Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Celebrate National Teacher’s Day with These Car Gifts for Teachers

National Teacher's Day

If your kids attend school, you know how hard teachers work. May 6th is National Teacher’s Day, and when combined with the near end of the school year, this is a perfect time to show your appreciation. Since we love cars, here are some car gifts for teachers that are sure to brighten their day.

  • Car wash. Get their car looking fresh and clean again with a good wash. You could either gift them with a gift certificate to a local car wash or covertly wash their car yourself while they are teaching.
  • Detailing. For an even cleaner car, give them a gift certificate to get their car detailed.
  • Coffee break. Many of us drink a cup of coffee while driving to work and we’re sure that teachers are no exception. Use some investigative skills and learn what their favorite coffee shop is. Get them a gift basket filled with goodies, like a gift card, new travel mug, and coffee.
  • Car accessories. Give your teacher’s car a good look to see if they are missing any necessities, like a windshield sun shade or steering wheel cover. Talk to other teachers to see if they can drop some hints to give you some feedback as to what your teacher would really like.

If you are looking for some great car accessories, stop by our parts department here at El Dorado Mazda.

How to Spring Clean Your Car

Spring Clean Your Car - Air VentsWith spring weather on the loose, it’s that time of year where you gotta stop making “it’s too cold” excuses and clean your car. El Dorado Mazda knows sometimes this can be an undertaking, so here are some top-notch points to get you started on the perfect automobile spring cleaning.

Get Out the Trash

This is the obvious one. Get a trash bag and a keep box, and just get everything out of your car that you don’t need with you every day. Don’t forget to hit the trunk, too.

Don’t Overlook Air Vents

The air vents in your car can be a major place to accumulate dust—and what’s worse, it blows it all over the interior. Use foam art brushes to get into those tiny places.

Scrub & Vacuum Carpet

Use a fine-bristled brush to knock the dirt out of all the nooks and crannies in the interior and scrub stubborn dirt out of the mats and carpet, then take a vacuum to your floors.

Hand Wash Exterior

Doing a good old-fashioned hand wash is the way to go. Just make sure you use a special soap formulated for washing cars; regular dish or hand soap can speed up wear and tear.

Do the Windows Last

Cleaning windows last will prevent them from getting other parts of the vehicle dirty. Use a cleaner without ammonia and use a microfiber cloth for a streak-free clean!

It’s easier than you think to clean your car in a way that gives it a lasting shine or if you’d rather a professional clean your car, schedule a service appointment at El Dorado Mazda today!

fixing a flat

Changing a Flat Tire Made Easy: Tips for Blowouts

Changing a flat tire can be difficult, especially in bad weather, heavy traffic, or if you’ve simply never done it before. That’s why we’ve put together some tips and tricks for what to do if you get a flat. From preparation to tightening the lug nuts, there are some important things to keep in mind.

To begin with, according to Car Talk, you should test out your equipment. Know where the spare tire is located, which can be under the car or in a compartment in the trunk, and be sure to test out the jack. If it’s difficult to use, consider buying a new one. Also, see if you have trouble lifting the tire. If you can’t manage, consider getting fix-a-flat, run-flat tires, or roadside assistance.

Next, if you get a flat tire, you need to get to safety. Many highways have emergency lanes for this exact situation, but those can still be dangerous in heavy traffic. You can drive roughly 300 yards on a flat tire before you begin to damage the rim (depending on the blowout and other factors), so try to find an exit or empty parking lot. It’s not a good idea to accept help from strangers, as this can be dangerous as well. Be sure to use your hazards and flares, too.

Finally, there are some tips for actually changing the tire. Loosen the nuts when it’s on the ground, as it can be difficult with the tire spinning in the air. Then, use the emergency brake when lifting the car. When tightening lug nuts, move in a crossing pattern, tightening the lug nut on the opposite side of the wheel. Once you tighten the lug nuts in a star-like pattern, the wheel will be more secure.

What’s next? Bring your flat into our service center. Our staff can help you find new tires, fix flats, or repair other damage.

Christmas Trees

Tips to Choose a Christmas Tree That is Both Healthy and Safe

When preparing for the Christmas season, it’s important to invest in a quality Christmas tree that will not only last you for the entire course of the holiday, but also, that will be safe to keep inside your home. Here are some tips on how to choose a Christmas tree:

 

  • Before you go shopping, choose a location for your potential tree, and measure the area – away from the fireplace.
  • Additionally, measure your tree stand and factor in the desired width of the tree’s trunk.
  • Try to find a tree that is one foot shorter than the height of the room, giving you space for an ornament on top.
  • When you think you’ve found a tree that you like, run your fingers over the pine needles, and shake the tree slightly to see how many needles fall.
  • Fresh trees will not lose many needles and are much safer to keep in your home. The older and dryer a tree is, the more likely it is to catch fire.

 

Whatever you do, take your time and be safe. And if you’re interested in checking out some of our many winter-weather-ready vehicles, contact us anytime at El Dorado Mazda.

Staying Safe from Dusk ‘til Dawn: Tips for Night Driving

tips for night drivingIn a recent study performed by the National Safety Council, they found that vehicle death rates are three times higher at nighttime. That’s why it’s important to always pay attention when it’s dark out. We’ve put together a list of tips for night driving to help you stay better prepared.

According to the DMV, one of the best things you can do is turn your headlights on one hour before dusk and one hour after dawn. Waiting until visibility is poor to turn your lights on could be too late.

Most cars let you adjust the angles of the headlights, which is always a good idea. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions – just remember, don’t set them too high. They should also never be askew, as this diminishes road coverage.

One great trick detailers use is to rub your windshield with clean newspaper. This will help eliminate smudges on the glass, getting rid of some of that nasty glare. Of course, regularly cleaning the glass with wiper cleaner works well too.

Last but not least, give extra room at night. Distance is harder to gauge at night, so giving a few extra feet is always a good idea. Also, if you’re following someone, make sure you don’t have your high-beams on.