Tips and Tricks
It seem like a no-brainer, but the key to any successful endeavor is being prepared. When going out in the winter you should always be prepared for cold, for snow and for ice. If you don’t have a winter car kit assembled you should definitely put one together. This video outlines what should be included in your winter car kit.
Weather you like it or not, winter is coming. Driving in winter conditions is the bane of many peoples’ existence, but odds are that you are going to have to go out in the cold and snow no matter how much you want to avoid it. When you do finally brave the outdoors, you probably prepare with a jacket, boots, gloves and a hat – but it’s just as important to take some time to prepare your car for the long winter ahead. These tips will not only make the winter more tolerable, but ensure your car is tip-top shape through the frigid months.
Safety Belts: not just for humans anymore.
“Do you want to go for a ride in the car?” How many of us have said that to our dog(s)? With warmer weather ensuing, this phrase will be used more frequently, but are we and not to mention our pets really safe when we take our dog for a ride?
According to a AAA survey, nearly six in 10 (56 percent) respondents have driven with their dog at least once a month in the past year, however, many participate in behaviors that take their attention away from the road with the most common activity being petting their dog (52 percent). Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) have used their hands or arms to hold their dog in place while applying brakes, and 19 percent have used their hands or arms to keep their dog from climbing into the front seat—creating a situation where they remove at least one hand from the steering wheel.
Other distracting behaviors drivers admitted to include: reaching into the back seat to interact with their dog (18 percent), allowing their dog to sit in their lap or holding their dog (17 percent), giving food or treats (13 percent) and 3 percent have taken a photo of their dog while driving. These behaviors can distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash. So what if there is a crash?
What about a safety belt?
In the same AAA study, eighty-three percent of respondents acknowledge that an unrestrained dog in a moving car can be dangerous, but only 16 percent currently use a pet safety belt. “Drivers should use a pet restraint system for your dog every time their pet is in the vehicle,” said Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, AAA National, Traffic Safety Programs manager. A pet safety belt, will not only limit distractions, but also protect you, your pet and other passengers in the event of a crash or sudden stop. Other benefits of a pet safety belt is that is keep your canine in the car. What many of us do not anticipate is that every dog likes to hang their head out the window on a warm summer day, however, not all know to stay in the vehicle. Many pets are treated by Veterinarians for road rash, de-gloving injuries and broken bones from leaping out the window of a moving vehicle.
What is the best safety belt?
To prevent driver distraction and unnecessary injury to our pets, all pets should wear a safety belt, however, according to Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety, “All dog seat belts are not created equal.” That is when Wolko started to look into safety options and that’s where Subaru came in.
Executives found that two-thirds of its drivers own dogs (AAA reports that nearly 90% of U.S. pet owners say they travel with their pets)–so canine safety is particularly important to the brand. And after seeing Wolko talk about the crash test failures on morning talk shows, the automaker commissioned a full CPS report that tested belts for small, medium and large dogs in simulated crashes.
“The thing people don’t think about is that [having a dog in the car] is like carrying an 80 pound sack of spuds behind your seat,” said Michael McHale, director of communications at Subaru of America. AAA says that a 10-pound unrestrained dog in a car traveling 30 miles an hour will exert 300 pounds of force during a crash.
The safety harness results weren’t great. The report revealed, that four of the seven brands tested had “catastrophic failure” during a crash, which CPS defines as allowing the dog to become a projectile or release from the restraint. Only Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness consistently kept dogs from launching off the seat; it was the only restraint deemed to offer substantial protection to all passengers including the dog.
Subaru and CPS enlisted MGA Research Corporation, an independent lab often contracted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to study commonly available pet safety harnesses, to compile the report. CPS recreated the same crash tests used to rate child safety products.
Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness similar in concept to the three-point seatbelt federally required in all vehicles. Straps enclosed in Clickit Utility’s broad, padded vest hug the upper torso of a dog to absorb forward movement, while belts anchor the lower torso and reduce forward and lateral movement. The three-point design that secures the dog in its space diminishes the opportunity for collision with parts of the vehicle and passengers, and reduces the chance for traumatic injuries that can be associated with one-point dog safety harness designs that can catapult a dog’s upper or lower torso forward into front seats, passengers and windows.
Walko stats, “It’s so intuitive for us to just reach over and strap a seat belt on, but people don’t think about using these products for their pets,” but “It’s incredibly important.”
Subaru will be donating three of the Sleepypod’s Clickit Safety Harnesses for a drawing at Vet Partners Pet Hospital Grand Opening Saturday, May 16th from 10 am-4 pm. (3505 Vicksburg Lane #300, Plymouth, MN 55447).
Come and check out the new Hospital, learn about Subaru’s pet friendly vehicles and enter your pet to win a Safety Harness, so there is no hesitation to go for, “a ride in the car” this summer!
Dog Safety with Subaru: Sleepypod’s Clickit Utility Harness by Dr. Angela Woodward Vet Partners Pet Hospital-Plymouth
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 >
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!
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.