Top 5 Hacks for When Your Car’s AC Isn’t Working

air-conditioning

Of all the times for your car’s air conditioning to go on the fritz, summer is the worst of the worst. Yet it seems as though summer is the most common time of the year for cars’ ACs to start acting up. Taking your vehicle in to a professional for diagnosis and repair takes time and money – time and money that you may not have. So here are a few simple hacks for handling the LA summer heat while you’re toughing it out until you can get your car the service it deserves.

  • Roll Down the Windows

car-windows-down

Our first tip is the simplest and probably the most obvious: If it’s a nice day, don’t hesitate to roll your windows down and enjoy the breeze. Driving with the windows rolled down isn’t just more cost-effective for driving around town, it circulates air throughout the car, making the interior (and you) cool. If you know you’re going to be driving during the hotter parts of the day, leave your windows cracked open just a bit. A half-inch gap will give hot air accumulating in your car somewhere to escape, meaning you won’t open the door and feel like you’re stepping into a sauna.

  • Drink More, Eat Less

Staying hydrated is always a good tip, but it’s especially important during the hotter summer months. If you know you’re going to be driving in the heat, be sure to bring some cold beverages along for the ride. A bottle of ice water will help regulate your body temperature. If your commute is a long one, you might be tempted to buy (or bring) some snacks along for the ride, but be careful: Too many calories will raise your body temperature and might make it more difficult to cool off.

  • Dress Lightly

If you’re commuting to or from work, you might be used to making the drive in your work uniform. But layers of clothing and thick fabrics will only trap heat, and if your commute is a long one, you may end up overheating because of it. If it’s at all possible, try to wear light colors and thin fabrics for your commute, and change into your work clothes afterwards. Not only will it keep you cool, but it will keep your clothes sweat-free.

  • Cool Yourself Off

ice-pack

It might feel a bit silly if you’ve never done it before, but if your AC is out and the heat is really getting to you, then you should consider preparing ice packs or cold towels for your car rides. Placing a cold compress on the back of your neck or under your armpits will keep you feeling cool and comfortable during your commute. If you’re looking at a longer car ride, prepare a cooler full of ice and store some extra compresses in it.

  • Check Your Refrigerant

Of course, if you’re familiar with cars and confident that you know what you’re doing, you can always try your hand at fixing your car’s air conditioning yourself. Before you throw in the towel, it’s smart to make sure your car isn’t just low on refrigerant. If it is, then fixing it might be as simple as Googling the steps. However, if your car has a leak or a more complicated problem, then it’s best to leave repairs to a professional.

If you’re looking for automobile service in the LA area, Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos has you covered. And hopefully these tip and tricks will help tide you over until your car’s AC is back in action.

How to Maximize Your Fuel Efficiency in a Non-Hybrid Honda

honda-civic

The sharp rise in gas prices over the last decade has made improving fuel efficiency more important than ever.  Though hybrid models offer the best fuel efficiency overall, not everyone can afford a new car or the premium price that has to be paid for a hybrid.  Fortunately, there are some little things that you can do in your own non-hybrid Honda that will decrease fuel consumption and keep more money in your pocket.

 

Stay On Top of Maintenance

oil-change

Every vehicle requires regular maintenance to maintain optimal performance levels.  The schedule for maintenance varies from model to model, but there are some general guidelines that you need to follow.

  • Change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles – When the engine is well lubricated, the parts move freely, and less energy is wasted getting them to move.  Over time the oil breaks down or becomes full of tiny particles that inhibit the lubrication of engine parts, and the only way to restore efficiency is with an oil change.
  • Change fuel filters – Like your oil filter, which is changed when you change your oil, your fuel filter needs to be changed on schedule.  A clogged filter causes the O2 sensor to incorrectly read the fuel mixture as lean, and the car’s computer will compensate by dumping more fuel into the system.  This excess fuel is wasted and drains your gas mileage.
  • Check tire pressure – Tires with low pressure create additional friction between the rubber and the road, which means the engine has to work much harder to spin the wheels.  The sidewalls will have a recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) level for your tires, and you need to check them every time you put gas in your car.  The Federal government estimates that a drop of a single PSI per tire can result in a 0.3 percent loss of efficiency, up to a total of 3 percent overall.

 

Drive Slower

drive-slow

Consumer Reports did an extensive test to discover the correlation between speed and fuel efficiency and proved that exceeding the federally recommended highway speed of 55 miles per hour greatly decreases your fuel efficiency, with little benefit to drive time.  The government’s fuel efficiency website gives a complete breakdown of the costs by make and model.  For instance, a 2014 Honda Civic can save up to $2.21 per 100 miles traveled just by slowing from 75 miles per hour to 60.

 

Stop Idling

A final small change that you can make is to stop idling your vehicle.  Estimates vary, depending on the size of the engine, but most vehicles will waste about half a gallon of gas every hour spent idling.  The numbers climb even higher when air conditioner use is taken into account, such that the 3 minutes you spend idling in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane will cost you about $0.15 in gas.  Though this number seems small, when you consider how many minutes a day you spend idling, waiting for your kids outside of school or for your spouse to run in and out of the store, the cost per day is significant.  Over the course of a full year, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on fuel and destroying your car’s fuel efficiency.

 

Maximizing fuel efficiency can be done with a little bit of effort on your part, but you may find that your 30-year-old car still doesn’t get adequate mileage.  When that’s the case, Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos has one of the biggest selections of hybrid and non-hybrid Hondas in Los Angeles.

Best Hondas for Cross-country driving

Corss Country Driving

“Get your kicks on Route 66″ in a new Honda Accord Hybrid beginning in the Los Angeles area at Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos. The Accord Hybrid will give you 45 mpg on the highway; that’s better than the Corvette’s mileage in the old Route 66 television series from the early 1960′s. (Of course, gas was less than fifty cents a gallon in those days.)

The Accord Hybrid was road tested on the legendary highway from L.A.to Chicago and performed well on the route which is now a series of interstate highways. The car left the main roads to enjoy scenic byways including the historic Mule Trading Post at Exit 189 in Missouri.

The advanced electric motor with a lithium-ion battery proved ideal for enjoying the sights along the way. The 2.0 liter four-cylinder gas engine engaged with the electric motor for an extra boost for acceleration.

The Accord Hybrid Touring model features 18 inch alloy wheels and electric power assisted rack and pinion steering. Torque is 226 pounds at 3800 rpm. Electronic continuously variable transmission and unibody construction make for a comfortable drive.

The 2014 Accord Hybrid is the recipient of the Green Car Journal ”Green Car of the Year” award. This is the new, environmentally friendly way to see America.

Honda Ridgeline

2014 Honda Ridgeline

Touring the United States and Canada towing a trailer or boat is best with the four-door Ridgeline “crew cab” pickup truck which will give you about 21 mpg on the highway, depending on the load. The Ridgeline with its unibody, full-frame construction can carry a camper or fifth wheel recreational vehicle. You can tow a trailer, horse trailer or boat weighing up to 5,000 pounds with the integrated Class III trailer hitch.

This is the vehicle for RV camping at state and national parks. The Ridgeline has four-wheel drive and a 250 horsepower 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 24 valves. The tailgate swings out or down and there is an ice-chest compartment in the truck bed.

The Ridgeline includes a navigation system, HandsFreeLink® for cell phones, a stereo system, AM/FM radio and a CD player. Alloy wheels, heated leather seats and dual-zone climate control are optional.

This vehicle will also take dirt roads and other rough surfaces for drivers who want to explore less-traveled trails.

Honda Fit EV

2014 Honda Fit EV

The Accord Hybrid cruises Route 66 in style with gas and electric engines combined. The Honda Fit EV is the zero emissions electric car that passes up gas stations in favor of plug-in locations. You can travel Interstate 10 from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, on a leisurely trip without using a drop of unleaded. But you will stop to recharge with a 240-volt circuit.

The powerful 92kW engine has 189 pound-feet of torque. You can drive in Normal, SPORT for passing and ECON for saving power.

The Honda Fit EV, Ridgeline, Accord and all Honda models come with standard safety features that include six airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution systems. The lithium-ion battery on the Fit EV and Accord Hybrid is enclosed in a steel jacket for protection. It will shut down upon high impact.

Extra features available on various models include forward collision and lane watch and blind spot warning systems.

See the latest Honda models and previously owned Hondas perfect for road trips at Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos. You will find a wide selection of vehicles including the latest hybrids and the all-electric Fit. Leasing and financing are available.

Best Recipes for Summer Barbeques

Summer Salmon Recipe

It is summer time, and that means barbecues!  Whether you are tossing it on the grill, or having it as a side dish, there are some really amazing dishes that seem to only come out when the weather gets warm.

Try one, or all, of these excellent recipes at your next summer barbecue!

Salads

Summer Salad

Insalata Caprese is the perfect summer salad. It is truly a simple salad, made delicious by using fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It is easy to make and is the perfect complement to any barbecued dish. All you need to do is grab a platter and alternate and overlap fresh tomato slices with mozzarella slices and basil leaves. Then drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

A Summer Corn Salad is also a very nice summer dish and tastes great with burgers and steaks! It is a fresh, flavorful salad that has plenty of buttery yellow corn tossed with tomato chunks and onions topped with a fresh basil vinaigrette. Just boil the corn with some salt, drain, toss with fresh tomatoes and onions and top with your dressing.

Kabobs

Kabobs are the perfect way to welcome summer! You have waited all year to get the grill out, so do some fun kabobs! Alternate chunks of chicken and veggies or steak and mushrooms, and then drizzle with olive oil, honey or even salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper and grill!

Sliders

Summer Sliders

Sliders are always a fun treat to barbecue. For a Hawaiian twist, add pineapple, whisk up some lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper. Next, marinate your beef, bison, turkey or ground chicken in this mixture for at least an hour. Then grill up your sliders! When you plate them, add teriyaki sauce and a pineapple slice. Fun Hawaiian sliders at your summer barbecue!

Or, try your sliders, or burgers, on a cedar plank! This is a great addition to any grill master’s repertoire. Grilling the burgers on a plank adds a smoky, cedar taste that also pairs well with a bit of barbecue sauce. And of course, no burger is complete without a slice of cheese. Pair these plank burgers with some smoky cheddar!

Salmon

And if you do have cedar planks, grill up some salmon! The flavors from a cedar plank were just made for pairing with salmon. Grill the salmon filets skin side down, and add some orange juice as a marinade for a great summer twist! Add a splash of lemon, a bit of lime, and really add some kick to your filet.

Best Hondas for Warm Weather

Why Buy a Honda?

Looking for fun Hondas for summer?  Honda vehicles are a great choice for reaching any destination.  All models offer style, class, and sophistication.  What better way to impress friends than to roll up the driveway to their house in a new luxurious ride?  Plus, the Honda Civic boasts a five-star rating for safety, making it an ideal car for anyone with kids or those planning a long summer drive.

Honda Civic Speeds Past Competitors

At an extremely affordable price and with a newly redesigned form, the Honda Civic is the number one choice for those looking to find a vehicle with the best fuel economy.  What it lacks in size it makes up for in both the interior and exterior.  The 2014 Honda Civic sedan/coupe sports a redesigned 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with an impressive CVT that replaces the five-speed automatic transmission in the majority of models offered.  What’s great about the new CVT is that it offers drivers a mild increase in acceleration in combination with improved fuel economy.

There are many different models to choose from when shopping for Hondas for summer.  These include:

  • The Honda Civic LX - It comes equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and much, much more.
  • The Honda Civic EX - The Honda EX offers better features with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, Smartphone integration with HondaLink which includes Aha Radio and Apple-based Siri Eyes voice command functionality, heated front seats, and leather upholstery.
  • The Honda Civic HF - The Honda Civic HF features all of the standard perks of the models before it but it also offers a few small upgrades to maximize fuel economy.
  • The Honda Civic Hybrid - The Hybrid model offers four different types of trim levels: base, Navi, Leather, and Leather with Navi. The base version is similar to the LX version but without the sunroof.  No matter what trim is chosen, all offer both a forward collision warning and lane departure warning.  The engine is a four-cylinder that comes with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack that results in 110 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • The Honda Civic Natural Gas – This Honda model is available in two trim levels: base and Navi.  It includes a basic five-speed automatic transmission and a 1.8-liter engine.
  • The Honda Civic Si – This Honda boasts a 2.4 liter engine in a six-speed manual transmission as the only option.  Honda refined suspension tuning in this model.  The smooth steering creates quick and easy turns making the Si the best option for those searching for fun Hondas for summer.

Families Choose a Honda Odyssey

Families searching the market for fun Hondas for summer will be impressed with the Honda Odyssey.  The 2014 model ranks number one on the market for minivans.  The Odyssey boasts excellent handling as well as impressive safety reviews from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  With a V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the ride is both smooth and enjoyable.

The interior of the Honda Odyssey is equipped with three rows of seats and a spacious cargo area.  Honda also added unique features that set the vehicle apart from others in its class.  The optional integrated vacuum cleaner is just one example.  Other impressive features include: a touchscreen, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and blind spot monitoring among many, many more additions.

Moving Out: Best Hondas for Graduating Seniors

When graduating high school or college, seniors have a lot to think about as they move into the next phase of their lives.  Whether choosing further education or making career choices, they often relocate to a new state or city and need to consider the logistics of how they’ll do that.  Besides choosing a new apartment or house to move in to, they need a safe, roomy and reliable vehicle to move their possessions.  The best place to start is with Honda’s legendary crossover and truck lineup.  Here are three great Hondas for grads to consider.

CR-V

The CR-V is a lively crossover offering the nimble driving characteristics of a car while providing serious cargo space and room for 4 of the grad’s friends.  The back seats fold down flat into a 60/40 split with easy, one-pull levers.  This offers the flexibility of having a passenger in the back seat while still being able to accommodate a longer item like a small bookshelf.  With both rear seats up, the CR-V has a cargo capacity of 37.2 cubic feet and a retractable cargo cover to protect valuables from prying eyes.  If both rear seats are folded flat, the cargo space nearly doubles to 70.9 cubic feet.  And if interior cargo space doesn’t fit everything a grad is carrying, the CR-V can tow up to 1,500 lbs. with the proper trailer hitch setup.

Pilot

Other Hondas for grads include the bigger Pilot SUV with more seating and cargo capacity than the CR-V or other smaller crossovers.  When all the seats are folded flat, 87 cubic feet of cargo space welcomes some of the furniture and boxes needed in a move.  With seating for 8, a graduate can invite 7 friends to help with the move while still enjoying 18 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear- enough for some boxes or a TV.  The available power tailgate will open and close the liftgate with the simple touch of a button on the key fob.  If the graduate has their hands full, this is especially convenient.  Additionally, the glass on the lift gate can be opened to accommodate bigger pieces of cargo.  If all this room isn’t enough, the 2 wheel drive Pilot can tow up to 2,000 lbs. and the 4 wheel drive model will tow up to 4,500 lbs.

Ridgeline

In some cases, the right Hondas for grads will begin and end in the crossover and SUV categories.  For others, nothing beats the flexibility and ruggedness of a truck and the Ridgeline gladly answers the call.

The Ridgeline has a steel reinforced cargo bed with twice the strength of steel, making a bed liner unnecessary.  It seats the driver and 4 friends in the cab with a 5 foot long and over 4 foot wide cargo bed, providing plenty of cargo capacity with the proper tie downs.  A weatherproof in-bed trunk with locking capability gives the graduate room for a large cooler or a few bags and takes full advantage of all the available space underneath the truck.  When it comes to loading and unloading the truck, the dual-action tailgate makes life easier by offering the options of swinging down like a traditional tailgate or opening like a door to the side.  When down, the tailgate has one of the industry’s best dynamic load capacities and can take up to 300 lbs.  If a trailer is necessary, the Ridgeline is capable of towing up to 5,000 lbs.

Ready to explore which Honda is best for a graduate? Norm Reeves Honda Superstore is your one-stop shop in Southern California.

Best Hondas for New Grads

 

Graduating from school is a huge accomplishment for anyone, whether they have completed high school or college. One of the most traditional rewards for a graduate is a new car: it allows the graduate to truly take advantage of their new standing in life. There are several kinds of Hondas that will work well as a gift or personal purchase for any deserving graduate that needs some new wheels to get around.

2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe

The Civic has been a popular car among younger drivers for a very long time, and with good reason. The 2014 version of this sporty Honda offers 205 horsepower @ 7000 RPM. The 2014 Civic Si coupe also has some excellent technological features that make it great for graduates, including a Bluetooth link for mobile phones, cruise control, and a push button ignition system. The new Civic also features a 12-volt power outlet and plenty of instruments and indicators that will keep a graduate safe, such as a low tire-pressure indicator, malfunction indicator, and coolant temperature indicator.

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

For graduates that are searching for a bit more room from their vehicle, the 2014 Accord Sedan is one of the best Hondas for grads on the market. Available in 8 sporty colors, the 2014 Accord also features a USB audio interface, a rear-view camera for safety, and a stereo anti-theft system. With 15.8 cubic feet of cargo volume, the new Accord is great for graduates that want to pack their bags and explore the world around them.

2014 Honda Fit EV

Honda’s Fit is the company’s subcompact entry into the electric automobile market and is popular among drivers looking for a sporty, hip vehicle. The 2014 Honda Fit features an interior that can be reconfigured for camping and skiing trips or graduates that play sports and need to carry their equipment with them. The new Fit is also a zero emission vehicle, which makes it one of the best Hondas for grads that are conscious of the environment and want to drive a greener vehicle. With a longer wheelbase, an on-board navigation system and automatic climate control, graduates that choose the new 2014 Fit EV will be able to ride in style and comfort.

Hondas Are Perfect For Graduates

Hondas for grads can be the icing on the cake for young adults that want to seize all of the opportunities that await them. Those that are seeking out Hondas for grads anywhere around the Los Angeles County area should head to Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in Cerritos, CA. With a knowledgeable sales team, a dependable team of service professionals, and an extensive selection of Honda vehicles, it is no wonder that Norm Reeves won the DealerRater 2013 Dealer Of The Year award for Honda dealerships in the state of California. Norm Reeves is the place for any graduate to find the car that will help carry them into the next chapter of their life.

First Time Buyer’s Guide to Hondas

 

Buying your first new car is the experience of a lifetime; for some there’s a mix of excitement and terror. You’re a new graduate, perhaps, or you’ve landed that first ‘real’ job, and you figure it’s time to upgrade the ride.

It can be an easy and pleasurable experience if you do your research and plan your tasks methodically and intelligently, trying to leave emotional considerations out of the equation.

For many, the logical choice for the first brand new car is to look at the Honda line – a brand that offers virtually something for every type of car buyer. Honda’s full line of vehicles includes compacts, sedans, coupes, crossovers, SUVs, mini-vans, pickups, as well as a full range of alternative fuel cars like hybrids and all electric models.  Depending on your stage in life, whether it’s “just you”, or you’re starting a family, or perhaps you’ll be using your vehicle for work related activities, you’ll be able to choose a car that precisely fits your needs and budget.

One of the first things to note is that the car will have to suit your lifestyle for about the next five years, so begin by making a list of your anticipated needs, as opposed to just your ‘wants.’  Merge this list with a financial analysis by pricing Honda models, deciding what is in your range of a needed down payment and monthly payments that you can afford. Do not forget to include the cost of insurance in your monthly budget! You’ll also want to choose a dealer that can provide the best Honda service after the sale.

At this same juncture, you can decide whether to buy or lease; Honda and your dealer will offer different incentives and rates for financing a purchase or entering into a lease. If you prefer, you can handle this aspect with your own bank. The key is to shop around and be informed.

If you’re looking for basic transportation, Honda’s Fit or base Civic models may well fit the bill. Upgrading to the Civic Coupe can provide you with a sportier, higher performance option.  Honda Insight and Accord hybrids can provide you with the most efficient cost of operation, and if a lot of mileage is in your future, a hybrid may well pay for itself just from the fuel savings you’ll incur over the life of owning or leasing your car. The ultimate in mileage will come from the all-electric Accord plug-in, which offers an astonishing equivalent of 105 mpg estimate, while still giving you the room that a four door five-seater has to offer.

In Southern California, you have the benefit of shopping for your new Honda at the USA’s number one volume dealer, Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in the Cerritos Auto Square. You can start your relationship with Norm Reeves by researching new Hondas online from the comfort of your home or office, and searching through the available inventory on the lot in real time. You can also research the differences between purchasing and leasing. Honda service is also available seven days a week at Norm Reeves.

Ready for a test drive? Schedule it online, or stop by Norm Reeves Honda Superstore. Open every day, (Monday through Saturday until 10 PM and Sunday until 9 PM), Norm Reeves Honda Superstore is easy to get to from anywhere in SoCal, and is just off the 605 in Cerritos. Get turn by turn driving directions from your location to the dealer on the website.

FCEV Concept Car Review

Overview

Honda FCEV Concept Car

Honda FCEV Concept Car (Photo credit: Chad Horwedel)

The Honda FCEV (or Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle) may not be the first fuel-cell vehicle to be made, but it’s certainly the sharpest-looking – many of the places that are curved on traditional vehicles have been adjusted to provide sharp, bold statements on a vehicle that’s making use of all the technology Honda has to offer. What’s so interesting about this vehicle, though, and why do any of us care?

 

Power and Efficiency

 

It takes a lot of electricity to move a vehicle. In fact, many gas-electric hybrid cars can only go a few miles (not counting downhill slopes) on a full charge, while other hybrids spread the power out to help improve overall efficiency and provide power to things the engine doesn’t need to. Either way, though, the electric part isn’t going to take you very far. The big problem here is energy storage. Car batteries are only so large, even in hybrids, and they’re not a very good way of storing energy over a long period of time. Fuel cells are more like gasoline than they are batteries – they store what power is drawn from, not the power itself, and that means a proper fuel cell system can store drastically more energy than any vehicle’s battery. The Honda FCEV is estimated to have an average range of over 300 miles between tanks, though you’ll still need to find a station to fill it at, which is actually somewhat better than other vehicles of its size.

 

The Build of the FCEV

 

Have you seen the Honda FCEV yet? Put frankly, this car looks like the future – incredibly so. The first time we saw it, we thought we were looking at a prop vehicle being used for a movie, not something we were going to see passing us on the road in the near future. There is nothing about the FCEV that is casual or relaxed. It’s a bold vehicle with an incredible visual impact that people can’t help but notice – in a world of soft curves and aesthetics, this is a car that looks like it was made a few generations ahead of schedule. Many of the design choices will be noticed immediately – the rear window, for example, is almost more of a sunroof than anything else. However, nothing is quite as impressive as Honda’s claim that the fuel cells for the car will be fitting into the front section, where the engine normally sits. This was made possible through the advancing technology of fuel cells, which decreased the amount of space necessary to hold the components (and gave the vehicle a trunk with enough space to actually matter).

 

Conclusion

 

The Honda FCEV probably won’t be the best-selling car of 2015. Fuel cell technology is still advancing, but the vehicle is a major milestone in the advancement of this type of car, and it’s already accomplished the job of showing that fuel cell vehicles can be a viable alternative to other forms of fuel – and the economic implications of this, if successful, are incredible. This is definitely a vehicle worth paying attention to, regardless of what actually happens on the market – and we’re looking forward to seeing what else Honda has in store.

 

Disclaimer: This review is for a vehicle that has not yet been put into full production. Honda may choose to modify any or all of the previous statements about the vehicle, including its design and functionality. For more information, contact Norm Reeves Honda closer to the release date of the vehicle. The Honda FCEV is currently slated for release in 2015.

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Distracted driving awareness month

 

This April is, among many other things, a time to focus on driving safety through Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Here at Norm Reeves, we love cars… but safety really is important, so we wanted to talk about some of the biggest issues with driving safety that have popped up in the last few years.

 

Advancing Technology

 

Everybody knows that using your cellphone while driving is a capital-letter Bad Idea. The momentary distraction of talking or texting results in a tragedy far more often than anybody would like… but what about the other technology that’s involved with vehicles? It used to be that you were lucky to have climate control and a CD player in your car – now, many new vehicles have entire entertainment systems that can run while driving.

Of course, we don’t think that this technology is inherently bad, but let’s face it: a lot of this stuff is new, and it will continue to be new for some time to come as vehicles with these features make their way into the used-car market and people who never buy their cars new obtain ownership of them. If you haven’t sat in a new car for a few years, chances are you’ll be stunned by how much has already changed… to say nothing of the plans for the future!

It’s easy to love this stuff, but it’s also easy to get distracted by it and forget the most important habits for driving. Cars and drivers alike change over time, so let’s take just a moment to review some of the good-sense ways to use new technology and design features in cars.

Remember, this could save your life.

 

Safe Use of Features

 

Did you know that new vehicles like the 2014 Honda Civic can send text messages? It’s true! When linked with a compatible phone and service plan, your car can actually help you read, listen to, and even reply to text messages that you receive – without ever having to dig your phone out of your pocket or purse. However, like any other system, you should only use this feature when driving conditions will permit you to do so safely. The middle of stop-and-go traffic on the freeway is not a good place to use this system – but the side of the road could be!

Another feature that’s been working its way through the market is the expanded-view mirrors on the driver’s side of the vehicle, which help to reduce blind spots… when adjusted properly. You may recall from your driving safety lessons that the positions of the mirrors are very important, and you should always check their positions before you begin driving. Even if you haven’t moved your seat, it’s possible that someone bumped into the mirror and knocked it out of alignment, creating a blind spot where you’re not expecting them.

However, nothing is better for safety than working to drive defensively. When you drive a Honda, you’ll find that every vehicle comes with an entire suite of features to help protect you while you’re driving. Your tires and brake systems are particularly impressive – aside from the basics like anti-lock brakes (that help keep you in control) and Electronic Brake Distribution (which adjusts the power in real-time, based on driving conditions), you’ll find functions like Vehicle Stability Assist that all help to keep you going where you want to go.

Driving defensively is about more than avoiding collisions; it is how your car wants you to drive, and your level of safety will increase dramatically when you’re driving the way you should.