Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Your Family

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving from Gossett KIA South!

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year, so whether you’re flying or driving to your destination, you’re probably going to encounter some mishaps and a whole lot of angry people. Follow these Thanksgiving travel tips to reduce your holiday stress as much as possible.

First of all, it’s important to do whatever you can to stay calm and understand that everyone is in the same position as you. Especially if you’re driving, getting mad at traffic doesn’t help—it just makes you more reckless and puts you in danger.

Get things to keep yourself and any passengers you’re traveling with occupied, especially kids. If you bring electronic devices, charge them beforehand. Boredom is just another source of stress.

If you’re driving, leave fairly early in the morning to beat the afternoon rush, but don’t go too early and make yourself drowsy. The worst Thanksgiving traffic is Wednesday afternoon the day before and Sunday afternoon, when everyone is going back home. If you can avoid driving during these times, do it.

Use apps to find routes with the least traffic and nearby gas stations with low prices. Lastly, take driving brakes, especially if you’re with kids or you’re the only one driving. Switch drivers every couple of hours so you can rest. Drive safely!

What Does a Car’s Torque Mean?

shifterDrivers generally know that horsepower determines how fast a car can go, but it isn’t the only determining factor when it comes to performance. Those who take the time to check out the specifications may find themselves asking “What does a car’s torque mean?” That’s a good question, and it turns out that torque is just as important as horsepower when it comes to power. Here’s a quick explanation of what torque does in a car.

At its very essence, torque is the ability to do work while power determines how quickly a certain point can be reached. Those two values hold true when it comes to modern engines. The math can be pretty complicated once you get into it. Don’t worry! We’ll be skipping the math and jump straight to the answers.

The number listed on a vehicle’s specifications page is how much torque the car’s engine can produce. As you may have guessed, larger engines produce more torque just as they produce more horsepower. The increase in torque is largely determined by how much air flows through the engine to be compressed with fuel to produce power.

Torque is what causes the car to accelerate, which means that the more torque, the faster the car. When checking out a performance car, make sure to look at both the torque and horsepower before making a decision!

Pay Attention to Your Vehicle Warning Indicator System!

dashboard lightsYour vehicle is equipped with a Vehicle Warning Indicator system. This is a technical term for all those little icons that light up in your dash. A few common indicators you should know are:

Check Engine

This could mean a routine maintenance task is needed. It may also mean that a sudden engine issue has arisen. When you see this light, get your vehicle in for an inspection immediately!

Coolant Temp

See a thermometer icon light up? You will probably notice your temperature gauge is rising as well. Your vehicle is overheating, a condition that could permanently damage your engine. Possible issues could be a faulty thermostat or a busted hose. Either way, get it checked out!

Battery

If your battery indicator lights up, there is possibly an issue with the battery, your alternator, or both. Most car parts stores will check the battery for free. Do it soon before you’re left stranded somewhere!

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

This one is simple. At least one tire is low. Hopefully you’ve got a tire gauge in your glove box (if you don’t, get one!). Pull over somewhere safe and check your tires.

Unfortunately, a lot of people ignore their Vehicle Warning Indicators. If you do, you are losing out on a fantastic diagnostic/warning system that is designed for the sole purpose of protecting your vehicle and keeping it in top-notch shape.

Dashboard Warning Lights: What Do They Mean?

dashboard warning lightsWhen a dashboard warning light comes on, this is a signal from your car to let you know that something might be wrong. While this can be frustrating or nerve-wracking for some drivers, it is important to know what to do depending on the specific warning light you see. While some warning lights may be dangerous, others simply let you know when there is a minor problem.

According to AutoZone, many lights are divided into three categories based on color.

  • Green or Blue – a normal system is operating (cruise, high beams, etc.) or off.
  • Yellow – there may be an issue down the road. Service when possible.
  • Orange or Red – take extreme caution, and have your car inspected ASAP.

These are general guidelines for dash warning lights; nevertheless, you should always follow the instructions found in your owner’s manual.

The most common light you may see is the Check Engine or Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL). This is set off when the engine computer sets a Diagnostic Trouble Code—often related to emissions or general engine problems. The most common causes can be a loose gas cap, faulty O2 sensor, a bad catalytic convertor, or engine misfire among other things.

A Coolant Temp Warning light appears when the engine temperature exceeds normal operating ranges. This can be caused by a coolant leak or clog, bad fan, loose radiator cap, faulty water pump, or bad temperature gauge.

The Oil Pressure Warning usually indicates a loss of oil pressure, which is due to leaks or low oil levels. This can lead to serious issues if left unattended.

If you see the Brake System or ABS Warning Light, you may need to pull over. This could indicate that your parking brake is still on, or you may have brake failure. The brake fluid could also be low. Be sure to have your car inspected by a certified tech as soon as possible.

The Battery Charge Alert lets you know that there is an electrical issue. This can be caused by a dead battery, bad alternator, corroded wiring, or a range of other issues. Electricity is needed for basic operations, as well as engine combustion, making this a serious issue.

These are just some of the many warning lights you may see. If you need assistance with vehicle repair or diagnostics, bring your car into Gossett Kia for reliable service and affordable prices.

To Avoid Burns, Don’t Forget to Wear Sunscreen in the Car

2016 Kia Optima in the SunEveryone knows to wear sunscreen during a long day at the beach, but should you wear sunscreen in the car?

If your skin is going to be exposed by the sun’s UV rays for any amount of time, it’s always a good idea to stay protected. And unfortunately, most vehicles do not provide the protection necessary.

While windshields themselves are actually quite good at blocking UV rays–impeding about 100% of UVB rays and 98% of UVA rays–side and rearview windows cannot say the same, with some only blocking less than half of UV rays.

This means that, wherever you are sitting in a car, you are constantly exposed to a solid amount of UV rays, likely from the side. If you’re the driver during a long road trip, this can be particularly treacherous.

To solve the issue, simply apply a liberal amount of sunscreen to your exposed skin, and consider keeping a spare bottle in the car, just in case!

How to Deal with Road Rage

drivingWe’ve all experienced those brief moments of anger at somebody else’s bad driving, or experienced anger targeted at us. But it’s important to keep our road rage in check to avoid unnecessary accidents.

How to Deal with Your Own Road Rage:

  • If you get angry at someone else’s driving, deal with road rage by first recognizing that you’re getting angry. Take some deep breaths to try to calm down; if that doesn’t work, pull over. It might be best to distance yourself from that driver.
  • Don’t tailgate, even if you think the other driver “deserves” it. You might end up hitting them and would be at fault.
  • Listen to music, because it’s pretty hard to be angry when you’re belting out your favorite song.

How to Deal With Someone Else’s Road Rage:

  • If someone is trying to get your attention, avoid eye contact with them. Acknowledging them says to them that you want to “participate” in a fight.
  • Drive defensively because some people with bad road rage could try to hurt you or your car.
  • Note the car’s plate number because if they act very aggressively, you’ll want to report them later.
  • No matter what, try to get away from them, even if it means arriving to your destination late.

Debunking Traffic Ticket Myths

police officerDebunking the many traffic ticket myths you have heard over the years could very well mean the difference between getting a $250 fine and being let off with a mere warning.

  • Never ask to see the radar! There is a certain myth that says you have a right to see the radar gun when pulled over for speeding. Not only is this completely untrue, asking to see it may even aggravate the officer.
  • You must pay a ticket issued in another state! States have agreements to share traffic information. Your home state will inevitably find out about your transgression and the next you’re stopped, it may not be very pretty.
  • Red cars don’t get pulled over more! If you think you can speed freely because you drive a black, blue, yellow or otherwise non-red car, you are dead wrong. com talked to the vice president of the Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Trade Association and she said it’s a bunch of baloney.

Let’s face it. Debunking these myths can go a long in way in helping you avoid a ticket, but the best way to do that is to obey the traffic laws!

Before You Get Stuck, Check Out These Tips for Driving in the Snow!

snowy roadWhen the snowy weather starts to pick up, it’s easy to assume you can avoid driving when there’s precipitation on the road. But what if you leave when the roads are clear, and quickly find yourself in the midst of a downfall?

Here are some tips for driving in the snow to help you out:

  • Slow down immediately. Some of the most dangerous, icy conditions occur right as the snowfall begins–especially if black ice begins to form on the road.
  • In general, drive slower than the speed limit, which is not determined with snow in mind.
  • Keep an additional distance between your car and all of the cars around you. If someone needs to stop, the snow will prevent them from doing so quickly.
  • Don’t make any sharp twists or turns, which could cause your car to skid on or off the road.
  • If you do find yourself sliding, steer in the direction of the skid in the hope that your tires will sync back up and give you control.

For more winter weather advice or to check out our winter-ready vehicles, visit us anytime at Gossett Kia Mt. Moriah.

Read These Windshield Wiper Maintenance Tips Before Winter Begins

windshield wipersOne of the best ways you can prepare yourself for the snow and slush of the winter roads this year is by making sure your windshield wipers are in top condition, giving you the most visibility possible.

Check out these windshield wiper maintenance tips to get you started:

  • Clean your windshield wipers regularly, perhaps even every time you fill your car with gasoline, to prevent debris build-up.
  • Protect your windshield wipers from ultraviolet radiation throughout the year by not parking in the sun.
  • Inspect your windshield wipers for cracks and tears–and address them quickly.
  • If you notice your windshield wipers aren’t working as well as they should, fix them or replace them as soon as possible.
  • When cleaning your windshield wipers, use gentle products and be sure to dry them thoroughly.
  • Lastly, keep track of how often you change your windshield wipers, and don’t push the life of one pair longer than necessary.

And of course, stay safe on the roads this year by driving a vehicle well-equipped for the winter weather. To learn more, visit us at Gossett Kia Mt. Moriah.

New Kia Niro Spy Shots Show Off Totally New Structure

Kia NiroLooking forward to the 2016 Kia Niro? Good news–new spy shots have been captured of the upcoming model in testing, showcasing the whole model in different angles on the road, through some clunky camouflage.

Kia debuted the concept of the Niro all the way back in 2013, and now, two years later, we can see that the production version will actually be much different. The new vehicle looks much more akin to the Volkswagen Golf, and appears to have a tiger nose grille.

As for what powers the Kia Niro, we still do not know, though Kia has vaguely promised “specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies,” which will hopefully mean a few options of powertrains.

You can check out the 2016 Kia Niro spy shots here, thanks to autoevolution. And while we wait for more official images of the new Kia Niro, visit us at Gossett Kia Mt. Moriah to check out the current models we have in store.