How to Avoid Danger at a Railroad Crossing

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.

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Learn How to Write Your Business Plan

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!

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Essentials for a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

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.

Irish Food

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).

Irish Music

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.

Decorations

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.

Parade

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.

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More Tips for Keeping Your Fuel Tank Full

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.

Drive Defensively

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.

Carpool

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.

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The 10 Best Songs for Valentine’s Day

Play these songs recommended by Caldwell Toyota-Scion, and your date will be off to a great start.

  1. “All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You” by Heart. Let’s not beat around the bush. This might be a little too brazen for a first date. If your spouse thinks it’s a joke and bursts out laughing, you may want to work on the romance the other 364 days of the year.
  2. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams. A Valentine’s Day without Bryan Adams? For shame! If you can’t afford to take your special someone to a nice restaurant, or if you already spent most of your money on champagne, take her to Taco Bell and serenade her with Bryan Adams while standing on one of those plastic swivel chairs. It’ll be a Valentine’s Day you’ll never forget.
  3. “Canon in D” by Pachelbel. Who needs words? This romantic classic will provide the necessary aura for what often happens on Valentine’s Day.
  4. “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. If, in fact, you love her just the way she is or just the way he is, don’t change to another song. If you’re kind of tired of that special someone and are thinking about a divorce if things don’t change, stick with Bryan Adams.
  5. “Saving All My Love For You” by Whitney Houston. The ambiguity of the title gives you an escape if, in fact, your date doesn’t care for all that love you’ve been saving.
  6. “All out of Love” by Air Supply. In Australia, it’s illegal not to play Air Supply on Valentine’s Day. Don’t be confused by the title. What Air Supply is saying is that they’re all out of love and lost without you. They’re not all out of love because you’ve drained every last ounce of decency and kindness from their collective body.
  7. “Dangerously In Love” by Destiny’s Child. The song’s title implies recklessness, and some like a little recklessness on Valentine’s Day.
  8. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Make sure your Valentine’s Day lover understands that it is he or she you can’t help falling in love with; otherwise, you may have a lot of explaining to do.
  9. “Love For All Seasons” by Christina Aguilera. Your lover may suspect you’re being nice because it’s Valentine’s Day, or that you have some romantic ulterior motives. Emphasize your sincerity by letting that special someone know your love is for all seasons.
  10. “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis. There would be no Valentine’s Day without the power of love. Celebrate it.

You’ll probably want to listen to these songs in advance before your date arrives…just in case.

 

 

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10 Automotive Facebook Pages to Follow

Remember back in the day when the only way to get information on automobiles was to buy magazines with girls in bikinis washing motorcycles on the cover? With the advent of the Internet, the two subjects were separated. With the advent of social media, the automotive information comes to you. Here are 10 automotive Facebook pages that we at Caldwell Toyota-Scion recommend you check out.

  1. Autoblog.com. Interested in Andre Agassi’s customized, Hemi-powered Jeep Wrangler? If you followed Autoblog.com’s Facebook page, you’d have known it was on eBay. Not just any auto blog, Autoblog.com “obsessively” follows the automotive industry, featuring car reviews, auto shows, eBay’s find of the day, and more.
  2. WorldCarFans. WorldCarFans.com is an online magazine that features “daily editorial coverage of emerging products and industry news, spy photos, motor shows, high resolution photos, videos, and more.” Follow their Facebook page to see photos of cars you’ll probably never drive. It doesn’t hurt to dream.
  3. Car and Driver Magazine. Even those with little interest in cars other than it getting them to and from work five mornings a week know that a car that lands on the Car and Driver top automobile lists is a car worth owning. That’s just one reason the Car and Driver Facebook page is a page worth following.
  4. Motor Trend Magazine. Auto manufacturers covet the Motor Trend Car of the Year award, which is why those who want the latest automotive news covet Motor Trend’s Facebook page. Unlike winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year award, however, anyone can gain access to Motor Trend’s Facebook page.
  5. Conceptcarz.com. Conceptcarz specializes in following vehicles from concept to production. Its in-depth look at automobiles features high-interest automobiles such as the Popemobile, a 1955 Scuderia Lancia, and a 1971 Porsche Spyder as well as automobiles coming out in the next few months.
  6. Edmunds.comEdmunds claims you can “enhance your research and shopping experience by connecting with Facebook to get advice from your friends and local car experts.” In addition to researching your next car, Edmunds invites you to review your current or past vehicles.
  7. Motor Authority. Whether you own a high-performance or luxury car or just like to dream, Motor Authority is the authority to consult. Unlike similar blogs, Motor Authority focuses on the products as opposed to industry news. And unlike most Facebook friends who make things up to impress you, the cars on Motor Authority actually exist.
  8. Jalopnik. With thousands of websites and magazines on cars, it’s difficult to carve out a niche. That’s why Jalopnik has been so successful. Jalopnik is “obsessed with the cult of cars” and their Facebook page allows others with like obsession to share their opinion on topics like the coolest cars of all time that never happened, a rapper destroying his Lamborghini, and the best and worst cars you’ve driven.
  9. Autoweek. Autoweek has been online since 1995. It’s obvious their vision includes the use of newer technology to share car news, photos, reviews, and more.
  10. Road and Track. Road and Track provides car news, photos, reviews, and a car lovers community. Get behind-the-scenes peeks at luxury and cutting-edge automobiles years before they’re unveiled. Follow their Facebook page to find this information first.
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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Car

New Year is a time when we vow to make a fresh start. And often that includes taking better care of ourselves. But how about taking better care of your car? Here are five resolutions that we at Caldwell Toyota-Scion thought you might like to consider:

1. Wash it once a week

Keeping the paint in good condition is not just a matter of pride; it actually protects the value of your investment! Road grime, tree sap, and deposits from feathered friends contain contaminants that eat into paint, dulling a bright finish and helping corrosion get started. Not everyone has the time or a place to hand-wash their car, so go to a car wash and pay for the better service that includes the underside. Even if you don’t live in the snow belt, keeping this clean helps prevent rust.

2. Clean the inside

Do friends and family wrinkle their noses at the left-over fast food boxes in your car or truck? Do they wipe their hands on their pants after closing the door? You probably keep your lounge clean and tidy, so why not your car too? Make it a rule for the first Saturday of each month to vacuum the interior and get rid of the junk. Buy a tub of automotive interior wipes and go over all the surfaces – you’ll be surprised at how fast they gather dust – and clean the window glass. You’ll see out better, the windows will mist up less, people will want to ride in your car, and by keeping excess weight off, you’ll even save a little gas!

3. Get the oil changed

The engine is your car’s heart, but it asks for very little. Just treat it to a regular oil change and it will reward you with years of loyal service.

How regular is regular? That depends on your vehicle and the type of driving you do. Some light an indicator when the oil needs changing – resolve not to ignore it! For others, ask the dealership what they recommend – it could be 3,000, 5,000, or even 7,500 miles – then mark on your calendar, organizer, or planner when you need to get fresh oil.

4. Check the lights and tire pressures

Resolve to do this every week. You don’t want to drive around without lights, and you certainly don’t want under-inflated tires.

Check brake lights by backing up to a garage door or wall and tapping the pedal while looking in the mirror. If you don’t see the red glow from each light ask a friend to watch while you work the pedal. If there’s a problem get it fixed promptly!

Tire pressures should be checked when the tires are cold. The best way is to buy a gauge and do a check before you get in and start driving. Perhaps you could do it before heading off to the car wash on Saturday morning! And don’t forget the spare if you have one.

5. Stay current with servicing

Modern vehicles are extremely reliable, but there are things that need inspecting and replacing at regular intervals. Staying on top of servicing helps ensure your vehicle will provide reliable service for years to come. Ask your local service department what is recommended, and heed their advice.

The New Year is a time for fresh starts. Spend more time looking after your car, and it will be cleaner, more reliable, and even safer. That has to be a resolution worth sticking to!

 

 

 

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Best Mobile Apps for Road Trips

When you’re on a road trip, it pays to be prepared, which means that you need to take along a host of different items. Of course, chances are these days that most of the car’s occupants will be traveling with their smartphone, which means you’ll have access to a myriad of different apps to make your life easier. If you want some ideas about the best apps to download for your trip, here are five ideas from Caldwell Toyota-Scion to get you started.

Urbanspoon – FREE

When you’re traveling in unknown territory, you may find it harder than you would imagine to find somewhere decent to eat. What’s more, you may have a specific craving. The good news is that Urbanspoon is there to get you out of a predicament. Urbanspoon uses the built-in GPS in your iPhone to find a restaurant nearby. You can search by cuisine, price, or location, and you can make a final decision based on a host of ratings and reviews from professionals and other app users.

Road Trip Fun – $0.99

If you’re traveling with children, you know all too well that it can be a struggle to keep them entertained on long distances. Even tried and tested games may become boring after several hours. Road Trip Fun provides a helping hand with a catalog of different singing and word games that you can entertain the kids with. Road Trip Fun just tells you what to do, so you don’t need anything else other than a car full of bored kids.

Road Trip Lite – FREE

Although road trips can be a huge amount of fun, sometimes you have to consider more serious matters. Conscientious drivers may be interested in Road Trip Lite, which allows you to track your car’s mileage and fuel economy, and to keep track of any maintenance expenses. That might seem dull, but if you’re planning on sharing the cost of the trip with other people, it could be a simple and accurate way to prevent any subsequent disagreement.

Flashlight – FREE

Sensible drivers will have packed their emergency travel kit, which will include items that come in handy if you break down or have an accident. Unfortunately, many drivers forget to pack a flashlight, or find to their horror that the battery has gone flat. That’s where Flashlight comes in. Flashlight allows you to turn your iPhone into a temporary flashlight, illuminating the road, the car, and anything else you need to see. Watch the battery life, though, as this one will drain it rapidly.

The Weather Channel – FREE

If you’re traveling long distances, it’s important to stay away from bad weather and avoid running into trouble. The free Weather Channel app should help you do that, with the most accurate and relevant weather information you could need. There are a host of different features, including push alerts and photo enhancement options. It should be an essential part of your road trip.

 

 

 

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Antique Alley Arkansas Antique Show Quickly Approaching

Now is your opportunity to get out in the community and see what culture is all about. The Antique Alley Arkansas event is a show taking place at the Conway Expo Center that is designed to showcase artifacts of various backgrounds that represent life in Arkansas over the years.

On Saturday, January 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, January 13, from noon to 5 p.m., you can see exhibitions from 9 states that will feature architectural salvage, industrial items, advertising, old toys, linens, paper items, and more.

Admission is $3 for adults for both days and $1 for children 12 and under. For more information, call Ashley at 501-230-5278 or visit us at Caldwell Toyota-Scion for a quick rundown on the event.

 

 

 

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5 Safety Features for Safe Driving in Bad Weather

All drivers are likely to suffer the consequences of bad weather. Whether this takes the form of torrential rain, snow and ice, fog, night driving, or other adverse weather conditions, these events will have an impact upon driving conditions. Consequently, when selecting a car for purchase, it is important to consider whether it adequate safety features for driving in bad weather. The Caldwell Toyota-Scion has compiled a list of our five most important features for you to consider.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

The majority of cars now come with ABS as standard. The main benefit of these systems is that they provide improved driver control over the vehicle, which is especially important during inclement weather conditions. ABS prevents wheels from locking and eliminates the risk of skidding. This allows the driver to bring the vehicle to a halt in a safe manner or to steer around an obstacle without losing control of the vehicle. However, as the National Safety Council advises, if your car is fitted with ABS, it is important not to pump the brakes, as this may turn the system off. Equally, ABS should not be considered as an excuse to drive faster in bad weather conditions, as it does not reduce stopping distances.

Traction control

The main purpose of traction control is to equalize the rate of spin between the four wheels. If one wheel is detected as spinning faster than the others, the traction control system will apply the brake to this wheel to slow it down. In bad weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and ice, it reduces the risk of aquaplaning, thereby improving driver control of the vehicle and lessening the potential for accidents.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

ESC is an important computer system which controls and compensates for over or under steering, which is especially likely to occur and cause the vehicle to slide in bad weather conditions, thus potentially causing an accident. If such an event occurs, the ECS system, through sensors located on each of the four wheels, will briefly apply the brake to the appropriate wheel and, depending upon the format of the system, may also reduce engine power to assist the driver to maintain control of the vehicle.

Automatic lighting, windscreen washer detectors

Bad weather conditions have adverse effects upon driver visibility. To compensate for this, a number of automobile manufacturers are now including light and rain/snow sensor systems within their models. Lighting sensors will automatically turn on headlights in necessary conditions, such as storm clouds or nightfall, or when driving during snow or rain reduces visibility for road users and pedestrians. Similarly, sensors will automatically set windshield wipers in motion if bad weather is likely to affect driver vision.

Airbags

It is a legal requirement for all vehicles to fit driver and front seat passenger airbags as standard, as research has proven these reduce the likelihood of physical harm or even fatalities in the event of an accident (a risk which research has shown to increase during bad weather conditions). However, automobile manufacturers are also beginning to provide more head and side airbags designed to reduce physical damage caused by side impact.

Be safe, whatever the weather

Vehicles fitted with the above bad weather safety features will have improved protection for drivers, passengers, and other road users. However, it should be remembered that these should be considered as additional protective features to safe driving, not a replacement for it.

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