Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Texting and Driving… Is It Worth It?

    Texting and driving is not only against the law in many states now-a-days, but can also easily turn a harmless drive into a nightmare. Just think about it, what if you looked away for just a moment, and didn't notice that the car you were driving changed lanes into oncoming traffic. If you are lucky enough to look up in time and see you were not in your lane anymore, you could react quick enough to save yourself and maybe others as well. But far to many people, a near miss was not their fate. Texting and driving is dangerous. Texting and driving does kill, and has many, many times

    Distracted driving has become one of the top automotive safety issues of the decade. To combat drivers' seemingly irresistible compulsion to pick up their phones, car companies have developed interfaces like Ford's MyFord Touch or Chevrolet's MyLink. Currently there is no national ban on texting or using a wireless phone while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or wireless phones or requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving. For more information on state laws, visit

    Punishment for texting while driving offenses varies by jurisdiction. Punishments include fines, which grow with repeat offenses, along with points against the driver's license in states which use point systems. Under some state laws, serious repeat offenders may even face jail time. "Texting Zones" where Motorists in need of a texting break can look for designated pull-off areas to park and safely use their mobile device.

    Does this look safe? How many times have you seen someone, or been part of something like this? Look at the speedometer, it is about at 70 MPH. Do your part, and don't help to promote Texting n Driving. Texting while driving is considered one of the major causes of accidents, not just in the United States, but in several parts of the world. Though laws against the use of cell phones while driving do exist, implementing them is not an easy task - and therefore, the onus is on you as an individual to understand the risks of texting when you are driving, and refrain from doing the same.

  • Car-B-Que - Another Word for Fast Food

    Do you watch movies from the 1950’s and become mesmerized by the iconic American family dinner? In 2013 life has become so busy and convoluted that there isn’t time to make dinner much less sit down to enjoy it.  Fast food is great for the occasional busy evening but if you and your family are dining on it the majority of the week it is unhealthy and expensive.  If you spend a great deal of time on the road your answer may be only a manifold away. Yup, that’s right, a manifold away.  Take your next meal from zero to sixty by having an old fashioned Car-B-Que.
    While many think that Car-B-Que’s are a new fad they’ve actually been around since the first days of automobiles.   This way of making a meal is also no strange concept to truck drivers all over the world who have been utilizing their engines for years to make themselves a hot plate of food.  Not only is this method of cooking cost efficient, it is also convenient for those on the road.

    There are several things that you should keep in mind:
    •    Do not cook food that requires a lot of liquid.  Liquid escaping from the tin foil package can create a mess on your engine and cause smoking or possibly even a fire.
    •    Triple wrap your food in tin foil.  C’mon people – you are cooking on an engine – protect your food from its surroundings!
    •    Find a suitable spot on your engine to cook your food – take your car around the block and then pop the hood – find a spot that gets hot and that the food can nestle into tightly.

    •    Secure your food!  You do not want your food package to have free reign over your engine – fasten it with wire ties or secure your food under a hose so that it limits the movement of the package.
    •    Start your engines!  Drive until your food is cooked – just like cooking in a kitchen this could take a few tries to get the timing right but don’t fear – there are lots of recipes and tips on the internet.
    •    Remember, your engine is hot!  Take necessary precautions when removing food – such as wearing oven mitts and using tongs.  Be careful when opening the foil packets – the steam that will be escaping from the packets will be hot enough to burn you.

    Everyone knows that the internet has become the fastest, most convenient way to learn about anything and everything.  The best way to research cooking on a car engine is to start searching different websites for recipes and tips.  Youtube videos of cooking on a car engine are informative and provide a good foundation to begin your culinary experience.

    Our goal at is to give you all the recipes you will need between now and Thanksgiving to cook yourself the perfect manifold Thanksgiving feast.  The first recipe in our series is……



    4 Granny Smith Apples

    ¼ Cup of Butter

    ½ Cup of Brown Sugar

    2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch

    ¼ Cup of Cold Water

    1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

    Place 3 sheets of tinfoil on top of one another.  Thinly slice apples and place on top of tin foil.  Cut the butter into small cubes and place on top of the apples.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.  Next, bring the first layer of tinfoil up creating a bowl like effect.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and pour over apples.  Continue to fold the tinfoil making sure that it is sealed well.  Repeat with the next two layers of foil.  Next, find a place on the engine, preferably next to the manifold, and secure your apples packets with wire ties.  Drive approximately 40 minutes until done.  Remember, cooking time will depend on many different factors such as how thin you slice your apples to the temperature of your engine.

  • Love My 2013 Ford Escape Titanium

    I am excited to finally be able to sit down and share my experience with you. Let’s just say, it is one impressive drive!  I have been driving the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium for the past two weeks and I am not looking forward to giving it back. I think I might be able to say I might be the owner of one very soon. There is plenty of room for my family, I love the drive and all it has to offer.

    Plenty Of Room

    The size of the Escape is perfect for my family, and has a trunk big enough to fit everything we need. I find myself very comfortable in the driver’s seat as well as the passenger seat.  You can even sit in the back seat and not feel like you are in a sardine can. I also feel a little closer to my kids than I did in my Mini-van. It is much easier to reach back and grab my kids hands if they needed me to or pass a snack back to them.

    The Drive

    The Escapehas an exceptionally smooth drive, and quiet. It has more power than we are use to, It is amazing how fast it gets up to speed helping us merge onto busy highways with ease.  Along with power, the EcoBoost engine brings great gas mileage. As an extra bonus, there is even a feature to show you if your driving is getting you the most out of your fuel. I am proud to say that I am a Ford EcoMode Advanced Driver!

    The Features

    The Escape Titanium has some great features. Some that I already know and love like the Blind Spot Indicator on the side mirrors, the back up camera and the Ford MyTouch. I love how accessible everything is on the steering wheel. Easily being able to set, cancel and resume with a simple push of the paddle for the cruise control was perfect. I love that with a tap on the right side paddle I can bring up the voice commands and simply change the channels on the Sirius Satellite Radio. We also loved how easy it was to plug in a device and play your music through the USB and Ford Sync option.  My favorite feature of all is the Hands-Free Liftgate. It is the best idea ever. I can’t even tell you how many times this came in handy. As long as the keys are on you (In your pocket or purse let’s say), and your right behind the vehicle  all you need to do to open the Liftgate is give a swift little kick under the back bumper.

    All in all I love the 2013 Ford Escape Titanium. It is the perfect size for my family, not too big, and not too small. I love the drive, the fuel economy, and all the great features. I would highly recommend the Escape to any family looking for a great crossover.  I will finish this up by saying it looks awesome with the  running boards that I just had put on MY new Escape!

  • Terror and Tragedy, A Time To Remember

    This morning I looked at the calendar and realized that the United States will have two very important anniversaries coming up soon – neither is a reason to celebrate but rather a reason to remember all that we have lost and all that we have learned.  First, this past Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a time when Americans became one.   We will never forget where we were, what we were doing when we heard the news and became speechless. The  terror attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people, were the deadliest terrorist strike on American soil.   What could have easily destroyed many other countries only solidified the bond that we Americans share.  The next date that stands out in my mind is October 29.  This date is especially hard for those of us who live in the NJ/NY area.  This will be the one year anniversary in which Superstorm Sandy took from so many of us our homes, cars, and dreams.  Sandy ravaged our beaches and caused property damage of epic proportions up and down the eastern seaboard.  As of today there is still significant damage that remains and thousands of people waiting to get the assistance our government has promised them to get their lives moving forward.  These two anniversaries have left an indelible mark on our lives.  Henry David Thoreau is quoted as saying “The tragedy in a man’s life is what dies inside of him while he lives.”  It would have been easy for Americans to want to die on the inside during either one of these heartbreaking situations.  The enormity of what was lost on these dates is quite overwhelming.  But we didn’t die on the inside; we pressed on showing each other and the rest of the world that we would overcome great loss and persevere in the darkest of times.

    During these unimaginable times we had to depend on people outside of our families for assistance.  For example, on September 11 we depended on our President to be strong and to guide our wounded country in the right direction.  In the following days and weeks our country was given the support it needed to pull itself through some of the darkest days this country had ever seen.  The strong faith that most Americans invest in their government paid off – our country did not let us down and out of unspeakable tragedy we grew stronger more unified than ever.

    However, there are times those we rely on, depend on so very much let us down.  In the case of Superstorm Sandy nearly 250,000 people’s vehicles were destroyed or significantly damaged – most of which were submerged for days in corrosive saltwater.  Many filed claims with their insurance companies only to be told that there was no coverage for “an act of God.”  What we saw in the weeks following Sandy was a steady incline of cars being sold in the paper, on the internet, and to used car lots.  It is estimated 100,000 vehicles damaged in Superstorm Sandy were sold and back on the road since the storm.  The problems with purchasing these cars are numerous.  Chances are, if you purchased a used automobile that was submerged in water you will likely have mildew or a mold issue.  Mildew and mold can cause a nasty odor but the real danger is to your health.  Removing mold can be very expensive and time consuming.  Secondly, cars that spent significant time in water are far more likely to have electrical problems.  There have been many cases of where these storm ravaged vehicles are sold only to have serious electrical issues down the road.  These issues can be extremely expensive - sometimes the repairs can cost more than what the vehicle was purchased for.

    The question is, what can people do to protect themselves from purchasing a car that may have been a casualty in Superstorm Sandy?  Here are a few helpful tips from

    • Check under the vehicle's carpets or floor covering for mud or rust, and don't forget the trunk.
    • Give the underside of the carpets a sniff test. Do they smell like mildew?
    • Mud and debris collect in hard-to-clean spaces, such as under the hood and in the trunk.
    • Rust on the heads of any exposed screws under the hood, around the doors or in the trunk indicates exposure to excess moisture.
    • Mud and debris on the underside of panels and brackets is another good sign the car has been under water.

    If you suspect you are looking at a flood-damaged vehicle, the smart move is to just walk away. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. The alternative is to spring for the cost of having a mechanic give it the once over.

    AutoTrader always recommends obtaining the history of every used car being considered. A number of online sites, such as and, provide such reports for a nominal cost. Pay special attention to the vehicle's title history. CARFAX has a link to a dedicated "flood damage" site  that can be effective in rooting out flood-damaged cars. wants you to be a smart and informed consumer.  Please remember to do your due diligence when purchasing a vehicle and remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.”

  • Fall Driving Tips

    Depending on where you live, fall can be one of the most beautiful times of the year, golden brown, orange and red leaves cover the trees and provide a beautiful backdrop for a drive. As beautiful as autumn is, it is not without its hazards. You should be extra cautious while driving as fall presents some unique conditions for driving. Here are some fall driving tips that you should keep in mind before venturing out this fall.

    Beware of the fallen leaves on the road- You should be very careful when you are driving through an area covered with leaves. The fallen leaves on the ground can hide hazards like black ice and potholes, so you should be careful when driving over them.

    The fall season brings a lot of change in the weather conditions- Remember that clouds, rain, and fog can decrease your visibility. In such situations, you should make sure that your headlights are set to low, and you are maintaining a safe travelling distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

    Be aware of light levels outside- During fall, the mornings tends to stay darker longer, and the evenings get darker faster. Also, it is safe to have a set of sunglasses in the car, as the bright sunsets can give off a glare that can blind you temporarily if it catches your eyes.

    Address specific car maintenance issues- Your vehicle may need replacement of parts that are needed to be properly working during the fall.  Make sure that your windshield wipers and headlights are operational.

    Be alert for school zones- School is back in session. When driving by a school, make sure that you are aware of your speed. The vehicle speed should not exceed 25 mph when you are crossing a school zone during the morning, during school recess, and during the time when students are leaving the campus. Schools in session will also mean an increase in traffic in the school area, in the form of buses, parents and teen drivers. You should also be extra cautious when passing school buses as kids will be getting on and off the bus.

    To sum it up:

    • Wet leaves, can be slippery
    • Sun glare, can be temporarily blinding,
    • Fog, can decrease visibility,
    • Frost, can make the road slippery, and
    • Schools back in, watch for children and your speed.

    Autumn can be an outstanding time to take a trip by car to enjoy what the season has to offer and to create some great memories, such as picking pumpkins, attending a football game or simply a drive to enjoy the changing foliage. By following these safety tips and with a little preparation and caution, you'll be able to reduce the risks as you travel to and from your destinations.

  • Using Music In Car Commercials

    Do you ever notice how some car commercial songs can really get stuck in your head? A new trend started where music artists, responding to the rapidly changing music business, use car commercials as a medium to get their new songs into the mainstream. The use of songs in car commercials has a long history and is continually evolving. Some of the car commercials advertisers are very creative, innovative, and full with imagination. A good commercial song can attract buyers to choose or at least think of the car. Potential buyer will imagine themselves driving the car in a comfort mode or attracting other’s attention with the song behind the commercial. There are some songs in commercial that really stand out, like George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” for Buick. When Chevy dropped Bob Seger’s iconic commercial hit “Like A Rock” in 2004, the news made headlines on car news outlets. KIA’s lovable hamsters are working out at the gym to Lady Gaga’s Applause. Honda used Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” to help promote their commercial for the Pilot. Chrysler used Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” for their Chrysler 200 car commercial.

    What's the best strategy to convince a purchaser or to make it known to the public, anyway? Of course it is through the television because all people watch TV. As radio stations and MTV continue to slide toward irrelevance in the ever-evolving music business, it seems more and more likely that advertisers will use car commercial songs in unique and progressive ways.

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