How to Prepare Your Car For Winter

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The calendar months have changed to November, and with that comes the end of fall, and the beginning of winter. Though were are weeks away from the freezing temperatures New England has to offer, it can never be too early to start preparing for the cold weather, including snow. Below are a few tips to help get prepared and keep your car ready for winter.

Winter Supply/Emergency Kit: It’s impossible to determine what can occur on winter roads, whether you are in the city or out in the suburbs. For both car and personal safety, put together an emergency kit to help prepare yourself for any and all types of situations. Must have items include:

  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A cell phone and charger
  • Non-perishables such as energy bars and water
  • Extra pair of clothes and blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Battery jump cables
  • A sand bag to help traction and get out of the car
  • An extra ice scraper

Check Your Battery: Cold weather can take a toll on a car’s battery, be sure to have it checked by a professional.

Change Your Windshield Wiper Fluid: A common misconception is that windshield fluid used in summer and spring can also be used during the winter months. This is incorrect, and you should be sure to change to winter fluid. Windshield wiper fluid used during summer consists of mostly water, which would be ineffective during the cold. Winter fluid adds alcohol to help get rid of snow and ice, making the material on your windshield less likely to freeze.

Have Enough Antifreeze: When driving in winter you might be cold, but your car can be as well. To avoid your engine freezing, be sure to have the coolant system flushed before freezing temperatures hit. Follow the instructions in your car’s manual to check the levels of antifreeze. By doing so, you can avoid damage costs that could run up into the thousands.

Check Your Brakes: Brakes should be regularly checked, but especially in the coming weeks before winter. This is not only for your safety, but the safety of others as well.

These items will help prepare you in the event of an emergency, and will help keep you safe. For more information about winter and car issues, or if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 617-364-1722

5 Ways You Shouldn’t Treat Your Car

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Proper car maintenance and treating your car correctly is important for the overall life of your car and to help keep it in working order. Here are some often frequent mistakes that people make in terms of treating their car poorly.

Waiting For Oil Change Reminder: Most all cars now a days have a warning system built in to help remind you that an oil change is needed.

Never Washing Your Car: By not washing your car, you’ll fall into more problems then just having a dirty car in the present. Washing your car thoroughly can help remove dirt, salt, and much more. All this stuff if gone untreated will result in rust buildup. Pick a day of the week and have your car washed at the same time!

Putting Gas In Your Car At The Last Second: Everyone has done this from time to time but do your best to avoid it. Gas acts as a lubricant in your fuel pump and it cools it at the same time. If you wait until the last few drops of gas have been used, it puts extreme stress on the fuel pump.

Ignoring Warning Lights: Cars have warning lights for a reason. Whether it be a check engine light or some else, it is popping up because there is an issue with your car. Putting off these lights can result in your problems getting worse. Instead of tackling any needed problem, you could end up spending more money.

Not Replacing Air Filter: Your engine needs to breathe and to do this properly, your air filter needs to be replaced. Emission issues can directly pop up if your air filter has popped up. A quick filter change only costs a small percentage of money compared to the amount you’d need to spend if nothing gets replaced.

For more information about Automotive Specialties Inc. please feel free to reach out to our specialists. We can be contacted over the phone at (617) 364-1722 or through our online contact form

Audi A4 Secrets

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Audi A4 B8

As an Audi Certified collision center, Automotive Specialists Inc. works with Audi’s more then any other vehicle. We understand and know so much about the vehicle that we really enjoy to see new versions and specifics about the cars.

If you own or are interested in purchasing an Audi A4 B7/B8 there are ways to customize it for your liking. Some of these you may know of and other you may not, so read below to see what you can do.

1) Key Fob To Open/Close Windows

You can be standing outside of your car with the engine turned off, stick the key in the drivers side door, turn it to the left, hold and see your windows to open or close instantly.  This is even more helpful if you always forget to close your windows before getting out of your A4.

2) Change Temperature Display

On the temperature display you can change between Celsius and Fahrenheit by simply pressing and holding the re-circulation button. From then just hit the temperature up button to alternate between the two.

3) Rear-view Mirror Sun Visor

The rear-view mirror has a built-in flap which allows you to add additional sun blockage.

4) Manual Throttle Body Alignment

Sitting in your car, turn the key to the “on” mode. With the engine on, press the gas pedal to the floor for five seconds. Next, without taking your foot off the gas pedal, turn your key to “off”. You should then wait two minutes and your throttle body alignment will be complete.

5) Release Or Load Multiple CDs:

Holding down the eject CD button allows you to release your CD’s one after another. As well as loading CD’s, simply holding down that button allows you to load one right after the other.

 

If you own an Audi A4 we hope you learned something from us today! Getting the most out of your car is important. For more information please feel free to reach out to us. We can be contacted over the phone at (617) 364-1722 or at our physical location.

City Driving Tips

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City DrivingWhether you are new to Boston or aren’t, driving in the city is a much different experience then driving in the suburbs. There are much more challenges and obstacles that you must pay attention to. Follow these city driving tips to stay safe!

Familiarize Yourself With Area: The less that you’ll need to look at your GPS, the better you’ll be. Keeping your eyes on the road is even more important in the city because of quick stops and walking pedestrians everywhere.

One Way Streets: If you come from outside the city to in the city, the biggest thing you may notice is one way streets. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. Just make sure that you are reading all the street signs when you take turns.

Bikers: If city driving wasn’t crazy enough, bikers can flood the streets and make it that much more difficult. Especially during nice weather, keep an extra eye out for them.

Parallel Parking: Brushing up on your parallel parking can be extremely important when driving in the city. So much of the street parking requires a degree of parallel parking. Your life will be much easier if you perfect this.

Carry Change: Toll booths and parking meters are scattered throughout the city. Having a good set of change set aside will ensure that you’re never stuck in a tricky situation.

The city is hectic. You have other drivers, people walking, people running, bikers, buses, and trains to pay attention to. As long as you are aware of everything and keep an eye out for possible dangers you will be in a much safer situation.

Keeping Your Car Cool

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA hot car during the summer can be the absolute WORST! After a day at the beach or long work day, stepping into your car can be almost painful on a hot sunny day. The inside of your car can be around 20-30 degrees warmer then it is outside, so doing everything you can to keep it cooler is important.

Notice: During all times of the year, never leave children or pets in an unwatched car even if you follow these tips.

To stay a little cooler this summer, follow these tips to keep your car cool!

Park In The Shade: If possible, park your car in the shade, or in a parking garage, especially during the warmest times of the day.

Turn Your Car Around: While it isn’t always possible to park in the shade, you can try to turn your car around so most of the sunlight hits the back of your car. This will help your steering wheel or seat from getting too hot.

Cover Up The Windows: Window covers will ensure that sun doesn’t directly hit the seats of your car. It can make a difference and wont make your body sting when sitting down.

Window Tinting: Tinting your vehicles windows can be a really good way of keeping your car much cooler. Whether you are driving or your car is parked, this can be a big help.

Air Ventilation: To get some air flow through your car, crack at least two windows open. This will help with circulation. Just make sure you dont leave your windows so wide open that someone could break into your car.

Blast A/C: When all else fails, turn your Air Conditioner on full blast before you get in. Giving your car just a few minutes to cool down can make a huge difference.

 

 

Tips To Keep Your Car Clean This Summer

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summer clean carWe are past July 4th weekend and are in the heart of summer now! One of the best times of the year in New England, people are going on road trips, taking rides to the beach and much more. All this action can get your car dirty both inside and outside. To keep your car in tip top shape, follow our 5 quick tips.

  1. Clean your carpets: Many cars have thick carpets. If you have a compressed air machine or stiff brush, take either one and get out as much of the dirt and crumbs that are embedded into the carpeting. Vacuums are only able to clean them so much.
  2. Tire Cleaning:  To get  your tires looking extra nice, use some acid-free solution. This also helps from taking off any paint from the car.
  3. Total Exterior Clean: A good solid car hand wash will go a long way. Give yourself time to do a good job. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies and when cleaning, use long and broad strokes to prevent from any noticeable streaks.
  4. Polish & Waxing: After you have gotten your car nice and clean, it is important that you protect it against those summertime elements. A nice polish will make sure that the paint is smooth and waxing will protect against the elements.
  5. Final Vacuum: After doing a thorough cleaning both inside and out, do a final brush inside to suck away dust before it makes its way to any other part of your car.

A brand new interior and exterior cleaning of your car this summer can make a worlds of difference! It also makes getting inside a gruelingly hot car a little more enjoyable.

 

Driving Safety Misconceptions

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speed limitMost people think they are good drivers and while they may be, there are things you aren’t doing correctly. Traits or knowledge that you have learned throughout the years may not be the actual right way to do things. Read these tips to ensure you are following the right safety protocols.

1.  The Signs Speed Limit is Safest – The speed limits on roads are calculated and provided under the case the conditions are perfect. If it rains or snows, you should drive slower then the posted speed limit.

2. Left Lane is the Fast Lane – People believe that since the left lane is filled with people driving faster, that it is the “fast lane”. This is not correct. The left lane is the “passing lane”. People should only use this lane to pass people, not to travel on.

3. Hands Free Phone Use Means You’re Safe: People think that phone use is safe if they have a hands-free device. This is not true as using your phone at all, automatically makes you more of a distracted driver. If you can avoid any phone use, this is your best bet to stay safe.

4. Fog Lights Always Help: A lot of people think that fog lights can be used all the time, and even at night. Using them during clear conditions can blind other drivers on the road.

5. Larger Car Means You’re Safe: Some believe that a larger car will keep them safe. It is true that if a crash happens between two cars, the larger one will fair better. But, larger vehicles have the tendency to change direction and slow down less efficient. This could increase your chance of crashing in a single-car accident.

Summer Driving Tips

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Each season has its own problems when it comes to driving. This is especially the case during the summer. With temperatures about to hit 90’s this Saturday for much of Massachusetts, it’s safe to say that summer is right around the corner. When it comes to driving on the road and maintaining your, it is important that you keep in mind some of these tips.

  • Air Conditioning: Be sure that your cars air conditioning system is working before that steaming hot weather hits.
  • Vacation Packing: When packing for that vacation road trip, be sure that you don’t over exceed your car’s payload capacity. Before heading out on the trip, make sure that you can see out your back windows.
  • Manage Allergies While Driving: Allergies such as frequent sneezing, runny nose and exhaustion can affect your driving. If you know you get bad allergies be sure to stay on top of them so you are safe as possible. Decreasing risks will go a long way to avoid problems.
  • Summer Storms: Thunderstorms during the summer can come out of nowhere and they can be extremely powerful. Use extreme caution when these occur.
  • Busier roads: With warm weather comes more people utilizing the roads. Keep an eye out for people riding their motor cycles, bikes and for people running.

In the event of an accident during the summer, reach out to Automotive Specialties to fix any car damage.

Wrong Way People Drive in The Rain

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Driving in the rainAs you get prepared for spring and the rain starts to fall while you drive, it is imperative that you use extreme caution. There is a huge problem when rain starts to fall, when people don’t change their driving habits. This creates dangers for you and all the other people driving on the road. Here are 5 dangerous driving mistakes that you should avoid.

Driving on the side of the road: When the roads are narrow, this isn’t always possible. But, with multiple lanes or wide roads, try staying closer to the middle. Roads are built to be slightly higher in the middle. This causes water to run from the middle of the road to the edge. This can result in puddles and standing water that are dangerous if driven into.

Not turning headlights on or headlights that are too bright: When driving people often believe that headlights are just for them. They help us see whats going on. This is absolutely not true as headlights are very helpful in the rain so other drivers can notice you.

Driving when you can’t even see: Have you ever been driving in such a down pour that you honestly can’t even see 5 feet in front of you? This can be very dangerous and if it happens you, you should slow down and try to pull off the street as soon as possible. There could be parked cars in front of you, or pedestrians walking and if you can’t see, you are risking other peoples lives along with your own.

Driving through flowing rivers: People always attempt to drive through flowing bodies of water thinking that it’s only inches tall and not very dangerous. The risk is not worth it! Every year, there are helpless drives that get swept away by what they thought to be an inch of water.

Driving too fast: When it starts to rain, slow down! Driving is dangerous enough, but when you add rain it becomes even more dangerous. Hydroplaning is a serious problem and if you are driving too fast, your car won’t be able to control itself.

If you happen to get caught in the rain and an accident occurs, please feel free to give us a call (617) 364-1722 or stop by our shop at 12 Providence Street, Hyde Park, MA 02136.

New Audi A4 vs BMW

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Audi A4A recent article by the business insider dug into the emergence of the Audi A4 and how BMW is going to have to step their game up. For decades, the BMW 3-series has been the top dog when it comes to compact sport sedans. Since 1995, when Audi released it’s A4, Audi has been pushing to pass BMW ‘s reign.

In 2015, Business Insider tested a sporty variant of the A4 and noticed it to be extremely comfortable and also highly competent in terms of performance. While they liked their Audi test, they did notice the 7-year-old design and how it felt dated.

As for 2017, Audi released the 5th generation sedan. It looks sleek, and seems to still have all of the traditional charm and style of an A4. Along with that, the new A4 will have many features that we are continuing to see in recent releases.

Quick Notes:

  • The 2017 Audi A4 will force the BMW 3-series to step up their game after being the gold standard for over 30 years.
  • The 5th generation A4 will look completely different the current model
  • Lightweight materials will be included to make the A4 up to 265 pounds lighter
  • One largely noticeable difference will be the interior. A massive improvement shows a stunningly nice look.

Automotive Specialties is a collision center that specializes in working with luxury vehicles. We are also Audi certified meaning as of only a few shops in Massachusetts, Audi themselves suggest that you work with us. We are looking to see 2017 A4 hit showrooms this spring! Keep your eyes peeled for it’s arrival.

For more information please feel free to give us a call at 617-364-1722 or stop by our location at 12 Providence Street, Hyde Park, MA 02136.

 

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