Articles:

Does Your Electric Car Need Special Care in the Winter?

Does Your Electric Car Need Special Care in the Winter?

Electric cars are growing in popularity as an energy-efficient transportation option. And their popularity is growing around the country, including in New England with its harsh winters.    Does winter weather impact electric cars any differently than their gas-run counterparts? The short answer is “Yes.” However, with some simple strategies, you can easily navigate cold winters and stay eco-friendly.   The Effect of Winter on an Electric Car   Cold winter weather decreases car battery efficiency, whether it runs on gas or electricity. However, since electric cars depend solely on their battery, this effect of the weather is especially influential.    In cold weather, the battery charges more slowly and holds less charge. Further, using heat drains the battery very quickly. As a result, staying warm and traveling can be limited to short ranges. How can you navigate these limitations and ensure you do not get stranded in your electric ve ... read more

5 Winter Driving Myths You Might Believe

5 Winter Driving Myths You Might Believe

The classic New England winter is here, and many of us have taken up common winter car rituals, such as scraping windshields, warming up cars before driving them, and putting on snow tires. However, some of these practices aren’t as helpful as many of us think they are.    Most people are unaware that seemingly common and helpful winter driving ‘tips” can actually be time-wasters, money-wasters, or simply unsafe. To see if you’re falling for any of these winter car myths, check out the list below. Common Myths Let’s discuss a few of the most common myths, and what changes you can make to improve your safety.    You need to “warm up” a car before driving. Many car owners believe that you need to allow a car to idle and “warm up” before driving. Although engines do run somewhat less efficiently in cold weather, modern cars do not need a lengthy warm-up period. Instead of spending several minutes to warm up, a ... read more

What Is a Gas Treatment and Is it Effective?

What Is a Gas Treatment and Is it Effective?

You’ve likely seen gas treatments advertised or had them recommended to you as maintenance for your car. These products claim that adding the treatment to your gas tank can do a variety of things — from giving you better gas mileage to a better running engine.  But what exactly are gas treatments? How do they work — and are they effective? To learn more about these products and whether or not they are a good investment, read on.  What Is a Gas Treatment? There are several different types of gas treatments that you can choose from, such as:      Carbon deposit cleaning. These additives help clean carbon deposits from your car over time. They are best used on a regular basis on older cars. Fuel stabilizers. If your car will be idle for an extended period, this type of gas treatment will help prevent gas from changing form, such as congealing or condensation.  Antifreeze. This gas treatment helps prevent condensation from forming or ... read more

From Hot to Cold: Preparing for Weather Change with a Remote Starter

From Hot to Cold: Preparing for Weather Change with a Remote Starter

There are certain times of the year when we all dread getting into a car. In the summer, the heat can lead to burning leather seats and scorching seatbelt metal. However, the summer conditions often do not compare to the winter unpleasantries.    A thick layer of ice on the windshield can lead to scraping in the cold for long periods of time, possibly causing you to be late to your destination. Once in the car, you need to wait through frigid air blowing on you while your car defrosts and/or heats up. Even if you warm up your car ahead of time, you still need to brave the cold, and monitor your unlocked car as it warms up.    How can you help navigate extreme hot and cold weather in your car? With a remote starter. Want to learn more and see if a remote starter is a good fit for you? Read on.  Advantages of Remote Starters Although avoiding extreme temperatures is a great reason to get a remote starter, there are other advantages to installing one:  ... read more

Is it Better to Rent or Drive My Own Car on Vacation?

Is it Better to Rent or Drive My Own Car on Vacation?

It’s still that time of year to hit the open road — whether for a late-summer beach trip or autumn adventure. But is it best to hit the road in your own car or to rent a vehicle? There are a couple different considerations beyond cost (and the cost might not be what you think!). Read on to learn how you can decide. And no matter your decision, Living the Dream can help you make your road trip your best one yet.  Cost Considerations One way to decide whether or not to rent is by considering the cost factors of both options, such as the following.    Rental cost. How much is the rental going to cost? Of course, using your car might be “free,” but factors, such as those below might make renting the more cost-effective option overall.  Gas mileage. Do you have a car with low gas mileage? If so, renting a car can save you money in the long run. However, if you’re deciding to rent a car that has worse gas mileage than your current vehic ... read more

What Can Go Wrong if Your Car Isn't Started in a Long Time

What Can Go Wrong if Your Car Isn't Started in a Long Time

  During these unusual times, many people are using their cars less — or not at all. While staying at home can be a safe choice, not starting your car for long periods of time can have unsafe consequences.    Many components of your car require regular use to maintain optimal performance. If you haven’t started your vehicle for a while, you may experience some issues. We will discuss these potential problems, and how you can prevent or address them.    Exterior   The first thing you might notice about your car if you haven’t started it for a while is the exterior. Long periods of disuse can lead to issues with the following parts.  Tires. Your tires hold up the weight of your car. If the tires are in one position for a long time, they can start to become misshapen and deflate. Further, simply refilling the tires once they deflate in this way can become dangerous because they have degraded and can develop weak spots that are p ... read more

What Is a Wheel Alignment...and When Do I Know If I Need One?

What Is a Wheel Alignment...and When Do I Know If I Need One?

Every so often your mechanic might suggest a wheel alignment. This sounds logical, but why would your car need this procedure, and how does it help your car? Further, how do you know if you need a wheel alignment?   Today, we will discuss wheel alignments: what they are, how they are helpful, and how you can know if you are due for one.  What Is a Wheel Alignment? One might think that a car’s wheels are perfectly straight, and that a wheel alignment helps them return to that condition. However, this is not the case. In fact, cars have their wheels rotated in multiple planes in order to improve efficiency and safety.    Each car has slightly different, precise wheel alignment angles that influence how the tire contacts the road as the driver turns, drives straight and stops. The wheel alignment process helps return the wheels to the optimal angles so that your car drives as smoothly and safely as possible.  What Happens During a Wheel Alignment? Yo ... read more

Why Should I Wax My Car During the Summer?

Why Should I Wax My Car During the Summer?

Summer is here! While your vehicle may be getting a break during this time of social isolation, its exterior is still hard at work — especially if it was driven during the winter and/or is stored outside.    How can you help mitigate the exterior damage when you do drive your vehicle this summer? Waxing. And the summer is the perfect time to do so. Let’s explore why.  Why Wax? Wax helps maintain and protect your car’s paint job. Not only does waxing help your car look shinier and newer, it also helps protect from rust and other discoloration in your car’s exterior.    Waxing is often seen as a “finishing touch” or a step for a “special occasion.” However, regular waxing is as important as maintaining your car through regular oil changes. Frequency of waxing can vary, but the summer is the perfect time to wax your car.  Why the Summer? Apart from being the season you want to spend the most time in your ... read more

Do I Need to Detail My Car? What Does It Involve?

Do I Need to Detail My Car? What Does It Involve?

  It’s springtime, which means that spring cleaning is in full swing. It’s also time to apply the concept to your vehicle, especially after the long winter, or if you’ve been bored while practicing social distancing and you’re ready to tackle your at-home to-do list.    You already know that regularly washing and vacuuming your car is necessary, but what if your car is really dirty? Should you get it detailed? But what exactly is detailing? How much does it cost? Is it right for you? We’ll discuss all these questions below!  The Difference Between Washing and Detailing Everyone is familiar with washing their car. It can be done at home or in a car wash, by hand or with an automated system. Washing involves getting the dirt off the car. Detailing, however, is a deep clean with a restorative element.    With detailing, every aspect of the car is cleaned and rejuvenated. For example, the wheels are polished, paint imperfec ... read more

What Is Antifreeze Used For?

What Is Antifreeze Used For?

You’ve heard the word antifreeze used in the context of automotive maintenance, but do you really know what it’s used for? Perhaps not, but that’s okay. You’ve come to the right place to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about it! In fact, this quick primer will teach you about the different types of antifreeze, so that you can learn how to check your own vehicle’s antifreeze levels in a snap. Being able to handle your own vehicle maintenance at home always feels empowering. But if there simply aren’t enough hours in your day to check your antifreeze and other essential vehicle fluids, then perhaps it is time to schedule an appointment with Living the Dream Auto Care. Our skilled in-house mechanics can check your vehicle’s fluid levels quickly so that you can get back on the road without delay. What Is Antifreeze? How Does it Work?   Also known as “engine coolant” or simply ... read more

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