Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain This Spring in Pittsburgh

With the spring season in full swing in Harmarville, there will be blooming flowers and warmer days, but there will also be an uptick in downpours. Rain can be hazardous while on the road, which is why it’s a good idea to keep in mind these tips for driving safely in the rain.

Inspect your vehicle

Before embarking on your commute, it’s important to make sure all the lights on your vehicle are working so that other drivers can spot your vehicle on the road. You should also check that the tires are properly inflated and have enough tread depth for maintaining traction on slick streets. Windshield wipers are a must when it’s raining, so consider replacing them if they are not functioning well.

Take it slow

Speeding on a wet road could lead to hydroplaning, so you should consider driving at a slower pace. You also want to be sure to leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead of you since hard braking can be dangerous.

Know how to handle a skid

If your vehicle does start to hydroplane, you should avoid the urge to hit the brakes since doing so could make it more difficult to gain control of the vehicle. Instead, you should gently remove your foot from the gas pedal and keep steering in the direction that you want the vehicle to go in, without jerking the wheel.

We at Shults Ford Harmarville offer several vehicles, including the Ford Escape, Explorer, and EcoSport, which are available with all-wheel drive to help you handle slick roads. Visit our showroom in Pittsburgh to check out these vehicles and receive any needed parts replacements.

tips for driving safely in the rain

Tips and Tricks for Hanging Christmas Lights

It might seem like the Christmas season is far away, but it’s coming up quickly! For many, their Christmas lights go up the day after the Halloween decorations come down. If you’re one of those people, or you just want time to prepare, here are some tips for hanging Christmas lights.

Safety First

The most important part is your safety. Only use Underwriters Laboratories (labeled “UL”) lights and extension cords, which prove that they’re safe for outdoor use. Also, when getting to the actual hanging part, use a sturdy ladder and have another person to help secure the base of the ladder.

Measure

Before you hang your lights, measure everything! Measure your doorframe, your windows, the length of the gutter – anywhere you’ll be hanging lights. Record those measurements so that you can easily center and position your lights when you hang them.

Focal Points

Where do you want passerbys to look? Your trees? Your front door? Pick a focal point and focus your lights here. Then, frame that focal point evenly with lights on surrounding objects.

Correctly Secure

Secure the lights with tools appropriate for where you’re hanging them. Use light clips to secure lights to gutters, deck clips to attach them to railings, and a light-hanging pole to get them up and around the branches of your tall trees.

For more Christmas decoration tips, feel free to speak with our staff at Shults Ford Harmarville.

Christmas lights

Complete This Fall Bucket List with Your Ford

Leaves are beginning to change color and fall, and pumpkin spice lattes are back in full force. You know what that means: it’s fall! If you’re looking for something to do with your family this season, we’ve gone ahead and put together a fall bucket list for you to consider.

Visit your local pumpkin patch. Jack-o-lanterns are an iconic symbol of fall, so this bucket list wouldn’t be complete without heading to your local pumpkin patch to search for the perfect pumpkin to carve. No matter which Ford you drive, you will find plenty of trunk space to load up your haul of gourds.

Go explore the fall foliage. It wouldn’t be fall without the leaves changing colors, creating a beautiful landscape across the country – especially near Harmarville. Grab your kids, make some hot apple cider or hot chocolate, and head out on an adventure to see the natural beauty this time of year has to offer. If you happen to have one of our EcoBoost® engines, this is an even better idea – just think of the gas you’ll be saving!

Tailgate before a football game. Football games are the epitome of fall – and what better way to celebrate a big game than with some tailgating? Whether you’re heading off to watch the pros play or you’re attending your kid’s PeeWee league match, load your Ford up with all the tailgating goodies you can get. After all, it does have plenty of storage.

If you are in need of a Ford vehicle, then be sure to stop by Shults Ford Harmarville.

Fall bucket list

3 Tips for Traveling with Pets

Traveling with pets can be a daunting endeavor – but it doesn’t have to be. To help you prepare for your next trip with your furry friends, we’ve gone ahead and put together some tips for traveling with pets.

Plan ahead. If you’re heading out on a long road trip, it’s likely that you will have to spend the night in hotels as you go. Many hotels, though, don’t allow pets or only have a limited number of rooms that it allows pets in. To ensure your furry friends have a place to stay overnight, make sure you book hotels that are pet-friendly before you leave. Also, plan to stop every couple of hours to give your dog a break and a short walk to help them stretch their legs.

Be prepared. Safety is important, which is why having the proper safety equipment for your pets is a must. Purchase a well-rated travel crate, a pet barrier, or restraint of some sort to help protect your pet in case of an accident.

Make a checklist. You don’t want to get halfway through your road trip only to realize you forgot something important like your pup’s food or your cat’s litter tray. Before you start packing, create a checklist that has all of the essentials on it. Doing so is a great way to ensure you don’t forget anything. Make sure you include everything from food, water, and poop bags to medications, cleaning supplies, and an ID tag if your dog happens to get out unexpectedly.

Looking for a vehicle to keep both you and your pets comfortable? Come check out our model lineup here at Shults Ford.

Tips for traveling with pets

Top Vacation Spots within A Short Drive from Pittsburgh

Finding the right destination for your next vacation isn’t always easy – especially if you don’t want to drive too far. To make your decision a bit easier next time, we’ve put together a short list of some of the top vacation spots within a short drive from Pittsburgh.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, which is only a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh, giving you prime access to history of the game and its legendary players. Whether you’re a hometown fan or root for another team, you’re sure to enjoy yourself if you happen to love football.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Family fun and adventure is only an hour drive away from Pittsburgh at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to go ziplining on the mile-long Laurel Ridgeline Canopy Experience or merely want to kayak around the resort’s lake and enjoy the great outdoors, this destination has you covered.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater

Architecture buffs will want to take the family out to this destination – Fallingwater, a mountain home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s. It’s an escape in the middle of the mountains, built over a waterfall that gives you a sense of being one with nature. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

The best vehicle to get you to your destination is a Ford from Shults Ford Harmarville.

Top Vacation Spots

Spring Cleaning Tips: Get Your Car Spotless

It’s that time again—spring cleaning is here. There are a number of things you can do to help increase the resale value of your car, but spring cleaning is one of the best, so a list of tips and tricks to get your car spotless for the warmer weather, helping you to preserve your vehicle’s interior and exterior.

First on our list of spring cleaning tips, clean your car vents. According to Tip Hero, cleaning car vents will help eliminate mold and dust that accumulate in hard to reach places, and it will also prevent the interior from getting a stagnant smell. The best way to clean vents it by dusting with a foam brush while you vacuum at the same time.

Next, shine your hubcaps. After washing and waxing the exterior, you should combine cleaning powder and water to make a paste. Some use baking soda, but there are also special soaps that you can use as well. This will really make your wheels stand out.

You can also wash your floor mats. Naturally, you should vacuum the interior thoroughly. However, you can get an added clean by spraying off mats, washing with a stiff brush, and then tossing them in the washer and dryer.

Eliminate pet hair with a squeegee and a spray bottle with water. Simply wet the cloth on the interior, squeegee to collect fur and dirt, and vacuum to remove. End by spraying with Febreze or another fragrance to eliminate wet pet smell if necessary.

Of course, if that scent in your car that you are craving happens to be that new car smell, Shults Ford Harmarville would be more than happy to help you find that.

spring cleaning tips

5 Romantic Valentine’s Day Date Ideas in Pittsburgh

The new year is in full swing, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you looking for some new and exciting Valentine’s Day date ideas in Pittsburgh to surprise your loved one with? Consider a few of Shults Ford Harmarville’s best staff picks this year:

  • Relax at a spa: You both work hard. Treat yourself to a day at the spa, like Peace Love and Zen in East Liberty. Your body (and mind) will thank you.
  • Get on the water: Sign up for an evening ride on the Gateway Clipper for a night of romance with live music and a buffet dinner.
  • Go to a museum: Pittsburgh offers a wealth of museums, but a staff favorite is the Andy Warhol Museum.
  • Keep it classic: Dinner and a movie have proven themselves to be the perfect recipe for a successful date. Grab dinner at a restaurant such as Legume in Oakland or The Commoner tavern downtown. Then catch a movie at Row House Cinema, which includes over 140 soda varieties to enjoy.

Valentine’s Day date ideas in Pittsburgh

Black Friday Shopping Strategies

Some people look forward to Black Friday shopping just as much as Thanksgiving dinner itself. If you’re planning to head out into the Black Friday craze this year, use these tips from Shults Ford Harmarville to make the most of it.

Do Your Research

Sometimes the best deals are offered to the early bird, but that’s not always the case. You should never assume anything with Black Friday—always do your research first. Make a list of the things you’re looking for, and then check store ads to find out when they’re offering the best deals.

Bring a Friend

Face it—shopping is always better with a friend there to keep you company. But don’t be afraid to ask your friend for help. They can stay in your Ford to keep it warm while you run into the store, or even help you collect all of your items to help save time.

Have a Strict Budget

You might be heading out on Black Friday to snag a good deal, but the stores where you’re shopping are planning to try to sell you more than you’d bargained for in the process. Don’t be tempted by colorful displays and good deals on things that aren’t on your list. Plan your items—and your budget—beforehand and don’t stray from it. Your wallet will thank you later.

Black Friday shopping

Assemble a Fall Emergency Kit For Your Car This Year

Throughout the year, there are some items that are important to keep in your vehicle at all times – such as a first-aid kit, jumper cables, and a spare tire, as well as the appropriate tools to install it.

But as the weather slowly turns from summer to winter, there are unique fall hazards that may require to have a bit more. That’s why we suggest that you prepare a fall emergency kit to store in your vehicle, just in case.

Here are some items to consider:

  • A warm blanket or two, as well as an extra pair of gloves, an extra hat, an extra scarf, and maybe even an extra coat
  • A tire gauge and a travel kit to add air pressure to your tires, as tires quickly deflate in cooler weather
  • A spare cell phone and charger, perhaps with a hand-written list of emergency phone numbers
  • An ice scraper, so that you will be ready when that unexpected first snowfall covers your vehicle
  • Similarly, a small shovel might save the day if your car gets snowed in
  • Lastly, consider some non-perishable snacks, such as nuts and dried fruit, to give you energy if you find yourself stuck somewhere

For more safety tips or to start your season in a new vehicle entirely, visit us anytime at Shults Ford of Harmarville.

fall emergency kit

A New Year’s Resolution: Making Your Car Lighter

Many New Year’s resolutions are to shed some pounds during 2016, but maybe it is time to apply that attitude towards your vehicle. Making your car lighter is a great way to save some money on gas and to lower your emissions output. It is simple physics: a lighter car tends to have better performance.

According to eHow, there are several ways to make your car lighter. The first thing you can do is to clean it out and remove any unnecessary weight. Get rid of all the trash, and try not to use your vehicle as storage. Keeping your car spotless could make a serious difference.

For those looking to cut more weight, you can remove seats fairly simply by using a socket set and screwdriver. Power seats are especially heavy because they have an added electric motor. Rear seats are usually the first to go, and can help you shed as much as 140 lbs.

Does your car have added bodywork? If you know you don’t need it, take it off. This includes things like fiberglass aero-skirts and front air dams. While these may claim to increase aerodynamics, many added parts like these simply add pounds.

The best thing you can do, though expensive, it to replace steel body panels with carbon fiber and aluminum. This can drastically change the vehicle’s weight and characteristics. If you still have steel wheels, you should consider upgrading to aluminum wheels to shed hundreds of pounds.

For more info on how to safely remove weight from your car, visit the Shults Ford of Harmarville Service Center.

making your car lighter

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