Tips to Keep Your Car on the Road for Years

Anytime anyone has had the same car for 10 plus years, I always like to ask what they do to keep their vehicle running. The most popular answer I seem to get is preventative maintenance. Just like you go to the Doctor for annual physicals to see what you need to do to stay healthy, or prevent issues from arising – the same goes for your car. Most car manufacturers will provide you with a list of recommended maintenance tasks based on the age/mileage of your vehicle. They will usually say something about checking battery fluid a few times a year, the engines timing belt needs replaced within 100,000 miles, and when you need a tune up. Find your recommended list in the book that comes with your car and stick to it. Spending money now will most likely save you a lot of money (not to mention headache) in the future.

This post is sponsored by Williams Brothers Dundee.

Check and Replace Fluids. Probably one of the most important preventative maintenance you can do is check and replace fluids in your vehicle. Engine oil usually needs to be changed every 5,000 or 6 months, and engine coolant needs to be checked at least twice a year and flushed and replaced when necessary. Transmission fluid also needs to be flushed every 2 years, or 30,000 miles, as well as the power steering fluid and differential lubricant. Brake fluid is extremely important as it can attract and absorb moisture which over time can really reek some havoc on your anti-lock braking system. It needs to be flushed every two years no matter how many miles you may have on it.

Slow Down, and Chill. I have to admit, I am guilty of having a bit of a lead foot and when someone ticks me off I tend to push my vehicle to the max to speed off past them. But if you can drive gently – and keep your speed down, this could help reduce the wear and tear on your car. Slow down for bumps and potholes, don’t take corners on 2 wheels and don’t put the petal to the metal. Driving hard puts a lot of stress and strain on your car – and speeding makes your car work a lot harder, wearing it down a lot quicker. So just take a chill pill!

Consider a Warranty. No matter what you do, things happen. Cars are not built to last forever (and if they were, we couldn’t afford them anyway!) Parts break, they wear out and stuff happens. One way to help protect yourself and not break the bank is to invest in an extended warranty. It can help ensure that your vehicle is in good condition, and fix what isn’t – helping you avoid expensive repair bills.




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5 Advantageous Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

Thinking of getting a cute little puppy for your family? You need to rethink your choices. The highly popular message of “Adopt, don’t shop” Helps both dogs that need a home and homes that want a dog. A puppy is a lot of work that a new pet parent might not be ready for. Even experienced pet parents know how much of a headache taking care of a puppy can be.

Here are a few things that might sway you from buying a pup to adopting an older dog.

Pre-trained Pooches

Getting a puppy is a time-consuming affair. Once you get your puppy you have to spend one good year behind training your dog if not more. But when you get an older dog, they are likely to be trained already. With a “pre-owned” dog you never know what their previous owners might have taught them or what training they might have picked up. But since their attention spans are longer than that of puppies it takes very little effort to make them understand commands. Teaching an old dog new tricks is far easier than getting a puppy to pay attention.

Less Mess

Expect to remain on constant clean up duty when you have a puppy around. From potty problems, puppies are destroyers of whatever they can get their teeth on. A random digging and chewing spree are a common part of puppy parenthood.

With an older dog, you do not have to worry about teething problems. Once you show your dog where they can relieve themselves they are sure to not have indoor accidents. You can spend more time cuddling your dog than cleaning up after them.

Known Medical Records

If you are adopting an older dog from a foster parent or a shelter you will be informed of all their health problems. With a new pup, you never know what to expect when it comes to their health. Shelters and animal rescue workers ensure that they vaccinate and neuter the dog before handing them over to their new families. With a rescued dog you can count on receiving pet health advice from experts before you take in the dog. A support system already exists if your dog shows any sign of health problems.

Set Regiments

Older dogs are usually used to having a certain way of life. This means that they have regular feeding times and regular walk schedules. You do not have to figure out when to take your dog out or when to feed your dog. Your dog will let you know when they need what.

Energy Levels and Attention Needs

A puppy needs constant attention and has high energy levels. If you are not a very active person your puppy can develop destructive tendencies due to excess energy. For people who do not have much time on their hand to dedicate to their dogs, an older dog is the perfect fit. Old dogs need less exercise and less attention. For an older dog space and rest are both well treasured.

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The Tools Every Car Owner Should Have

When you own a car there are times that you may need to do a few things yourself – simple things that can be done by reading a tutorial, or even watching a YouTube video. (Why pay someone a lot of money when you can save and do it yourself right?) Even for the most experienced or inexperienced, there are certain tools that you will need to have in order to complete the task at hand. Below is a list of the most needed tools that everyone car owner should have.

This post is sponsored by Bodwell Chrysler Jeep Dodge.

Jack and Jack Stand  
If you have to get under your vehicle at all – you need a safe way to get there. A quality jack and jack stand are important tools to make sure that you can safely lift and keep your vehicle supported while you are making repairs. Though most vehicles do come with a jack, I would definitely recommend buying a high quality one – they tend to be a lot more sturdy and definitely safer for you to use.

Lug Wrench
Often any type of work that you are going to do yourself will have something to do with your wheels and tires – or at least the need to remove them. Anytime you deal with brakes or suspension your wheels need removed – so making sure you have a quality lug wrench will make life a lot easier for you. A lot of times your car will already have one, and it will be somewhere near your spare tire. If you don’t – definitely get one.

Socket Set 
I never really realized how important it was to have a socket set with a variety of sizes. There are soo many different nuts and bolts on a vehicle that needs removed or tightened and you have to have a variety to make sure you have one to fix whatever you may need. Socket sets usually come with a ratcheting handle which helps a lot when you are in a tight spot and needing to remove something. If you get sets in 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch with extensions you should be able to tackle any issue that comes your way.

Wrench Set
Yes another ‘set’ but definitely a necessity when it comes to working on your vehicle. Ratchets and sockets may not always work – sometimes literally the only thing you can use to get done what you need done is a wrench. It’s good to get a set so you have a variety of sizes and styles for hard to reach places.

Yes, I said screwdrivers – with an ‘s’. The more tools you have to do the job, the better, and it’s very frustrating to only need a specific screwdriver and not have it. At the least you need a flat head and a Phillips. Having both of these in a lot of different sizes is a good idea too. Some also recommend a torx screwdriver too.

Head Light 
Not to be mistaken for the head light on your vehicle, but a head light for YOU. A lot of the places you try to reach or get to when fixing a vehicle are dark and hard to see. Having a head light (or head lamp) that you can wear helps make that issue a lot easier to deal with.

Code Reader
All vehicles 1996 and newer use the On Board Diagnostics (OBD) interface to help diagnose any problems your vehicle may be having. For example, if your check engine light comes on – it’s nice to have the code reader to tell you exactly what the problem is. 
Generally speaking they aren’t very expensive, and a lot of them will send the results directly to your phone! Just remember – there can be a variety of reasons why a code may appear – I had mine come on once because someone stole my gas cap! Use the code reader as an indicator for possibilities – a step in the right direction.





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Haunted New Orleans

New Orleans is known to be extremely haunted. Just ask all the ghosts who reside there! There is so much paranormal activity, in fact, ghost tours are practically a dime a dozen.

Keep reading, to learn more about a few haunted spots in New Orleans. Remember, there’s no need to wait until Halloween to pay them a visit!

LaLaurie Mansion

Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a socialite who loved to host elegant parties at her French Quarter Mansion. In her spare time, she was an alleged serial killer. Today, her one-time home is the final un-resting place for countless ghosts who died at the hands of Delphine.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar

As the name implies, this popular Bourbon Street bar was once a blacksmith shop owned by legendary pirate Jean Lafitte. Countless patrons claim to see his ghost sitting at a table in the back or hanging out near the huge stone fireplace where he kept his stash of gold and other stolen treasures.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

New Orleans is home to many cemeteries. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is said to be the most haunted of them all. This is due, in part, to voodoo queen Marie Laveau who is buried there.

Laveau was a hairdresser for the rich. She used her magic to grant wishes for her clients, for a steep price… of course! If you stop by her grave and perform a certain ritual, it said that she’ll grant you a wish too.

Muriel’s Restaurant

The next time you’re in the mood for turtle soup, head over to Muriel’s Restaurant for a meal and a bit of supernatural fun. This popular eatery was once the home of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan. He committed suicide after losing the home and a poker game.

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of him in the second-floor lounge. But, don’t blink! He usually appears as a glimmer of light instead of his former human form.

These are just a few ghostly locations to check out in New Orleans. Which one are you going to visit first?


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Best Beaches in Michigan

Michigan is well-known for its ample and beautiful beaches. When you’re in the mood to soak up the sun, consider one of the following choices.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

This beach has the distinction of being named one of the most beautiful places to visit in the U.S., year after year. Once you take a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, you’ll understand why!

The 60 miles of shoreline, as well as the beautiful forested land and wildlife make it an ideal destination for hikers. As you might guess, the beach features stunning sand dunes to explore, with views of local farmsteads and the island’s lighthouse.

Take advantage of one of the most enjoyable activities in the area. Rent a canoe and explore dozens of crystal clear inland lakes.

Orchard Beach State Park

This is an amazing vacation spot for groups of every size. With fantastic views of Lake Michigan, Orchard Beach State Park is comprised of over 160 campsites, picnic areas, two shower and rest stop buildings and paved campsites for visitors with mobility issues.

The beach features a large area dedicated to group events such as reunions or weddings. Activities include hiking along the beach, swimming, fishing and picnicking. There’s even a trolley tour available, guiding you around the beautiful city of Manistee.

Grand Haven

One of the most popular Michigan vacation spots, Grand Haven is another picturesque summer beach location. While there is an inexpensive (daily) entrance fee, the park provides all of the classic amenities you would expect at such a well-loved beach.

View the iconic red lighthouse as you stroll the romantic boardwalk, traveling to the center of town if you wish. Why not grab a bite at one of the restaurants along the way?  There are several to choose from.

These are just three (of many) wonderful beaches in Michigan. Whether you plan to stay for the day or for an extended visit, it’s a great way to relax and spend time with Mother Nature!


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