2019 St. Patrick’s Day Events and Parades Chattanooga TN
St. Patrick’s Day in Chattanooga brings fun year after year. With plenty of events around the city this year, there’s no shortage of green this holiday. Continue reading this guide to see what 2019 St. Patrick’s Day events and parades Chattanooga, TN has to offer this year.
When and Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Families Chattanooga TN 2018
Ring in the new year with the whole family in Chattanooga this holiday season. Join in on all of the fun Chattanooga has to offer by checking out some of these local events. Continue reading to find out when and where to celebrate New Year’s Eve with families in Chattanooga, TN this year with this guide from Auto Simple.
Five Tips for Transporting Your Holiday Food Dishes
Do you have a big potluck coming up this week at work? Family holiday party? Getting your holiday dishes from the kitchen to the party by yourself can be a feat. Depending on what dish you’re planning on making can affect your entire trip – you may need a cooler, a way to keep your dish warm, something to hold the dishes in place, etc. This guide from Auto Simple is here to give you five tips for transporting your holiday food dishes this holiday season.
Are you looking for a place to visit with Santa somewhere other than a shopping mall this holiday season? Look no further than these holiday events to find Santa in Chattanooga, TN this December. This guide from Auto Simple will help you find all of the holiday-themed events around Chattanooga featuring visits from Mr. Claus himself.
With the holidays coming up it is time to start thinking of gifts for friends and family. Enhance your friend’s drives with the perfect road trip sidekick with a gift from this guide to holiday gift ideas for drivers on the go from Auto Simple.
You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of everything on your car especially with the winter season only a few months away. It can be an especially hard time on cars and if everything on your vehicle isn’t up to it that can make things rough. Slick roads and lots of salt can slowly add up to do a lot of harm to your car, so it’s important to have everything ready before that first flake hits.
While jumper cables, vehicle manuals and spare tires are great must-have materials to bring with you on the road, it’s just as important to prepare for the changing seasons as well. With the summer heat in full-swing, it’s important to know which useful summer supplies to keep in your vehicle. We’ve compiled a list of items you may find yourself needing on a long summer trip. Read the rest of this entry >>
In honor of Presidents’ Day and the vehicles that served them, we’re going over some famous personal cars that U.S. presidents have driven. Many of these vehicles continue to be as historically relevant as the presidents themselves.
If we held elections based on the kinds of cars our candidates drove, we’d probably have a much different history. Love them or hate them, a U.S. president has personally driven all of the unique cars on this list.
Although George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and every U.S. president up to Taft didn’t own a car, after the discovery and proliferation of the motor car, every single president after that not only owned one that reflected their personality, they also had their own White House vehicle.
What Car Does the President Drive?
Actually, the President isn’t allowed to drive except when on a private closed track that the Secret Service has deemed safe and secure. It’s simply too risky.
The U.S. presidential state car, sometime nicknamed “The Beast,” “Cadillac One,” or “First Car,” is a bulletproof car equipped with many offensive, defensive, and life-saving features. FDR was the first president to have a bulletproof vehicle, and we certainly can’t imagine any modern president not doing so. The President also uses Ground Force One, a collection of black armored buses, as well as fortified yachts and aircraft for transportation.
From 1939 to 1972, the official President’s car was a Lincoln, then a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham used by Ronald Reagan, followed by a line of Cadillacs that continue to this day.
Click here for a list of official state vehicles of the President of the United States.
The first administration to embrace cars for the White House, Congress purchased multiple automobiles for the new fleet and replaced the horse stable for a car garage. One of the more interesting cars in the fleet was an all-electric Baker Electric car. The other cars were a White Steamer and two Pierce-Arrows.
Woodrow Wilson didn’t own a automobile before taking office, but once in the White House, he fell in love with the Pierce-Arrow limousine he used as President. After leaving Washington, his friends bought him his very own Pierce-Arrow.
By choosing one of the most stylish and well-known cars in American history, Hoover’s Cadillac V-16 gave this president an added cool factor. Designed by Harley Earl, the same guy who came up with the Corvette, this classic Cadillac turns heads in in any era.
FDR is a beloved American president with one of the most beautiful cars on the list. The Packard 12 may have been his taste, but it wasn’t the most practical vehicle for safety. History has it that in order to protect the president, FDR had to stop using the Packard 12 in favor of an armored vehicle. While this special bulletproof car was being built, the president actually took Al Capone’s shot-resistant Cadillac for a few spins.
There are several Fords on the list, making the iconic brand a presidential favorite. Truman’s Ford Super Deluxe Tudor Sedan has historical significance beyond just belonging to an American president. The car Truman owned was literally the very first car to roll off the Ford assembly line post-WWII. This signaled a new time in American industry and a symbolic rejuvenation for a war-tired nation.
Eisenhower was a car guy, not as much as LBJ, but definitely a fan of now-vintage vehicles. His favorite was the ‘56 Chrysler Imperial, a stunningly slick convertible with high-tech appeal. This car boasted the first all-transistor radio, meaning that Eisenhower enjoyed great tunes as well as a great ride.
JFK was very proud of his 1961 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Packing a V8 engine and rocking the redesigned “Bullet Bird” look, the T-bird was the luxury vehicle of its day. The car received a huge boost in sales after 50 of the ’61 Thunderbirds were driven in John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade. Maybe JFK’s T-bird love helped influence his decision to name Ford executive Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense; it certainly didn’t hurt.
Lyndon B. Johnson – Amphicar, Lincoln Continental Convertible
Lyndon B. Johnson may be the only U.S. President who can be considered a true automotive enthusiast. He enjoyed driving visitors around his Stonewall, Texas ranch in his prized Lincoln Continental Convertible. The ranch, now the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, displays many of his personal cars, including his famous blue Amphicar—“ the only civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass produced” (National Park Service).
LBJ would enjoy playing practical jokes on his unsuspecting passengers in the Amphicar, pretending the brakes were shot and heading straight for the water. According to Joseph A. Califano Jr., one of the President’s aides:
The President, with Vicky McCammon in the seat alongside him and me in the back,was now driving around in a small blue car with the top down. We reached a steep incline at the edge of the lake and the car started rolling rapidly toward the water. The President shouted, “The brakes don’t work! The brakes won’t hold! We’re going in! We’re going under!” The car splashed into the water. I started to get out. Just then the car leveled and I realized we were in a Amphicar. The President laughed. As we putted along the lake then (and throughout the evening), he teased me. “Vicky, did you see what Joe did? He didn’t give a damn about his President. He just wanted to save his own skin and get out of the car.” Then he’d roar. (Source: National Park Service)
In addition to surprising folks with his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, he also found pleasure in ringing the fire bell in his 1915 Fire Truck and making children laugh with his little green wagon hitched up by two donkeys. If this list were a contest, Lyndon B. Johnson would win hands down.
People question whether or not Nixon actually liked the 1950 Oldsmobile 98 or was just using it as a political stunt (a way to connect with common folk), as the Oldsmobile was then a staple on the American highway.
Reagan’s “old friend”, a red U.S. Army Willys CJ-6, was a patriotic Christmas gift from Nancy Reagan in 1963. If you want to see this car today, it’s actually still around. In fact, it’s still at home on the same California ranch once owned by Reagan. Images of him in his red Jeep are some of the most memorable images of his presidency. Later, Nancy Reagan surprised him with another Jeep, this time a light-blue ’83 CJ-8 Scrambler.
Reagan also owns a red Subaru BRAT in order to get around his huge ranch property. Although sold several times, it has ultimately been restored to a beautiful condition and kept on Reagan’s ranch, where it belongs.
You can visit all three vehicles at the ranch except when they might be on display elsewhere. It would be a privilege to see Reagan’s retreat where he would use these vehicles to clear brush and work the land. Jeeps still represent this freedom.
Clinton has always been considered suave, and his taste in classic cars only boosts this image. Clinton didn’t just drive a Mustang convertible; he drove a vintage one. At one point the car even had an Arkansas license plate that said BILL CLINTON. This car was beloved by Bill, and he publicly mentioned how much he missed driving it once he moved to the White House.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is a fitting vehicle for this environmentally conscious president. People mention his many “dad-jokes” over the years, and this is definitely a family-man car. Similar to Nixon’s pick, this Hybrid could have been part of a political message about going green. We all know the Obamas weren’t able to drive themselves around for 8 years, so now that they’re living as civilians, we’ll let you know if the Ford Escape Hybrid makes an appearance.
Although we may not yet know which of these cars is his go-to, our newest president does have a small and luxurious collection, including a ‘50’s Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (known today as a quintessential vintage wedding car) and a blue ’97 Lamborghini Diablo (custom made for Trump). Others include:
2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Rolls Royce Phantom
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT
2011 Chevrolet Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car
The wheels of the White House give us a glimpse into the sensibility and style of America’s most powerful men. From classic to convenient, every car tells a story. Just like the men who drove them, these cars will go down in history.
Inspired to pick up a Ford like many of our famous Presidents? What about a Chrysler? Auto Simple is here to help you find your ideal car, and with our stellar customer service, you’ll be given the presidential treatment.
It’s the beginning of the new year — a time for fresh starts and new projects. People are planning their New Year’s Resolutions from spending more time with family to joining the local gym. We all have ways in which we want to improve our lives in the upcoming year. As we look to better our lives and those around us, there is one thing that we often take for granted and may not be thinking about — our vehicle.
Our cars are a part of our family; trusty and true for years on end as we drive to school, work, vacation, soccer fields, and countless trips to shopping centers and grocery stores. Unfortunately, they need a lot of maintenance to run smoothly. If your car made it through a tumultuous 2016, here are some important annual car maintenance tasks to think about for 2017.
6 Car Resolutions for the New Year
As you sit down to come up with your own personal resolutions, we offer 6 New Year’s Resolutions for your vehicle below. We want your life’s path to be smooth in 2017. A car owner with a smooth ride will provide just that.
1. Check and Change Your Oil
Part of maintaining a healthy vehicle is making sure it is properly lubricated. Get routine oil changes (or change your oil yourself) and check oil levels frequently (every month). Changing oil regularly is vital; otherwise you’re risking permanent damage to your vehicle.
Make 2017 the year you make the habit of checking your oil level frequently. While some people may recommend checking your oil every time you refill the gas tank, once a month will do the trick. Set a reminder on your phone so you never forget this important car maintenance task.
If you’re not sure what it means to “regularly maintain” your vehicle’s oil level, check your owner’s manual. Typically, you should change your oil levels every 5,000 miles or so, but you want to check the level much more frequently. If you don’t remember the last time you had your oil changed, it’s time to learn how to change your oil and filter.You can also bring the car in to a mechanic and they will do it for around $50-$100.
Checking your oil level, however, is much easier and only takes a few minutes.
Materials: paper towel or rag and sufficient light
After the engine has turned off, wait at least 5 minutes.
Make sure you are on a level surface.
Look for your car’s oil dipstick undernearth the hood of the car. It usually says oil or displays an oil can icon.
Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
Put the dipstick all the way back in.
Pull the dipstick back out and inspect it without turning it upside down. You should have two markers (lines or holes) near the bottom of the dipstick. If the oily part ends below the bottom marker, you need more oil. Never add more than a quart of oil at a time before rechecking the oil level. Too much motor oil is bad for the vehicle. If the oil level is between the two markers, you are good to go.
Congratulations, you learned a new life skill. Easy, wasn’t it?
2. Learn How to Change a Tire
Every car owner should make the resolution to learn how to change his or her own vehicle’s tire. Sure, calling roadside assistance is great, but what if you don’t have AAA, cell service, or your membership expired? There might always come a time when you need to know this important skill.
Ask family members to join you for the lesson, especially if you have a new driver in the family. Together you will all enter 2017 with a new skill and a safer ride.
Materials: lug wrench, spare tire, and car jack.
Make sure your car is in a safe area, on a flat surface.
Remove the hubcap and get the spare tire out.
Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench (just a little bit). Use the star pattern as indicated in the illustrated guide below.
Reference your owner’s manual for the correct location to place the jack.
Raise the jack and make sure it has securely contacted the car’s frame.
Crank up the jack until the wheel is high enough to remove the tire.
Use the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts (you may be able to do this by hand). Make sure the lug nuts are in a secure place.
Remove the flat tire and place it flat on the ground.
Line up the spare tire with the wheel studs and put the lug nuts back into place with your hand. When you can’t turn the nuts or bolts any further, lower the jack until the wheel is on the ground.
Finish tightening the lug nuts with your wrench using the star pattern below.
Remember, a spare tire is only a temporary fix and should never be driven at high speeds. Get your tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible!
Use this illustrated guide from the Art of Manliness and the following video from AAA for a visual demonstration:
It is very obvious when you have a flat tire. But it could be less obvious when your tires are low, worn, or ready to be replaced. When your tire is underinflated, your gas mileage goes down and your risk for a flat goes up. When the tire is overinflated, you run the risk of a dangerous blow-out. It’s time to use your tire gauge and find out how much air you need to put back in.
Stick-type tire gauges are the most unreliable so we recommend spending a little bit more for a digital or dial-type gauge. You can get these at your local auto-parts store or online. Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper tire pressure. This is usually between 30 and 35 PSI.
Gas stations as well as local tire stores will usually fill up your tires for free. All you to do is take the time to notice.
Here are some signs that your tires need to be replaced:
If the tread depth is lower than 1/16 inch (1.6 millimeters), they are considered to be “legally” worn out.
Use a tread depth indicator purchased from your auto-parts store or online.
Use the penny test. Take a penny and insert the top part of Lincoln’s head (head down) into one of the tire treads. If you can see his entire head, it’s time to replace your tire immediately. If only a small part of his head is cut off, consider a replacement soon. If his entire forehead is covered, you’re good to go. Use the penny test on a few areas of each tire to get a more accurate reading.
If there is uneven wear on your tires, it may be time for a tire rotation, wheel alignment, or both. This is when you should probably have your car serviced by a professional.
In addition to making sure your tires are safe and inflated properly, you want to remember to rotate your tires every 5,000-10,000 miles or so (check your owner’s manual for a more accurate rotation schedule). Since your tires wear unevenly, rotating your tires can help ensure a longer lifespan for each tire. Regular tire rotations also provide a smoother and safer ride. While it is possible to rotate your tires yourself, it may be easier to ask your mechanic to do it for you.
4. Drive Safely
Do NOT text while driving! This is extremely careless. If you must use your phone on the road, use a hands-free device and don’t take any calls during hazardous driving conditions. Don’t write down notes or look up things on your phone while driving. If you must place a call, do so at a red light, stop sign, or parking space.
Deaths from car accidents are often the most preventable – remember how important it is to all parties on the road to stay vigilant and focused. Everyone wants to get home safely. Vow to drive safer this New Year.
Are you the person who sees someone stranded on the side of the road and drives by hoping that a more capable person with the correct tools can come to the rescue? Even though jumpstarting a dead battery is very easy to do, too many people rely on AAA or a generous driver to come to the rescue.
Everybody should know how to jumpstart a dead battery. Not only can you save your own hide, but you can also come to the rescue for someone else.
To prevent being stranded on the side of the road or looking a fool when someone asks for your help, a good car resolution is to learn how to jumpstart a car.
Be extra careful and make sure the jumper cables are connected to the right areas! There is a risk of electrocution. Red = positive. Black = negative.
Use this illustrated guide and video from the Art of Manliness for a visual demonstration:
6. Check Fluids & Follow Maintenance Schedule
Professional maintenance is necessary to keep your car running properly all year. This includes fluid checks and changes, tire rotations, and general inspections.
Check your owner’s manual for a recommended maintenance schedule. If you lost yours, Google it.
By regularly checking your car’s fluid levels and replacing them as necessary, you can ward off most car repairs.
Motor Oil: check monthly.
Transmission Fluid: check monthly.
Coolant (Antifreeze): check twice a year.
Brake Fluid: check every time you change your oil.
Power Steering Fluid: check monthly.
Windshield Wiper Fluid: check monthly.
Set calendar reminders on your phone and make notes of levels. Replacement schedules vary by car, so double check your owner’s manual rather than relying on what your mechanic has to say.
As an added resolution to the New Year, once you’ve mastered the mechanical and essential, attempting to keep your car clean is the cherry on top. Don’t use your car as a trashcan and keep your car clean from salt, grease, grime, acid rain, sap, dead bugs, and other things that can eat away at your paint and damage your vehicle. This will help you a lot if you ever decide to sell your car.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a used car, come on over to Auto Simple!
Happy New Year!
Auto Simple wants you to find a car you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all of which come with a 6 month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty.
With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to walk away with your dream car.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:
Winter wonderlands aren’t exactly the safest environments to rev up the engine. However, just because the roads are blanketed with white fluff or solid ice, that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to drive places! Depending on your region, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure safe and sound travel through the snow.
Of all the winter driving hazards, the biggest one to look out for is the all-too-terrifying prospect of skidding. In order to take charge of inclement weather, you’ll need to know how to plan for and recover from anything that might fall from above or slip from below.
Read our guide of the 5 most common types of skids, how to recover from each one like a champ, and return safely to your home in time for hot chocolate.
Skid Recovery Plan
Not all skids are created equal. Because a “fishtail” is different from a “wheelspin,” knowing when to apply the brakes, or take your foot off the gas, will steer away the panic. Avoiding quick, over-reactive movements and focusing on purposeful action steps is often the only way to recover from unexpectedly hazardous roadway conditions.
What happens: When you accelerate too quickly for the available traction, you’ll be facing what is known as a “wheelspin.” During a wheelspin skid, the tires will be spinning at a faster rate than the vehicle is traveling.
What to do: The best way to manage this is to take your foot off the gas until the tires can regain traction. As a safety test before you really get going, hit the gas when leaving your driveway. This will help you find out how easily your tires are likely to spin when out on the road. Testing your car’s grip when winter driving is a solid idea.
What happens: Unlike the wheelspin, a “wheel lockup” will happen if you brake too hard or all of a sudden. Your car will be moving, but the wheels will stop spinning. Ah!
What to do: Simply take your foot off the brake until the wheels start moving again. Then, try braking again, but this time, do it softly and not all at once. If you have an ABS, or Anti-Lock Brake System, then this will not happen to you, but you will need to be aware of your ‘margin of safety’ — the distance between you and the car in front of you — because your car is likely to not decelerate as well as a car without ABS on roads with less traction.
What happens: An “understeer” will happen when the front tires lose their grip, making it impossible for the car to turn around a corner. Most likely, you tried to turn a corner too quickly and instead of rounding the corner, you took off skidding. If you’re going way too fast, then recovery might be impossible, and fingers crossed you can get to a soft place safely.
What to do: As you’re skidding off in the wrong direction, take your foot off of the gas and gently apply the brakes. Slightly steer where you want to go. You have the most grip with slight steering inputs. Resist the urge to over-compensate with aggressive steering! It might be the natural thought that you need to turn the wheel hard and fast, but in this case, grip and correction will happen through the brakes, not the wheel.
What happens: If the rear tires lose their grip and your vehicle starts to slide sideways, you’re dealing with an “oversteer.” This happens a lot when going too fast on icy roads, coupled with applying the brakes when hitting a corner. This combination can cause the shift in your vehicle‘s weight.
What to do: In rear-wheel drive cars, take your foot off of the gas. In a front-wheel drive car, take your foot off of the brakes and gently apply the gas. Slightly steer where you want to go. You will have the most grip with slight steering inputs. In general, look down the road where you want to go, release the brakes, and accelerate if needed to stop the rear tires from sliding.
What happens: When an oversteer is met with a failure to correctly straighten out, you’re facing a “counterskid” — also known as “fishtailing” or “tankslapping.” This is perhaps the most commonly known type of skid. Your car might actually swing back and forth, gaining speed with each swivel. The key is to correct and straighten out as purposeful as possible, keeping your eye on the road and regaining control of the steering and your direction.
What to do: Similar to an oversteer, for rear-wheel drive cars, take your foot off the gas. For front-wheel drive cars, take your foot off of the brakes and gently apply the gas. Slightly steer where you want to go. You have the most grip with slight steering inputs.
Winterize your vehicle — Make sure your tires are properly inflated (refer to your owner’s manual) and that your vehicle is prepared for the ice and snow. It’s also important to have certain items in your car in case of an emergency: food, water, jumper cables, windshield scrapers, extra windshield washer fluid, warm clothing and boots, first-aid kit, flashlight, shovel, and reflectors.
Accelerate & decelerate slowly — As a general winter safety rule, remember to apply the gas slowly when accelerating. If you’re looking to quickly regain traction and avoid skids, this is the best method. Fact: It will always take longer to slow down on icy roads!
Slow down! — Everything is going to take longer on snow-covered roads versus dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving and turning slowly. Plan plenty of time to get to where you need to go.
Double the ‘margin of safety’ — Your margin of safety—the following distance between you and the car in front of you—needs to be increased from 3-4 seconds to 8-10 seconds. When you need to stop on icy roads, you should have double the space and time to do so safely.
Get to know your brakes — Anti-lock brakes (ABS) allow for you to slow down quickly, but you’ll need to press hard on the pedal and be aware of how your car will react in this situation. But really, if you can avoid stopping in the snow all together, do it. If you’re headed somewhere nearby and time it right, you can often get enough speed going to simply keep rolling until the lights turn green.
Be careful up and down hills — Generate some inertia, enough to carry you up a hill. Reduce your speed as you approach the crest, then go downhill as slowly as possible. Seriously, hills are super scary when it’s icy. Never stop in the middle of going up a hill, and avoid hills completely if you can.
Can you stay home? — If the weather gets too precarious, there’s always the great… indoors! Roadways during the winter are always a risk, no matter how prepared you are. Trust your instinct when it comes to accessing whether or not to travel in inclement weather.
Check out this video from AAA. Their Winter Driving Tips playlist provides a helpful visual guide to add to your arsenal of winter car safety knowledge:
If you haven’t winterized your vehicle yet, it’s not too late. Read our Car Winterization Guide to prevent winter damage and maintain your vehicle during the colder weather.