Winter Car Care Tips

December 2017

Hello December! Oh, how time flies. It has been another pleasant year providing automotive repair services in Middle Tennessee. As we head into 2018, we want to thank you for our 26th year in business! We have enjoyed meeting new customers, serving repeat customers and staying involved within our Smyrna community.

Thank you for choosing Bennett’s Automotive for your automotive repair needs!

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Winter Weather Tips

Looks like our cold weather is here to stay and we want to make sure your vehicle is ready for it. Here are a few items to check off your list before heading into the official winter season.

√ Check the battery

o   A car battery is more likely to die during the harsh cold weather. Cold temperatures are known to slow the chemical reactions that occur inside of a battery, its quality and shortening its lifespan.

√ Change the oil

o   Are you changing your oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles? If the oil is accumulating dirt, it can become less effective at lubricating the internal components.

√ Replace Wiper Blades

o   During the winter season, wiper blades tend to wear down more. This can be a serious hazard in bad weather. Thankfully, replacing your wiper blades is inexpensive and a quick DIY!

√ Check Tire Inflation Levels

o   Check tire levels on a regular basis since the pressure fluctuates more with temperature change. This can cause your car to consume more fuel and increase gas cost.

Check out more information on winter weather tips here.

Pack Your Survival Kit

Every season should require a change of an emergency or “survival kit”. Winter can end up being a real harsh season, so we want to make sure you are prepared for any emergency! Here are a few suggested items to have packed.

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Cell Phone Charger

√ Portable Air Compressor

√ A Simple Tool Kit: screwdrivers, pliers, an adjustable wrench and duct tape

Safety Absorbent or Cat Litter to Prevent Getting Stuck in Ice.

Jumper Cables

First Aid Kit

Warm Hat and Gloves, Blanket

 

Automotive Repair

If you are needing any auto repair services before traveling for the holidays, give us a call. We offer all general maintenance work for your vehicle. That includes alignment, brakes, tires, engine and transmission, engine maintenance, transmission services, heating and cooling services, electrical services, and much more.

Our phone number is (615)459-5881.

We are located at 204 Commerce Drive, Smyrna, TN 37167.

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Distracted Driving

Just Drive

Distracted driving sometimes gets the best of us. Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone, or trying to pick your favorite song to play, it distracts your eyes from the road. We want to encourage you to JUST DRIVE and ARRIVE ALIVE. If you feel as if a text or phone call is important to answer or respond to, please pull over to do so unless you are using a wireless device.

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Do Not Disturb

It’s simple. Be the example and put your phone down while driving. If you have the latest iPhone update, activate the “Do Not Disturb” while driving feature! How do you activate the Do Not Disturb option? Simple as this:

  1. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customer Controls
  2. Tap next to Do Not Disturb While Driving

Now you can swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap  to turn the feature on or off. Example below.

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So, here’s what to expect after activating the DND option. Your iPhone will stay silent and the screen stays dark. You can set up an automatic response for anyone who texts you while driving or pull over to the side of the road to check a notification. If your vehicle does not have Bluetooth, it will allow calls from your *Favorites or people who try to call multiple times in a row.

Find more information about the Do Not Disturb option at Apple Support.

Your Next Message Might Be Your Last Message

Doesn’t that phrase give you chill bumps? It should. Did you know that in 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashed involving distracted drivers. Cell phone is highest among 16-24-year-old drivers according to NHTSA. Also, female drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal crashed than men.

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Don’t let your next message be your last. Don’t text and drive. Don’t put yourself or others at risk while on the road. Let’s help make a difference and put a stop to distracted driving

The Importance of a Maintenance Schedule

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is important for your vehicle. Why? Preventative maintenance helps your vehicle stay on a schedule to help avoid any future problems. Obviously, problems can still occur considering cars are a manmade machine but it’s always good to be aware of things that might not be visible.

So, what does preventative maintenance consist of? The top 3 problem areas according to Car Care Council are engine oil, air filters and coolant. What items usually need to be replaced? Windshield wipers, headlights, and brake lights. Items that should be check frequently are also tire inflation and tread depth.

Lubricants and fluids are important as well. These are the particular ones that are either low, dirty or leaking: windshield, engine oil, coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid. Lubricants and fluids are sometimes what keep a vehicle running smoothly. For example, letting your engine oil run out can completely damage your vehicle.

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General Service Schedule

The Car Care Council has a great General Service Schedule to follow! There are a few items that you should check frequently: dashboard indicator lights, lights, tire inflation and condition, windshield washer fluid and engine oil level. These are known to fluctuate if/when there is a problem. When the Car Care Council took a survey, they found that 89% of vehicles were in need of at least one service or repair, don’t let that be you!

Maintenance Schedule

So why is a maintenance schedule important, you ask? It’s a good visual to keep with you at all time. If a monitor light comes on, you can look back on your sheet and see the last time a certain item was checked or tested. This will help keep your vehicle in tip top shape by staying on top of your schedule. It can help prevent bigger issues from happening if you catch them beforehand. If you are ever interested in selling your car, it can help prove that your vehicle has been properly serviced during your ownership.

If you are a DIY person, this would help keep up with what your last repairs were, what you needed to fix it and when it might need to be checked or replaced in the future. You can sign up with the Car Care Council to receive emails about upcoming maintenance needs.

Click here to register your vehicle for a car care guide.

If you visit your local automotive repair shop, like Bennett’s Automotive, you can keep the printed documents of all your repairs in your glove box! We also send out reminder texts or emails about upcoming maintenance needs. We want what is best for you and your vehicle to keep you smooth sailing on the road.

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Happy November

November 2017

Two months left in the year, can you believe it? With the holidays quickly approaching, we want your vehicle to ready for any road trip. Preventative maintenance is important to allow your vehicle a smooth transition from season to season. What does preventative maintenance consist of? Let us tell you!

Preventative Maintenance

Oil Change.

An oil change should take place every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. If you plan on taking multiple trips, make sure your oil isn’t low. This can cause major engine failure if not properly taken care of.

Headlights.

Notice your headlights dimming? Replace them before burnout! Time change has taken place and daylight is getting shorter in the evening. It’s best to change headlights out in pairs. Upgrade when you have the chance. Better headlights can allow better vision down the road. Check out more information on better headlights here.

 

Have your headlights been restored recently? Restoration can get rid of the cloudiness and make it difficult to see while driving in the dark. A good restoration can allow up to three times lighter to shine on the road. Looking for recommendations? Contact Automotive Cosmetics today!

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Courtesy of Automotive Cosmetics Facebook

Tires.

Tire pressure changes frequently with weather change. For each month that passes, you lose 1 psi and for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit in ambient temperature you lose of gain 1 psi.  The air pressure inside of your tires support your vehicle and if the weigh fluctuates too much, then your vehicle isn’t supported well enough. Check out more tire tips from Tire Rack.

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Fluid Levels.

Making sure your fluid levels are topped off. It’s important not to let any fluids run dry. You should check more than just your engine oil. There’s also, transmission fluid, brake fluid, window washer fluid and air conditioning fluid. Aren’t sure how to check all of the different fluids? Let the professionals at Bennett’s Automotive handle that for you.

Emergency Kit

            Once all of your preventative maintenance check list is complete, don’t forget to pack your emergency car kit! The last thing you want while traveling is to end up stuck on the side of the road. It’s always good to be prepared for worst case scenario. What should you pack in your winter emergency kit? We have a few items to share with you!

  • Hats, gloves, scarves, blankets
  • Snow brush and ice scraper
  • Flashlight with battery
  • Cat litter to help with traction
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Paper towels
  • Small snow shovel

Don’t forget things like snacks and water bottles to hold you over. Keep your phone charged in case you have to call for a tow truck or TDOT. Matches are a good thing to keep in your kit as well. Most importantly, remember a first aid kit and jumper cables.

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Holiday Ready

Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for your auto repair needs (615)459-5881. We would love to make sure that your preventative maintenance is taken care of and get you back on the road in no time! Now that you are up to speed on your maintenance needs, you are holiday ready!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from Bennett’s Automotive.

Prepping For Fall

Fall Car Care           

          Fall is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Although Tennessee may not have the fall weather any time soon, it never hurts to be prepared. Fall is one of the best seasons to check up on all of your automotive maintenance. This gives you the opportunity to be more than prepared for the following harsher season. And living here, we all know how fast the weather can change. Let us help you prepare!

Car Care Checklist

            What are some of the items that are most important during this season?

  1. Oil Change

An oil change should be taken care of every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, sometimes even 7,000. Oil plays a big role in keeping the engine running smoothly. Letting your oil run down to the last drop can cause major damage.

  1. Tires

As weather changes, tire pressure fluctuates. Tire pressure is important but tire tread should also be a priority. With fall showers and the possibility of snow, you are going to want to make sure your tires can handle it all.

  1. Battery

Harsh weather can kill a battery. You want to make sure all connections are tight and terminals are free of corrosion. Have your battery checked to determine the life span.

  1. Wiper Blades

Rain and eventually snow can wear down your windshield wipers. They should be able to completely clear the windshield with each swipe. Always keep windshield washer reservoir full.

Emergency Kit

            Have you switched your summer kit to a fall kit? There are a few main items to keep in your vehicle at all times in case of a break down.

  • Water bottles
  • Energy bars
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • First aid kit

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For fall and winter seasons you may want to consider a few more items.

  • Blanket
  • Kitty litter (to help gain traction if it snows)
  • Extra warm clothes
  • Ice scraper
  • Hand and foot warmers

Depending on where you live, who often rides with you, there are many more items that can be added to your emergency kit. It’s best to keep these items stored in a tote or backpack to keep readily available for any emergency.

For our friends who are preparing for a more harsh fall / winter, check out this blog .

 

We hope this helps with your transition into the Fall season. Bennett’s Automotive is here for any of your auto repair needs. We want to make sure your tires are good for the cold season, that your heat will keep your warm and any minor problems you may have along the way. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today! Phone: (615)459-5881.

Car Seat Safety

Seatbelt Safety

Nothing is more important than wearing a seatbelt in the car. This goes for adults, teenagers, toddlers and babies. Everyone in the vehicle needs to be properly restrained at all times. “ NHTSA states that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13.”  This is why it’s very important for everyone to be buckled correctly.

 

Car Seat Inspections

Want to make sure your car seat is properly installed? Check here for your local inspection stations! Here’s a few near the Smyrna, TN area*.

  1. Smyrna Police Department
  • 400 Enon Springs Rd E, Smyrna, TN 37167
  • Phone: (615)459-6644
  • Contact: Andy Miller
  1. Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department
  • 940 New Salem Hwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615)989-7770
  • Contact: Jimmy Cassidy
  1. Murfreesboro Police Department
  • 302 S Church St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130
  • Phone: (615)893-1422
  • Contact: Carl Peas
  1. Mt. Juliet Fire Department
  • 104 Belinda Parkway, Mt Juliet, TN 37122
  • Phone: (615)773-9830
  • Contact: Jesse Quintana
  • Spanish Speaking
  • By Appointment
  1. Metro Nashville Police Department
  • 1417 Murfreesboro Rd, Nashville, TN 37217
  • Phone: (615)862-7738
  • Contact: Officer Erika Bowden

*The following listings have been pulled from the website attached above. We are unsure how up to date the following information is. Call the listed numbers for a more accurate answer.

 

Car Seats

            There are four different types of car seats. Each are based on size of the child.

  1. Rear-Facing Car Seat

A rear facing car seat is best for newborns and small babies. This car seat has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. All-in-one car seats are recommended so the child can use the same seat as they grow. It eventually allows forward facing and eventually a booster seat.

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  1. Forward-Facing Car Sear

The forward-facing car seat has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash.

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  1. Booster Seat

The booster seat allows the seat belt to position properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.

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  1. Seat Belt

Seat belts are meant for children 13 + and adults. It should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain your child safely. The seatbelt is never to be worn on the stomach area or across the neck or face.

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Seatbelt safety procedures can be found here.

 

Inspire Others to Buckle Up

Whether you are a parent or peer driving kiddos around, you should model seat belt safety. You are the first and last person they see while riding in the car. You are the number one influence of how safe driving should look to them. Be consistent. Buckle up every time.

*From 2009 – 2013, nearly half of tweens who died traveling in passenger vehicles were not wearing seatbelts *

Bottom line is never give up until they buckle up. You are the number one influence.

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend Events

Labor Day weekend is approaching and we wanted to share a few fun events with you! Just a friendly reminder as well that Bennett’s Automotive will be closed Monday, September 4, in observance of Labor Day. We wish you all a wonderful and safe weekend.

September 1 – 4

  • Live On The Green (3- day weekend festival)

Labor Day Weekend LOTG

o   Dates: August 30 – September 2

o   Location: Live On The Green Music Festival (1 Public Sq, Nashville, TN 37201)

o   Events:

Ø  Thursday – 5 pm – 11 pm, performances begin at approximately 6 pm

Ø  Friday – 4 pm – 11 pm, performances begin at approximately 5 pm

Ø  Saturday – 12 pm – 2:30 pm, Lightening 100’s Kids Music Fest

9-2-17 Lightening Kids Music Fest LOTG

Click here for more information.

  • Movies in the Park: The Boss Baby

9-1-17 Movies in the Park

o   Date:  September 1 from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

o   Location: Rotary Soccer Park (200 Soccer Way, Smyrna, TN 37167)

o   Enjoy some great family time at our final “Movies in the Park” event for 2017 as we show “The Boss Baby” on a gigantic screen! Friday, September 1st at the Rotary Soccer Park. Gates open at 5:30. The movie will begin at dusk (approx. 7:30pm). Admission is $1 per person. Train rides and inflatables will also be available for $1. Food vendors/concessions will be on site, too.

  • Family Camp

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o   Dates: September 1 – 3

o   Location: YMCA Camp Widjiwagan (3088 Smith Springs Road, Antioch, TN 37013)

o   “Families are invited to stay at camp this weekend in Widji cabins, Yurts, or in their very own tents! Traditional camp activity areas will be open, and all meals will be served in the Turner Dining Lodge.”

Click here to register and for more information.

  • Friday Night Fun

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o   Date: September 1 from 5 pm – 9 pm

o   Location: Nashville Shores (4001 Bell Road, Hermitage, TN 37076)

o   Friday Fun Nights feature:

Ø  Admission just $11.99 plus tax per person

Ø  Limited attractions open. The lazy river, wave pool, Kowabunga Beach, and Big Kahuna will be open. Big Kahuna will be open from 5 pm – 7 pm.

Ø  FREE parking!

Ø  Season pass holders admitted free

Ø  Bounce House

  • Grill Feast

9-2-17 Grill Feast

o   Date: September 2 from 8 am – Noon

o   Location: Nolensville Farmers Market (7248 Nolensville Rd, Nolensville, TN 37135)

o   Guest Chef Manny Santana will be grilling up your favorite cuts of meat from the market vendors. Labor Day Sales on Meats and more!

 

  • Labor Day Pool Party

9-4-17 Labor Day Pool Party

o   Date: September 4, 2017

o   Time: 10 am – 4:30 pm

o   Location: Sports Com Murfreesboro (2310 Memorial Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129)

 

Some events may be weather permitting*