When winter hits here in Minnesota it’s always good to be prepared and we have a few winter driving tips to help with that. One of the most important things to factor in is that the only thing between your car and the road is your tires. Making sure you have well treaded tires is a great idea and another huge advantage to that is adding snow tires to your vehicle. More >
With winter rapidly approaching (most likely faster than most of us would like) we want to provide you with a way to protect your wheels from the Minnesota winters as well as maybe add a bit of style to your vehicle. We started with a 2014 Mazda 3 and thought it would add a bit of style to “Plasti Dip” the wheels for a temporary cover and black wheel option for winter. Plasti Dip is a rubberized removable spray can that you can apply to any vehicle wheel to help keep salt, snow, dirt and any other thing on the road from scratches or penetrating your wheels during the winter months. It is removeable and peels off quite easy when applied with about 3 coats. More >
Let’s be honest, the last thing dad needs is another tie. If you’ve put off buying that father’s day gift don’t fret, it’s not too late. Below is a list of a few unique gifts for all the gear head dads out there. Each is sure to get your dad’s motor running.
1. Have you caught dad channeling his inner Mario Andretti behind the wheel? Perhaps he plays armchair racecar driver on weekends watching his race series of choice? By giving him the gift of a trackday at Brainerd International Raceway dad can see what his car can do on this legendary racetrack or even get behind the wheel of a purpose built racecar. Track days start at $295. Visit www.birperformance.com for more details.
2. Give dad the opportunity to ride in a tank, drive a tank, or if you really love him let him crush a car with a tank. Just make sure it’s not your car…. Packages start at $199 and go up quite quickly from there. Visit www.driveatank.com for more details.
3. Had dad always wanted a sportscar? Why not fulfill his dreams with a new Bentley or Maserati—-in 1/43rd scale. If he’s not a model car guy, why not get him a hat, keychain or shirt from the the boutique at Morrie’s Luxury Auto or online at LuxuryAutoGear.com. Official Bentley and Maserati gear starts from around $20.
4. Give dad the opportunity to scratch his automotive itch even in the dead of winter with one or a few quintessential automotive focused movies. Each movie below is a must see for auto enthusiast dad’s of all ages. Oh, and we included direct links to order them too.
5. While outdoorsmen like to hang animals on their walls, motorsports enthusiasts prefer putting their favorite racetracks on their walls. Linear edge offers a full range of race track sculptures for all the tracks dad has been to and all the others he’s only dreamed of visiting. www.linearedge.com
6. Help dad keep his car looking shiny and new with a car care kit form Griots Garage, available from $65 here. If dad isn’t the type to get his hands dirty, treat him to a full-service detail from any one of Morrie’s locations.
Today we kicked off our first Teen Driving School event in partnership with BIR Performance Driving School in an effort to teach teens the skills they need when acquiring a drivers license. The Driving Defense Program was held at the National Sports Center and was the first test run at an event that we will be offering regularly this summer. The program is designed to help young drivers to feel comfortable and confident when behind the wheel by teaching them the advanced techniques they need to become safe, responsible drivers.
Here’s a quick break down of the program and what it entails:
Teens will attend Classroom instruction and in-car exercises (in their own car) and those will include the following:
Fundamental vehicle dynamics and knowing the limits of your car
Emergency and threshold braking including ABS activation
Emergency lane change maneuvers
Skidpad exercises and traction loss
Distracted driving exercises simulating texting and driving under the influence
Combined skills course
A few of our teen drivers at the National Sports Center today!
If you are interested in our Summer Defensive Driving Program please contact us at 952-797-1336. We look forward to hearing from you!
In honor of earth day today, we thought we would take a look at some of the environmentally friendly models that we carry here at Morrie’s. If you’re looking for a hybrid or electric vehicle option, we’ve got something for you.
1. Mazda doesn’t currently offer any electric or hybrid vehicles but what they do offer is their SKYACTIV system which is central to their long term effort to improve fuel-efficiency as well as reduce emissions. Mazda created SKYACTIV technology by utilizing methods such as idle-stop, regenerative braking systems as well as hybrid technology to further increase fuel efficiency. The 2012 Mazda3 was the first vehicle in the Mazda lineup to receive the new SKYACTIV technologies, which is now available on a variety of different vehicles here on our showfloor.
2. Over at Morrie’s Brooklyn Park Nissan we have quite the impressive lineup of environmentally friendly vehicles, starting with the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, which is available in 2-wheel, and 4-wheel drive options, and uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor paired to a lithium-ion battery. For more information on this vehicle head over to our website and check it out.
3. Staying within the same family we have the Nissan Leaf which stands for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car. This electric hatchback features a front-mounted synchronous motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack, which delivers up to 120 horsepower. Click here for more information on the Nissan Leaf. Or stop our Brooklyn Park location today.
4. Last year at the New York International Auto Show Subaru introduced their first ever hybrid variant of the popular Crosstrek XV, and Subaru drivers couldn’t have been more excited. We were live in NY to capture all the excitement. The beautiful new XV Crosstrek hybrid is the lowest-emissions, most fuel-efficient All-Wheel Drive hybrid crossover in America. Make sure to stop by Morrie’s Brooklyn Park or Morrie’s Minnetonka Subaru to take one for a no-hassle test-drive!
After decades of building small affordable vehicles, Hyundai is really starting to make their way to the top in terms of quality and reliability. According to the latest Vehicle Health Index Report, Hyundai has surpassed Toyota which has been a giant for years in the industry as the lowest-cost repaired vehicle. What this means for current owners of Hyundai vehicles is that down the road you will be saving more money than any other car owner that bought from another manufacturer.
You are especially in luck if you own a 2010 Hyundai Elantra which breaks into the top 10 at No. 8 of the overall least repaired vehicles. This has been published through a website called CarMD which surveys the repair costs of all the manufacturers.
If you haven’t already considered a Hyundai the time may be now. Hyundai has the lowest cost of repairs among any car on the road, . Make sure to check out Morrie’s 394 Hyundai on the web or stop by to see for yourself what makes the Hyundai so great!
Spring is a time for wonderful fresh smells, budding trees, flowers blooming, snow melting and deep cleaning. There is nothing better than being able to crack open the windows to let the cool spring smells replenish the stale winter air. Many people are inspired to do their spring cleaning with this season change, however we often neglect our vehicle as part of the spring cleaning process. The winter season can wreak havoc on our vehicles with all the snow, sand, salt and mud that gets tracked in and out.
General consensus shows that most people do not want to stand outside in the freezing winter months to vacuum out their vehicle. Car washes are always busiest on that first warm day of the season. You wait though, because there is nothing better than seeing your car free of the wintery mix of sand, salt and snow. Not everyone has access to commercial grade cleaning tools like we do here at Morrie’s, so we asked around for some tips and tricks people have learned over time on how to make cleaning your vehicle easy and convenient using everyday household items. Remember cleaning your vehicle may seem like a never ending chore, but it will help to protect the finish, prevent rust, and add to the resale value. A clean car is a happy car.
1. Using a toothpick and or cotton swab can help to remove dirt and grime from cup holders and around counsel shifters.
2. A cotton swab also works well to clean out heat vents.
3. Some people have air compressors at home. These can come in handy when cleaning your vehicle. You can use it to loosen up sand embedded deep down in the carpet for easy vacuuming. If you don’t have one, just use your hand in a flat motion to tap the carpet. You will see the sand popping up. Sprinkle some baby power on the carpet before vacuuming for a fresh smell.
4. Vinegar can be used to clean windows and chrome. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in to a spray bottle. Don’t forget the old trick using newspapers to wipe windows for that streak free shine. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning dashboards and steering columns.
5. Baking Soda can be used for cleaning tires. Add water to the baking soda to form a paste. Wet the tire and use a hard bristle brush to clean the tire with the baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes and rinse clean.
6. Use a brown paper bag or plastic sack from the grocery store to put excess garbage in. You can also use a few extra to put loose clothing in and one for things you need to take back in the house like, extra pens, travel mugs, change, ice scrapers, mail, sunglasses, etc.
7. To clean interior upholstery, pour a cup of baking soda into a bowl, and stir in white vinegar until a smooth paste is formed. Apply to the upholstery or carpet stain, and scrub in with a soft bristled brush. Let the paste dry, then vacuum to collect any baking soda residue. For tough and built-in stains, repeat this process as necessary.
8. For the exterior of your vehicle, add 10 drops of dishwashing liquid into a bucket, and then add warm water to form suds. The dishwashing liquid serves as a de-greasing agent to break up dirt and debris without leaving a greasy film behind.
We hope these tips come in handy when you decide to deep clean your vehicle this spring. And remember, you can also stop by any Morrie’s location for a car wash!
Minnesota winters can make traveling difficult especially during the rush hour commute. Here are a few tips for driving in winter weather conditions.
If you do plan on traveling during a winter storm, make sure you are prepared. Before heading out on the road, remove the snow from all surfaces of your vehicle to ensure visibility while driving. Make sure your gas tank is full to avoid your tank freezing, and fill your tires with air to guarantee traction on snowy road surfaces.
Once on the road, it’s important to slow down, driving too fast is the main cause of accidents when driving in the winter. Make sure to keep your distance; it takes a lot longer to stop your vehicle when the roads are packed with snow and ice. If the driver in front of you has to stop abruptly and you are tailgating, you may cause a collision. This also means that you need to take extra time and precaution when braking and accelerating due to the reduced traction.
Be extra cautious on bridges and entrance or exit ramps, which are most likely to freeze first. Be aware of other drivers around you, remember to give snowplows plenty of room and don’t pass them.
If you do happen to get stuck in the snow, turn your wheels from side to side for added traction. If you get stranded make sure to stay in your car. Prepare in advance by keeping a safety kit in your vehicle. Refer to our earlier blog post for a list of items to carry when traveling during the winter months.
If your vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission, or one of the many automatic transmissions that allows manual gear changes, you can often use your transmission to your advantage. If you’re having a hard time moving or your wheels are spinning, shifting to a higher gear often helps gain traction to get you going. For planned stops, gradually downshifting as you apply the brakes can often slow you down quicker. You can get more vigorous with downshift to avoid an impending accident. In non-accident avoidance scenarios try to be gentle on the transmission, though, since brakes are always cheaper than transmission parts.
Most cars these days are equipped with traction control which does a great job of keeping you on the road and on the intended path of travel. However, there are situations where traction control can hinder your ability to move. If you find yourself stuck and needing to rock the car out of place, try turning off the traction control. Sometimes you need the tires to spin a little bit to get some traction.
Remember to take it slow, and use caution, weather patterns in Minnesota can change quickly. Being prepared and educating yourself on how to drive in the snow can help to make traveling in winter weather conditions easier and less stressful.
Weather patterns change quickly here in the midwest and so do road conditions. In the blink of an eye you could be stranded in your vehicle so we did some research of our own to help you be more prepared. We talked to employees in different departments at our Chippewa Valley Mazda dealership and they provided some helpful tips to ensure safe winter driving.
Our staff recommends that you keep these items in your car at all times in case of emergency: A blanket, water, a knife or scissors, glow sticks, road flares, a flashlight, hand and feet warmers, a first aid kit, matches, a candle, booster cables, hat and gloves, an extra set of warm clothes, an ice scraper, and a bag of road salt, sand, or kitty litter.
With icy conditions, our Service Manager suggests using kitty litter or road salt if you get stuck. Put the litter under your tires to help gain added traction. Our Sales Manager suggests digging snow away from your exhaust pipe if you become stuck in deep snow. This prevents the exhaust from seeping back into your vehicle and becoming a hazard. Some other suggestions from staff members included staying in your vehicle until emergency personnel arrive, always carrying a cell phone with a car charger, and packing a snack that won’t spoil or freeze. Maneuvering the roads in Wisconsin/Minnesota during winter months can be dangerous, but being prepared with some of the simple tips above can help if you find yourself stranded.