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!
This year we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at all the latest model debuts during press week at the 113th annual New York Auto Show. The show featured over 1,000 vehicles in a 900,000 square foot arena. From the unveiling of the Subaru WRX concept, to the roll out of 3 new Kia models, none of the brands left us disappointed. We are very excited to share this exclusive coverage with you and give you a little bit of insight into what goes on at one of the Nation’s largest auto shows.
February 23, 2013 saw the start to the second race of the Rally America National Championship Series in Salem, MO at 100 Acre Woods. This Rally is known to be one of the most scenic races in the series. The race got its name from the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh. The event takes place in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain range and is home to some of the tightest and fastest roads in the series. Every twist and turn puts the drivers ability to the test, including Lauchlin O’Sullivan and our own Scott Putnam from CPD racing.
They came into the event with a freshly built 2008 Subaru WRX STI backed by Lucas Oil, Wolf LED and Morrie’s Subaru. Even with the limited time in the new WRX STI rally car O’Sullivan and Putnam were able to place 1st in the Super Production class and 3rd overall.
We spent the last two days exploring everything that the New York Auto Show had to offer and we must say that there was a lot to see. Between press conferences, new vehicle debuts and industry award presentations, we were kept quite busy. We’re currently working on a library of 2013 New York Auto Show videos that we’ll get posted shortly, but in the meantime we hope our photo gallery tides you over. Be sure to take a look at some of the notable New York debuts, including the Bentley Flying Spur, Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru WRX Concept, Kia Soul, Kia Forte Koup, Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid, Porsche GT3, Hyundai Equus plus many more.
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.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet with Aristea Brady from WCCO Channel 4 news and share the story of Matthew’s Charger restoration. Take a minute to watch the video below and get up to speed on all the latest details.
2012 was a very busy year for the Cadillac brand. Not only did they introduce two new models, the ATS and the XTS, they also introduced their breakthrough touch screen infotainment system, CUE. The Cadillac User Experience, CUE, is currently available on the XTS, ATS and the SRX.
The CUE system has an intuitive learning process which is designed to mimic the look and feel of personal electronics that are already on the market. With the purchase of select Cadillac ATS and XTS models, consumers will also receive an iPad3 that comes preloaded with the CUE system app. This helps users to become more familiar with the system before utilizing it on the road.
While driving, the CUE system displays a very simple screen with a select number of icons. When your hand gets closer to the CUE screen, the home menu will automatically pop up. This proximity sensing setting is an auto-industry first. Every time your finger touches the CUE screen you’ll feel a soft pulsing to confirm that you have selected one of the icons, this is designed to help the driver focus more on the road, and less on the screen.
Since our last update there has been a flurry of activity on the 1968 Dodge Charger. To date the restoration has truly been a team effort. Upon arrival at Morrie’s Long Lake Bodyworks facility our team of 22 body technicians each enthusiastically volunteered to work on a particular body panel. In the images below you can actually see where each technician’s name has been written on the car to mark his territory. Each has been tasked with stripping, repairing, straightening and preparing their assigned part(s) for paint.
As they have dug deeper into it, the Charger is proving to be as clean as it originally looked. Rust has been almost wholly nonexistent and the dry California climate has really preserved the car nicely. This has certainly helped keep the schedule on track. In less than a week’s time much progress has been made and a number of panels are nearly ready for final paint. The team is shooting to have all the bodywork done and car delivered to our Brooklyn Park Bodyworks location by February 11th. From there the panels will be reattached and painting commence.
Stay tuned as the transformation process continues. We’re planning on getting some great photo and video footage of the painting and subsequent assembly processes.
This week Morrie’s had the opportunity to attend the 2013 North American International Auto in Detroit. The show was marked by a number of vehicle debuts from domestic and overseas automakers. While C7 Corvette was the show’s media darling, Ford literarily dropped a big one on attendees with the unexpected display of their F150 Atlas Concept Vehicle. Other notable concept vehicles included the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept, Nissan Resonance SUV concept, Lincoln MKC Concept, BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept, Toyota Corolla Furia concept, Acura NSX concept plus a few others. These concept vehicles all provide clues, some more accurate than others, as to how future production models might look. The production vehicle debuts were equally impressive, illustrating what will actually see on the roads in the near future. These included the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, Audi RS7, Shelby Focus ST, Kia Cadenza, Nissan Versa Note, Cadillac ELR, Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible and C7 Corvette.
Please read along as we elaborate more fully on some of the more noteworthy vehicles that fall within Morrie’s portfolio of brands. Also be sure to check our YouTube and Facebook pages soon to see videos we put together for each vehicle highlighted below.
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.