the BMW Performance Center near Greer. Even if you don’t have a BMW, you can take professional driving courses for teens, car control, performance driving, and more. You can tour the 64,000 sq ft facility or check out the 1.7 miles of paved tracks in various configurations. This performance center is great for any car lover.
These are just some of the few places to visit in Greer during the winter. Before you go, be sure to have your vehicle serviced at Bradshaw Automotive.
Want to make your car stand out for the Holiday season? Try one of these festive car decorations. They’re all inexpensive, easy to apply, and reusable for years of festive driving. You’ll be sure to bring jolly good spirit with you everywhere you go!
Reindeer Vehicle Costume
This is the classic Holiday-themed car costume. It’s fun, easy to put together, and it’s reusable. All you have to do is apply the reindeer nose (lighted versions are available, too) and the reindeer antlers to turn your car into a festive site each Holiday season.
Santa Window Cling
Santa doesn’t always have to travel via a reindeer-pulled sleigh. With the Santa window cling, you can bring santa with you in the back seat of your Buick from Bradshaw Automotive. If you don’t feel like driving a Santa mobile, other versions are also available, such as a snowman.
Large Wired Red Bow
You may not want to cover up the handsome grille of your Buick, but you may find that a dash of scarlet will actually enhance it during the Holiday season. This large red bow is easy to attach to your grille and can add a welcome dash of warm color to a dreary winter scene.
In just a few short weeks, families all across the country will be climbing into the car to head out on the annual Thanksgiving road trip. If this is what you have planned for your family this year, you will need some Thanksgiving road trip games to keep everyone occupied.
Plan ahead and let everyone pick out a few of their favorite songs to add to a playlist or burned CD before you leave. Then, each person has to sing along to their songs in their own special way—most dramatic, loudest, and so on.
Two truths and a lie.
Each person says three things about themselves, except one of them is a lie. Everyone else has to guess which one is the lie.
This game is good for younger kids. Everyone looks at road signs, license plates, billboards, etc. to find each letter of the alphabet in order.
This game is a good test of everyone’s memory. The first person starts out by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m going to take…” and then they name something that starts with A. The next person says the same thing and then adds to the list with the next letter. If you can’t remember the list, you lose.
If your car is in need of attention before you hit the road, or it is time for something new, come visit us at Bradshaw Automotive.
Now that November is here, winter weather is right around the corner. That means now is the time to prepare before the icy weather arrives, which it will, even here in South Carolina. Here are a few tips for winter car care.
As the days get shorter, you will be using your headlights more often. Make sure all of your exterior lights are working and angled correctly. In addition, if there is snow on your car, brush off your lights before you start driving.
This fluid is immensely important in the winter as it keeps your engine from freezing. Make sure your antifreeze level isn’t low and there are no leaks.
To prevent your fuel lines from freezing or to make sure you don’t run out of gas when stuck on the side of the road, keep your gas tank as full as you can.
On cold, frosty winter mornings, you will want your heater. Make sure it and your air conditioning still work. Your A/C helps keep your windows clear of fog.
Make sure your tires have adequate tread depth. And, if you live in an area that routinely has winter weather below 45 degrees, consider switching to winter tires.
If you need any help with your winter car care, schedule a service appointment here at Bradshaw Automotive.
June is officially designated as National Camping Month. That means it’s about time to head to the great outdoors. There are a number of things you should pack in your new Chevy SUV, and we’ve put together a list of camping tips to help you make the most of your experience outdoors.
First, according to the Boy Scouts Guide, every camper should at least pack the bare essentials. This includes the following:
Swiss Army Knife
Clean Water (64 oz/person per day) or water purification tablets
You won’t make it far without water or bug spray, and a first-aid kit is essential for anyone who plans on spending time outdoors.
What food should you pack? If you drive an SUV or crossover, you can probably pack a few coolers—one for meat or other raw food and one for fruits and veggies. Bananas and apples, hot dogs, and grilled cheese all make for great campfire meals.
In lieu of a traditional tent, you might also consider SUV tents. You can easily prop open the back of your car, put the seats down, and make a comfortable shelter for you to spend the weekend in. If possible, you should also bring an air mattress to make sleeping more comfortable (though some simply prefer a hammock covered in a mosquito net).
These are some of the basics to pack for camping. Above all else, remember to read up on “Leave No Trace” principles. These refer to practices like putting out the fire properly, taking any garbage with you, and leaving flora and fauna untouched. Before you leave, stop by Bradshaw Automotive to make sure your car or SUV is ready for the trip.
During the holiday season, it can be difficult to stay on top of vehicle maintenance, but once you’ve had some downtime after New Year’s, it’s important to take your vehicle in for inspection, especially if you traveled to visit relatives during the holidays. Here’s a vehicle service checklist to help you to know where to start.
Battery and Charging System: Cooler temperatures reduce battery capacity, so your battery is more likely to die in the colder months. Check battery connections, the charging system, and the charge of the battery itself.
Drive Belts and Hoses: Old engine belts will wear, crack, and snap over time, which could cause incredible amounts of engine damage. Hoses are important, too, for keeping your engine cool with anti-freeze.
Tire Pressure: Like batteries, tire pressure is negatively affected by low temperatures. Colder air makes tires lose their pressure faster, so make sure your tires are properly inflated.
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning: The HVAC system is crucial to defrosting and staying warm in the winter.
Brakes: Brakes should always be in good working order, especially if you expose your vehicle to slick road conditions or hazardous weather.
Keep up with this vehicle service checklist after the holidays to make sure your car is ready to face the cold temperatures that January and February bring to the table.