Look Twice…Save a Life!

As a motorcyclist myself I hope nearly everyone has seen this bumper sticker on Minnesota roads. If you haven’t you might want to keep reading on. The weather is starting to turn and that means it’s time to start sharing the road with everyone. On an average day in 2014 there were a reported 215 crashes on Minnesota roads, that is per day! Of these crashes there were a reported 361 fatalities which has slightly decreased year after year, but unfortunately there were 46 motorcyclists who lost their lives in 2014. While all motorcyclists know the dangers of riding, people should to be aware of how to help avoid crashes and makes sure lives aren’t put in danger when they don’t need to be.

The best information we can offer is that if you are a motorcyclist make sure you are riding smart. Always wear the appropriate riding gear and please for your own safety wear a helmet. The Office of Traffic Safety has a great list of tips to keep in mind as Spring approaches:

  • Motorists are advised to watch carefully for motorcycles in traffic and always look twice before turning or changing lanes.
  • Riders are advised to wear full, brightly-colored protective gear, including a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Riders should travel at safe speeds, pay attention, maintain a two-second following distance and ride sober.
  • Riders should seek safety training.

We at Morrie’s care about the safety of motorists on the road and want to make sure you and your family are safe and practicing safe habits while behind the wheel. For more information please visit the pages below and make sure to always look twice!


2015 Distracted Driving Results

2014 Crash Facts

MN Motorcycle Safety Center

Motorcycle Rider Safety Courses


Who will you support in the Polar Plunge?

It’s Subaru vs. Subaru for the Polar Plunge

Who will you support in the Polar Plunge?

We’re all pretty used to freezing temperatures, wind chills well below zero, mountains of snow, and all the other terrible things that come with Minnesota winters. Most of us do not willingly go outside without a very good reason during these times; much less do anything to add to the cold. Scott and Tina, the managers at our Subaru stores, feel differently.

This year they’ve decided to participate in the Polar Plunge. They’ll jump (or be pushed) into the frozen Lake Calhoun to show their support for the Special Olympics. Each store is trying to raise $5,000 for the cause. A portion of that will come from a $25 donation for each new Subaru sold during the month of February. We’re counting on family, friends, and anyone else who’d like to help out to make up the rest.

The manager of the store to hit the fundraising goal first gets to push the other one into the lake on March 4th. They’ve both been training hard and are pretty confident in their chances of winning—so now we ask you to pick a side and make a pledge.

Support Scott and Team Minnetonka Subaru / Support Tina and Team Brooklyn Park Subaru

Donations raised from the Polar Plunge help thousands of athletes train for and compete in the Special Olympics. Learn more here.

8 Ways you are Wasting Money on your Car . . . or are you? – Part 2


This is part 2 of this blog, check out part 1 here.


5. Buying fancy windshield wipers: Rain, dust, cold, and heat: your wipers’ biggest enemy is simple exposure to the elements. Over time the rubber will break down, regardless of how fancy and organic and sustainable it is. Just get the basic cheap wipers and change ‘em out on the regular.

Basic wipers do work, but I have found you need to change them out more often, especially in colder climates. I’ve tried all the frameless replacements and have actually found some winners. “Fancy” wipers do cost more—sometimes by 3 or 4 times—but they clean your windshield better and work for a longer period of time.

More >

8 Ways you are Wasting Money on your Car . . . or are you? – Part 1



Recently a coworker sent me an article she found an article on thrillist.com titled 8 Car Parts and Services You Shouldn’t Spend Money On. The email subject line was “You’ll hate everything about this article. Literally EVERYTHING.” I started to read the article and the ranting began right on cue. She found it quite amusing, so I thought I should take this to the people. While some points made in the article are good, I am still going to play devil’s advocate. I’ll break them down one by one:


1. Changing your oil too often: Simply put, the mythological 3,000-mile oil change was the domain of your grandfather. Today, the oil is more pure to begin with (especially if you’re using synthetic oil, which you should), your oil filter weeds out more contaminants, and tolerances in your engine are such that less of those contaminating particles get into the oil in the first place. So how long can you go without changing your oil? That’s a controversy for another article entirely, my friend.

Yes, changing oil every 3,000 miles may be too much, but for some cars but it depends on what type of driving and how much you do. Of course you want to follow manufacturer’s recommendation, but If you only drive your car in the city with a lot short drives, you should change your oil a little more often or see if the manufacturer recommends a Severe Duty Interval. On the other side of the coin, if you drive a lot on the highway you may need to change it less often. Your owner’s manual should have this information, and most new cars will just tell you when you should change the oil based on your driving habits. Remember, oil is cheap—engines are not. Using a good quality oil is key; just because something meets the minimum standard doesn’t mean you should use it.


2. “Restoring” your headlights: Sure, that rough yellowy mess on your headlights ruins their effectiveness, but paying big bucks for a “restoration kit” is total trash when you can DIY instead. Get a few sheets of very fine sandpaper from your local hardware store, soak them in water, and sand your headlights using finer and finer paper until it’s perfectly smooth (if it’s really bad, start with something like 400 grit, then progress to 800 and 2,000). Then use a polishing compound to make it shine, and you’re back to being perfectly clear.

Having the best vision possible while driving is important for safety. The DIY kits can be good, but you have to do your research. I have used them all and can objectively say that the ones without drill attachments work better than the ones with the attachment. The article mentions using sandpaper but buying all the parts separately will likely cost more, so the kits are a good value. If you don’t want to tackle this project yourself, check with a dealer or independent detailers to see if they offer this service. It’ll cost more, but it’s hard to do better than someone using the right tools and products.


3. Opting for service contracts: If you’ve ever bought a new car, you’ve no doubt been bombarded with endless contracts and “warranties” that will see all of your maintenance taken care of, as well as damage to wheels and tires, etc. Newsflash: if these truly made financial sense for you to buy, they wouldn’t be profitable for the dealership, and they would no longer be available. Think about that one…

I was also skeptical about these a couple of years ago. I saw some commercials with the big sales pitch “to buy a warranty if your car has less than 100,000 miles on it, call 1-800-blahblahblah.” There are a couple of questions you should ask when you’re thinking about an aftermarket warranty: “will it cover everything?” and “what does it cover?” The answer to the first one is easy: no, it won’t. But Is it going to cover some of the big expensive issues you might have? Yes. Without a warranty, an engine control unit can cost over $2500 to replace. With a warranty, you’ll most likely only pay a deductible in the area of $100. Some warranties cover some items beyond the common things you would expect, like gaskets and seals or one that covers wheel repair and replacement even if you hit a pothole. Of course these make money for whoever sells them, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in them. In fact, I know multiple people who have aftermarket warranties that have paid for themselves multiple times over. Of course the seller is banking on you not using it, but so is everyone that offers a mail in rebate, your health insurance provider, your car insurance provider, and your grocery store coupon booklet. I have car insurance that I have never used it in my almost 20 years of driving and I have health insurance, yes, but I haven’t been to a doctor since I was 12 years old (that’s probably not good argument). Almost all companies are in business to make money, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in it buying something that someone profits off of.


4. Buying over-the-counter fuel additives: You absolutely do need additives in your fuel to keep your engine running as cleanly as possible. Too much of a good thing, however, can be detrimental, and frankly, unless you’re a chemical engineer specializing in gasoline additives, you probably don’t know how much is too much. The higher prices you pay at “brand-name” stations like Shell and Texaco are partly because these extra proprietary detergents are already added to the gas before it goes into your tank. And that you should pay for. But don’t ever buy them over the counter, period.

I kind of agree with this. There are actually some worth buying, but 95% of them are no better than buying good gas. Most companies that advertise detergents in their gas have already mixed in any beneficial additives. Cars with direct injection really don’t have a need for them, and cleaning the fuel system in older cars will require more than a in tank additive (you need a kit that attaches to your fuel rail and costs more than anything you can buy at a gas station).


Check out part 2 of this blog here.