What to Store in Your Car for Winter

What to Store in Your Car for Winter

Winter can be the harshest season of the year and it can easily strike at the heart of a driver’s transportation. In those situation, it’s important to be prepared with the proper equipment for the job. While you can’t take your entire garage, you can certainly store a few important items in your car. Here’s are a few suggestions on what to store in your car for winter from all of us here at Cambridge Classic Ford.

  • Blankets – If you’ve ever been stranded in a snow drift in a car that won’t start, you already know how important blankets are. It’s important to stay warm when you’re trapped on the side of the road awaiting help. There’s no knowing how long you’ll be out in the cold and a car can’t stay warm forever. Pack in several blankets in case disaster strikes.
  • First Aid Kit – You should always have a first aid kit in your car in case of an emergency. This simple item is incredibly important during winter. Slipping and falling can result in a nasty injury while car accidents are a constant threat as well.
  • Jumper Cables – It takes more current to start a car and some batteries can die under the strain. Having a pair of jumper cables increases the likelihood you’ll be back on the road sooner rather than later.

How Drive-by-Wire Systems Work

 

drive-by-wire systems pic

Drive-by-Wire systems help you control your car with electronics instead of mechanics.

Most cars have mechanical and hydraulic systems for these controls. This requires a lot of different parts that can weigh down your car, and all that metal means serious risk of degradation. Drive-by-wire, conversely, is an innovative technology that is used to electronically control your speed, braking, turning, and any other driving command you give your car, which makes for easier handling.

With drive-by-wire, the heavy mechanical parts are replaced with much lighter electrical wires that use sensors to collect information and then transmit the information to the relevant parts of the car. Sensors on the gas pedal, for instance, measure how much pressure you put on the pedal and send the data to the engine management system. This system determines how much fuel is used to accelerate, among other things.

Furthermore, if the electronic system fails, as batteries and electronics aren’t 100% reliable, a mechanical backup system will kick in, solving the drive-by-wire system’s biggest drawback. Plus, fly-by-wire has been used for a long time in planes, so there’s experience and expertise at play. Overall, safety has been considered when it comes to drive-by-wire, and any major issues have been addressed.

Ford Teaches Safe Driving Tips at Six Free Camps

safe driving tips

safe driving tips

Ford is committed to making the roads safer for everyone, and sometimes that means more than just making cars that ace crashworthiness evaluations. Another way to make the roads safer is to teach drivers how to avoid getting into accidents in the first place. As part of Ford’s commitment, teens will be able to learn about safety hands-on at six camps this summer as part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program.

Camps in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Iowa will teach kids important safe driving tips that aren’t always covered in regular driver’s education, such as how to handle a vehicle on slippery pavement or how to react to an animal crossing the road. They’ll be taught hands-on about hazard recognition, space and speed management, and even how it feels to drive drunk using a special suit and goggles that blurs vision, slows movement, and impairs coordination.

The final step to becoming a safer driver is getting the most out of your driver’s education by driving a responsive car that still has your back should you slip up. What has been the weirdest road hazard you’ve encountered while driving? Tell us here at Cambridge Classic Ford!

2015 Ford F-150 Crash Ratings crush the Silverado and Canyon Competition

Ford F-150 Crash Rating

2015 Ford F-150 Crash Ratings crush the Silverado and Canyon CompetitionThe Ford F-150 has topped the competition once again, this time beating out General Motors’ midsize pickups in the crash rating competition. The Super Crew version of the full-size F-150 pulled an overall five star crash rating. The new F-150 features a major changeover from steel to aluminum, a criticized move, but the five star crash rating proves that aluminum can be just as tough as steel.

The four door Super Crew F-150 makes up about 70% of all F-150s sold. With an overall crash rating of five stars, the pickup proves it’s ready for the road. The F-150 also received five star crash ratings on the front and side crashes. The truck received four stars in the rollover crash protection category.

The new F-150 crash rating proves that Ford’s move to save weight, improve fuel economy, and streamline the model was a good one. GM’s midsize pickups didn’t fare as well; both the Colorado and Canyon pulled a four star rating. Both Ford and GM have received critical acclaim for their trucks but with the release of crash ratings, Ford is pulling ahead.

“Our truck team worked together for years to deliver this accomplishment, using an unprecedented combination of advanced materials throughout the all-new F-150,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The 2015 model is engineered to be the safest F-150 ever.”

4 Tips for Driving in the Snow

Winter can be a stressful time to drive here in Cambridge. There’s snow and ice; windows fog really easily; it gets dark early; and visibility tends to be pretty low—not to mention the sun is glaringly bright when there is snow on the ground. To make things a little easier, we at Cambridge Classic Ford have gathered four tips for driving in the snow. We hope these help!

  1. Know your car, especially the brakes: It’s always important that you are familiar with your car, but especially when conditions are bad. Specifically, take note of whether you have antilock brakes or not. AAA recommends threshold braking, regardless of brake types.
  2. Be careful on hills: If you’re approaching a hill, you’re going to want to have inertia on your side. Don’t try to power up it too quickly, but never stop going when you’re climbing a hill.
  3. Refrain from stopping: If you can keep from braking anywhere (not just on that hill we mentioned), please do so. It’s much more difficult to gain inertia from a standstill. Obviously, you must stop at all traffic stops.
  4. Take it slow: Ultimately, slowing everything down in extreme conditions is the best strategy to have. Accelerate, decelerate, turn, everything—slow and steady wins the race. And gets you home safe and sound.

Be careful out there!

Tailgate Theft on the Rise, Easy to Prevent

Apparently there is a high demand for truck tailgates on the black market. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that from January 1st 2012 to December 31st 2013, tailgate theft has jumped from 831 to 1,090, an unbelievable 31 percent.

The National Crime Insurance Bureau reviewed insurance claims for stolen tailgates from trucks across the nation to come to their finding. Texas led the way with 752 total claims in the two-year period, which is likely due to the sheer popularity and higher number of pickup trucks in the great state. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas carry the majority of those thefts. California and Arizona followed in second and third place, with 334 and 207 claims, respectively.

Unfortunately, the black market thrives off of items that can be acquired at low risk and low cost to thieves. Tailgates, when not locked, are fairly easy and quick to remove, and thieves can go virtually unnoticed in unpopulated areas. Many of these tailgates are sold for use on similar trucks, but some are sold for scrap, contributing to a nationwide problem of metal theft.

Because an experienced tailgate thief can steal a tailgate in mere seconds, it can happen just about anywhere. The good news? It’s easy to deter such criminals with a simple after-market hinge lock.

NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi told Autoblog that “it’s hard to know with confidence” the reason for the rise in claims. He speculated that it could simply have been more awareness of the problem, which would mean more people filing insurance claims for it.

This may or may not be a new problem, but the message is clear: it’s worth a little extra effort to make sure your tailgate is locked up, and avoid becoming a statistic.

If you are in the market for a reliable pickup, stop by Cambridge Classic Ford today!

Ford “Focuses” on Safety for 2014 Model

The Ford Focus, which continues to hold the prestigious title of best-selling car in the world, just added even more accolades to its collection. For 2014, all models of the Focus—both the sedan and the hatchback, plus the Focus Electric—earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest honors, the 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety. The Focus, which also earned the 5-Star rating last year, has thus established itself as one of the safest and smartest small cars on the market.

For the 2014 model year, the Focus takes advantage of Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability control and anti-lock brake system, which comes standard on all models. AdvanceTrac technology keeps track of both the ever-changing road conditions and your reactions to those conditions to enhance your car’s reaction time and stability out there on the roads. The Focus also comes equipped with front and side air bags, specially designed to cushion drivers and passengers alike in the event of a crash.

When you add the Focus’s high safety rating to its sporty look, roomy interior, and its unbelievable gas mileage—up to an EPA-estimated 40 mpg highway—it becomes hard to think of a reason not to consider the Focus as the frontrunner to be your next car. After all, it’s the world’s best-selling nameplate—everyone else is doing it! So swing by Cambridge Classic Ford today to check out the globe’s most popular car!

Traffic Tickets that will Raise Your Insurance

The only time you want to see red and blue lights is when they are on a Christmas tree or some other decorative object. You never want to see them flashing in your rearview mirror. Usually when you get pulled over, you’ll end up with a ticket. Just that one ticket can make your insurance costs go up. If you get more than one ticket, be prepared for your insurance to go through the roof.

Insurance rate increase due to traffic ticketEven though every company has their own formula for figuring out your premium, there are some traffic violations that will affect your rate more than the rest. Here are the top five:

1. Driving while impaired/under the influence. This one can cause your premium to increase by as much as 25%. Insurance companies are not known for handing out ‘passes’ on this violation.

2. Reckless driving. Expect your premium to raise anywhere from 15% to 20% if you get nailed with this charge. The violations that fall into the definition for reckless driving varies throughout the country, so it’s better to just keep your hands and eyes on the road.

3. Driving without a valid license. We’re sure that you would never consider doing this on purpose, but sometimes you forget to renew your license when your birthday rolls around. An incentive to not forget the next time you need to renew? If you get caught without a valid license, you’re looking at 10% premium increase…and that’s not accounting for anything else you may be fined for.

4. Running a red light. Breezing through the light because you’re in a hurry or plain just don’t want to stop are not excuses your insurance company is going to care about as they’re raising your premium an estimated 10%.

5. Speeding. You may not think going over the limit is a big deal, but we bet you’ll think twice after your premium goes up about 10%.

Make sure you drive legally and safety. And pass these tips along to your kids as a good warning as they start driving. Staying ticket-free is better for you and your insurance bill.

Spring Driving Tips

It seems like spring may finally arrive this weekend! That means everyone will be getting out on the road and really letting loose for the first time this season. We’re sure that for many of you that will mean rolling the windows down and going for a cruise with the radio blasting. While we’re all for having fun and feeling the wind blow through your hair, we would like to offer a little cautionary advice.

  1. Beware of the potholes! After the winter treatments applied to the roadways and the plow trucks being out and about, there are sure to be a few new potholes popping up. So keep your eyes open.
  2. Drivers are not the only ones who are excited to experience the spring weather properly for the first time. Our children and those of our friends, relatives, and neighbors are eager to be out in the sun as well. Make sure you look both ways.
  3. Don’t forget to look out for animals too. Animals are likely to be outside a lot more exploring the fresh sights, sounds, and smells. They are also the least likely to check for cars before crossing into the roadway.
  4. For those inevitable days when it rains, SLOW DOWN. Wet pavement is dangerous because it increases the amount of time you need to stop and it can negatively affect your vehicle’s handling ability. And while it may seem fun to drive through puddles, we recommend that you avoid those or decrease your speed as much as possible. Puddles, especially large ones, can lead to hydroplaning due to decreased tire traction.

Cambridge Classic Ford Sping Driving Tips

From all of us here at Cambridge Classic Ford: enjoy the nice weather, have fun, and be safe!

Don’t Neglect Your Ride! Keep Up With Routine Car Maintenance

Many people forget just how important routine car maintenance is to keeping your car working for you long after others quit.  It’s necessary to keep up with replacing worn out parts or fluids to keep your vehicle running smooth, just like you get doctor or dentist checkups every now and then.

Some common things to check include:

  • Oil change and oil filter change
  • Brake inspection and service
  • Detailing interior and exterior
  • Washing
  • Battery checks and replacements

Coupons for these services are available on the Cambridge Classic Ford website at http://cambridgeclassicford.com/Specials-Service.aspx! Make sure you check that your car is running at top-notch performance. When could be a better time to get a fresh start for your car than the beginning of the year?