Whether your daily commute consists of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway or a serene drive on the countryside, one thing we all have in common is the desire to save money on gas. Our team atCaldwell Toyota Scion came up with these helpful tips that can not only save you money at the gas pump, but also reduce your overall fuel consumption.
1) Utilize gas station finder apps
In just one city, gas prices can vary up to 20 cents per gallon. Save time and money with gas-finder applications, such as Fuel Finder or GasBuddy, which allow drivers to find the cheapest gas prices in their area. Not only are such apps user-friendly, many are also available for download at little to no cost.
2) Avoid extra weight
Not surprisingly, heavy loading can negatively affect your car’s overall performance. But did you know that extra weight can also affect your car’s fuel economy? According to the Department of Energy, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle may reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. Remove excess weight from your car or trunk to save money in the long run.
3) Take a detour
Getting from point A to B isn’t the only benefit of your GPS, as the rerouting technology standard with most systems also saves time – and gas. For instance, while stuck in traffic, the idling and constant braking wastes your car’s fuel. In such driving conditions, it is wise to deviate from your scheduled route and take advantage of your GPS capabilities to avoid wasting your gas and–ultimately–your money.
4) Use air conditioning sparingly
While that cold burst of air from your air conditioning may feel amazing on a hot summer’s day, it is also significantly reducing your fuel economy. If rolling down the windows isn’t your first choice, try utilizing your car’s air conditioning recirculation option to reduce the amount of hot air in your car and considerably save on gas.
5) Drive the speed limit
Not only is speeding dangerous, it is also hazardous to your gas tank — and your wallet. When driving at speeds above 60 miles per hour, your gas mileage rapidly decreases. According to Fueleconomy.gov, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas.
Here at Caldwell Toyota Scion we aim to help you save time and money while driving more efficiently. What are your tips for saving money at the pump?
We all know how risky texting while driving can be, but it’s not the only kind of distracted driving that can have dangerous consequences.
In response to concerns over the swarm of new technology in today’s cars, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have released a set of voluntary guidelines for automobile manufacturers to help limit dangerous distracted driving practices.
While these guidelines are directed towards auto manufacturers, we at Caldwell Toyota Scion think that these recommendations can be useful for drivers, too.
Keep your eyes on the road
The NHTSA suggests that vehicle makers limit the amount of time that drivers have to take their eyes off the road to use certain functions on electronic features. The recommended time limit is two seconds at a time for a total of 12 seconds. To stay safe while driving, try to limit the amount of time you spend fiddling with your car’s gadgets so you can keep your eyes on the road.
Don’t use certain features while your vehicle is in motion
The NHTSA also recommends that automobile makers program certain features to automatically disable when the car is in motion, such as internet browsing functions, video content, and social media. If your current vehicle has these types of features or others that might be too complicated to use while driving, consider pulling over and stopping in a safe place before using them.
The take away for drivers is that while in-vehicle technology can be convenient, it can also pose risks if not used safely. Help decrease your chances of getting in an accident and avoid being a distracted driver by exercising caution when using these features.
If you’d like to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, the NHTSA has several resources available on their website. And be sure to check out the Caldwell Toyota Scion Facebook page and let us know how you stay safe on the road.
Your car’s battery is an important part of the vehicle’s mechanics. The battery is what helps the car start in the morning as well as providing back-up electrical power to the car. The battery also performs other important, and perhaps less obvious, functions. For example, the battery serves as a ground for the automobile frame and for the electrical system, which maintains the electrical circuit necessary to function.
As such, it is important to ensure that the battery remains in good working order. If the battery is showing signs of corrosion, then it is important to deal with the problem.
Dealing with any corrosion and other buildup is very important. This ensures that the circuit operates efficiently, since the buildup can prevent the battery from working properly. To start dealing with a corroded battery, remove the battery from the car by unfastening the negative and positive clamps and then inspect the following items.
- Check the cables and clamps for corrosion and damage. If they are showing signs of wear and damage, then you should replace them.
- Check the case of the battery for any cracks. Check the terminals for signs of any damage. If you find anything, you may need to replace the battery. Talk to your mechanic for further advice.
- Ensure that all cables are secure. The cables should not accidentally drop onto the terminal, and should not be able to come free entirely. You can tighten these cables with a spanner.
- Clean the terminals to remove any corrosion deposits. Apply baking soda directly to the terminals, and then use a wet toothbrush to scrub the terminals clean. A toothbrush may be effective on lighter deposits, but for heavy corrosion, you may need to invest in a battery terminal cleaner brush. This has stronger, wire bristles. Always dry the terminals with a clean cloth when you have finished.
- Apply petroleum jelly or grease to the terminals. This acts a physical barrier against corrosive deposits and prevents them forming in the first place.
If you have not used the car battery for a long time, check for signs of leakage. In the event that you find signs of this problem, you may need to remove and replace the battery.
You should be able to carry out all of these tasks yourself at home, without any technical experience or knowledge. If you have any doubts, our service department is always ready to help. For greater peace of mind, you may prefer to schedule your car for a battery inspection instead.
If a serious storm is about to set in, then the chances are that your thoughts will first turn to your loved ones, followed by hasty plans to protect your home and possessions. During extreme weather, there’s a high possibility that your car could be seriously damaged, and where such an expensive asset is concerned, it pays to take precautions. Use the following five tips from the Caldwell Toyota Scion team to help protect your vehicle during a serious storm.
- Plan ahead. If you can plan ahead, then the best protection is certainly prevention. If you know that a serious storm is coming, then you should do your utmost to ensure that your car is off the road and under cover. That may mean delaying a trip, taking a diversion or using other modes of transport, but if you can avoid exposing your car to extreme weather, then you should always do so.
- Look for shelter. If you get caught in a serious storm, you need to think about getting your car and its occupants in a safe spot. Look for large, robust shelter where your car is really shielded from the weather. A covered, multi-storey car park is a good choice, or underneath a bridge/in a tunnel. In the absence of anything so robust, look for any form of shelter that you can find, such as a service station awning. Any cover will hopefully prevent damage from debris. Never shelter under trees, which could easily fall in a storm and crush your car.
- Never try to outrun the storm. If you are driving your car when a serious storm breaks, you should attempt to leave the road as soon as possible. Never try to outrun the storm or speed up to escape it, as you are greatly increasing the chances of having an accident. Turn on your lights to increase visibility and to ensure that other road users can see you. Pull well off the road, if you can, to reduce the risk of other cars hitting your vehicle.
- Be wary of water. Puddles can appear to be deceptively shallow, when in fact there is a serious risk that the water could be in a very deep hole. This could spell disaster for your car. Avoid puddles and standing water as much as possible, particularly on unfamiliar roads. Always ensure that you allow plenty of time to brake, as your stopping distance may be decreased by the surface water.
- Remove exterior items. Exterior items on your car can easily be damaged or ripped off in strong winds, and even seemingly small, innocuous parts can be very expensive to replace. Common issues occur with radio antennae, magnetic signs, and other temporary items, which you should remove as soon as possible. Not only could these items damage your car, they could hit a pedestrian or another car.
Summer, winter and autumn in Arkansas are nice. Spring in Arkansas is even better. Here’s why we at Caldwell Toyota Scion think so.
Great Places to Go
Arkansas winters are moderate, but spring still brings a welcome change of weather. Here are a few great places to visit during the spring.
- Hot Springs – Take a visit to Hot Springs and enjoy one of the town’s two public baths. Follow it up with a hike in the nearby Ouchita Mountains and enjoy the beautiful spring scenery as you get in shape for that summer swim suit!
- Queen Wilhelmina State Park – Since you’re already in the Ouchita Mountains, you might want to drive up Arkansas’ second highest peak and enjoy the amazing views at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. It can be a little chilly at the top during early spring, so dress appropriately. In case you were wondering, the park was named after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in 1898.
- Petit Jean State Park – Petit Jean disguised herself as a boy in order to accompany her lover, an early explorer, to the new world and eventually to Petit Jean Mountain. What better way to spend your spring than celebrating love? Highlights at the park include Cedar Creek Canyon, Seven Hollows, Bear Cave, the Grotto, Turtle Rocks, Carpet Rocks, and a little romance to honor Little Jean and her boyfriend.
- The Ozark Mountains – If unlimited outdoor adventure is calling your name, come to the Ozarks and enjoy a hike, a bike, a boat, or a fish. If unlimited outdoor adventure isn’t quite your thing, come to the Ozarks and enjoy sight-seeing along one of the Ozark’s many scenic drives. The Ozarks are best enjoyed in the spring, before it gets too hot and after the chill of winter subsides.
Great Festivals to Attend
Arkansas knows how to celebrate spring.
- Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival – Various locations in Hot Springs host original music from innovative bands from around the world. Music genres include rock, indie, punk, alt country, and ska. The festival is held annually at the end of March.
- Annual Kite Fest – Eureka Springs provides a beautiful view of the Ozark Mountains and is admission is free.
- April Fools and April Ghouls – The April Fools and April Ghouls is a geocaching event that involves the unveiling of 120 new caches along the Arkansas’s Great River Road in Chicot and Desha Counties. All you need is a GPS device and an adventurous spirit!
- Ozark Mountain Bike Festivals – Mountain bike enthusiasts–beginner, intermediate, and expert–flock to West Fork each April to enjoy guided rides, bike limbo, and bike gear swap.
- Yell Fest – Come to Dardanelle and enjoy a carnival, 5K, crafts, food, entertainment, kids games, and the festivals signature event–the yelling contest. The Yell Fest is held annually in May.
- The International Greek Food Destival – The International Greek Food Festival is the largest ethnic festival in Arkansas. It’s held in Little Rock in May.
Enough with the spring cleaning! Get to Arkansas and have some fun!
When it comes to outdoor activities, gardening is one of the best, offering exercise in the fresh air and sunshine as well as tasty and nutritious produce. However, getting started with this healthy hobby means first deciding which vegetables to grow in your beginner’s garden. You may be tempted to start with your personal favorites, but you’re better off starting with a selection of hardy, easy-to-grow plants. Here’s some suggestions from Caldwell Toyota Scion on how to develop your green thumb.
For beginning gardeners, tomatoes may be the most popular first vegetable to grow. This hardy plant turns up in vegetable gardens all over the country as it works well in many different zones. There are numerous varieties of tomato plants in many sizes and flavors. With full sun and plenty of consistent water, it’s easy to harvest a bumper crop of tomatoes.
Growing peppers is easy as they are hardy plants that resist most garden pests. They also come in many flavors with varieties that are spicy, hot, or sweet. There is something for every taste. Transplanted peppers should only be planted after the last spring frost, but pepper plants in a very warm climate may need additional watering to keep them from overheating.
Zucchini is a summer squash that is very popular with beginning gardeners. It grows best in well-drained, loose soil with frequent watering. Zucchini is very susceptible to the cold, so it is important not to plant it outdoors until well after the last frost of the spring. Once a zucchini plant flowers, the squash may be ready to harvest in as soon as a week.
Grown on a climbing vine, cucumbers are a great vegetable for a beginner’s garden where space is limited. Cucumbers grow quickly and have a high yield with the proper care. They should be planted at least two weeks after the last spring frost because they are easily damaged by the cold. If you really want to save space, set up trellises for the vines to climb.
Leaf lettuce is an easy plant for beginning gardeners because it reaches maturity very quickly. It is a cool-weather plant which is good for early spring or late summer. For quick growth, lettuce should be grown in well-drained soil with a slow-release fertilizer. Even first time gardeners will know when to water lettuce because its leaves will begin to wilt.
Many salad lovers are excited to plant spinach in their first gardens. This nutrient-rich, dark, leafy vegetable grows well in many areas. It tolerates cold, but does not like soil that is too warm. It’s best to plant spinach in the early spring or in late fall if you live in an area with mild winters.
There are many dangerous situations that can arise while driving, and we want you to know how to react to all of them, regardless of their frequency or infrequency. Coming upon a railroad cross can often be a confusing situation, so we would like to prepare you with some safety tips for this encounter.
Obey the signals. If a gate is closing or has already closed, stay clear and don’t try to punch the gas or maneuver around the blockade. If you are already underneath the arm as it begins to lower, cautiously proceed through the crossing.
Always look both ways. It is better to be safe than sorry, and looking each way should be a common practice for you at any intersection. Even if there is no sight or signal of a train, be aware of your surroundings.
Stay clear if a train is coming. Be patient and don’t nudge up to the barrier as a train is passing through. Stay at least 15 feet back from the intersection to avoid potential complications with the barrier or debris.
Be sure it’s just one train. It can be quite efficient for trains to travel one behind another, so be sure that you don’t zoom through the intersection without ensuring that there is just one train passing through.
React quickly in a pickle. If your vehicle stalls or breaks down on or very near the railroad tracks, immediately get everyone out of your vehicle and away from the rails. Call law enforcement and they will assist you with your vehicle and contacting train conductors.
We hope that these tips help you make safe decisions when you encounter railroad tracks in the future. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at Caldwell Toyota-Scion.
We at Caldwell Toyota-Scion know that you are a creative person with great ideas for a game-changing business. However, the business world can be an intimidating sphere, so it’s best if you thoroughly prepare yourself for proposing your idea. Attend the upcoming event, How to Write a Business Plan, to get your ball rolling.
On March 25, from 6 to 9 p.m., you can examine each component necessary in a business plan, and figure out how to put it together in the most convincing fashion. The event will take place at the University of Central Arkansas Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center.
Don’t miss this opportunity to formulate your idea!
Grab your best green shirt or hat and get ready to party because every March 17, St. Patty gives us a great reason to celebrate, Irish or not. This seasonal event encompasses everything from lavish balls and parades to block parties and family parties. So what exactly are you celebrating? Here’s the lowdown from your friends at Caldwell Toyota-Scion.
Historically, the day commemorates Saint Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland who signaled the arrival of Christianity in the country. Today, it’s mostly a secular celebration of Irish drink, food, and culture.
In recent years, just about every tavern, pub, and casual restaurant in the U.S. celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in some way. If you want to throw your own party, you’ll need a few essential elements to pull off a successful event. With a little bit of Irish luck and the following items, your St. Patrick’s Day celebration should be a rousing success:
Green Beer and More
This might be the ultimate no-brainer. St. Patrick’s Day without green beer is like the Fourth of July without fireworks or Valentine’s Day without roses. Serve lots of green lager beer and other beverages such as Guinness, Irish whiskey, Brown Lemonade, and Irish coffee.
Heading the list of offerings should be corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and a variety of recipes that feature potatoes. Other popular items to serve include Irish Stew, Skirts and Kidneys (a sort of pork stew), Boxty (a potato pancake), Coddle (a mixture of pork sausages), back bacon and potatoes, and Drisheen (a black pudding).
A St. Patty’s Day celebration without Irish music will die a slow death. Make sure you play a good selection of Irish tunes, including “Danny Boy”—the one Irish song with which almost everyone can sing along. Among the best Irish groups are The Chieftans, Solas, Altan, Lunasa, and Seamus Egan.
It’s hard to overdo the green decorations for a St. Patrick’s Day Party. Your party guests will expect it, and you can deliver with green and white balloons, green light bulbs, shamrock cut outs, green napkins, and so on. To put everybody in a party mood, make sure you have lots of the green, plastic, Leprechaun-style derby hats on hand.
Every big city has some type of St. Patrick’s Day parade, as do many smaller towns. If you don’t have the time or inclination to throw a party, try visiting a St. Patrick’s Day parade, where you’ll hear Irish music, view a variety of floats, and definitely see a Leprechaun or two.
We are sure that you have heard many ideas about keeping your RPMs to a minimum and your fuel efficiency to a maximum. Appropriately inflated tires, cruise control, and a light vehicle load can all help you keep your wallet as thick as possible. We at Caldwell Toyota-Scion want to keep you ahead of the curve though, so here are our latest ideas for maximum fuel efficiency.
If you are the aggressive type of driver, then understand that your attitude can influence how your foot behaves around the acceleration pedal. Aggressive driving can create higher speeds, sporadic acceleration, and a generally inefficient driving experience. Take it easy, keep a steady pace, and you will notice spending less time at the fuel pump.
Streamline Your Vehicle
Although a lot of the aerodynamics of your vehicle is predetermined by the Chevrolet research and development departments, there are some things that you can do to minimize drag. Always keep windows and moon roofs close on the freeway, and keep your vehicle free of debris.
Put it into High Gear
If you operate a manual transmission, then you likely understand that the higher the gear, the lower the engine works. Don’t redline your engine in first and second, and always try to smoothly and safely transition into the highest gear available as quickly as possible.
Find friends in classes or at work and determine who lives near you. You can swing by on the way to your job or school and ask them to pitch in for gas later on. A carpooling initiative at your work or school might be the perfect idea to get everyone excited and working together. Plus, having a buddy in the car will make your trips shorter!
Plan Your Errands
A warmer engine runs more efficiently than a stale, cold one. If you have a to-do list than involves driving around town, plan out the most efficient route and try to carry it out with as little engine downtime as possible.
We hope these tips help you pinch pennies during each mile that you travel.