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Various Car Blog Posts

Automobiles Blog Posts

Various Car Blog Posts

July 9, 2023

Setting up the 2023 Grand Cherokee for the Drive-In

In recent years, drive-in movies have made a remarkable comeback, providing a unique way to enjoy the magic of cinema while maintaining social distancing. If you're a proud owner of a 2023 Grand Cherokee and want to take your drive-in movie experience to the next level, this blog post is for you. We'll cover everything you need to know to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for both those inside your car and the people around you.

Mendon Jeep Drive In
You can see the Jeep rear door. The exact location was approved by the drive-in staff.

Here are some of the things that we learned when we recently visited the drive-in with our 2023 Grand Cherokee.

Nine Things We Learned

When you turn off the car engine, the radio will only last 30-minutes. You will have to restart the car every 30 minutes during the show. This is not practical and distracting since the inside lights come on when you start the car.

For the best experience, I would recommend renting a radio - if the drive in theater has it. (Mendon Drive-In has radio rentals.) You can also buy battery-powered radios for about $35 on Amazon. You may want to connect the radio to an external speaker for the best audio sound.

Don't bother using the car radio. There's no configuration to have the radio stay playing longer than 30-mins. ( I did check every possible setting.)

The back gate can be adjusted so that it doesn't block the view of the car behind you. Press the back gate button to stop it where you want to stop it.

Once you find the perfect spot, turn off the headlights. You don't want them to turn on during the movie if you should need to start the car for something.

When driving around the parking lot, after the movie has ended, using parking lights provides just enough light so that you can see without distracting others.

The inside lights didn't seem visible to anyone outside the car. We had them dimmed all the way and they weren't an issue.

My daughter brought blankets and pillows to lay down in the back of the car during the movie. I didn't want to do that because the setup was very comfortable that I was likely going to fall asleep during the movie.

The cup holders in the back were perfect for the drinks we brought to the movie theater.

April 28, 2019

Complete Guide to Driving Electric & Hybrid Cars

Have you been thinking of joining the millions of people getting an Electric or Hybrid car? You probably have lots of questions about all the differences between the different car types.

Fortunately there's a resource that can help - the Hendy Group put together a wealth of information in the "A Complete Guide to Driving Electric & Hybrid Cars in the 21st Century."

Hendy Electric Cars Guide2019

Five Reasons to Check out the Guide

Here's some compelling reasons to check out the guide.

  • Learn the breakdown of Co2 Emissions over a car's lifespan
  • Easy to Understand how Electric and Hybrid cars work.
  • Do you know the first Electric cars were popular before the Wright Brother's discovered how to fly?
  • Learn the commitments being made by major manufactures to build more energy efficient cars.
  • Some things to consider when buying the right car for you.

Most important reason is that the guide is presented in a very informative way.

December 2, 2018

Having the talk about driving retirement

Talking about driving retirement can be difficult. As you know, driving requires a specific physical and mental skill set that allows you the ability to react in unexpected scenarios. Since this is the case, driving can become a dangerous task for someone who has noticed a decline in their physical and cognitive skills. This tends to happen as we age and experience certain limitations. Which is why this infographic strives to offer assistance in having the conversation of driving retirement.

Notice the signs

One of the first things to keep in mind is the flexibility and independence that driving offers. To simply give up driving would feel like a luxury is being lost. As expected, this conversation would not be an easy one.

To be clear, a conversation about driving retirement should take place when family members or friends show signs of driving difficulties. Here are a few signs to make note of :

  • Slow and unsure responses to unexpected situations
  • Becomes forgetful and easily distracted
  • Suffers from a medical condition
  • Takes medication that can make driving unsafe
  • Loss of confidence in driving
  • Nervousness
  • Decline in driving ability

Having "the talk"

As children of an aging parent with these signs you take on a role unlike before. Just as they had a discussion about driving when you were a teen, you need to be just as prepared to have a discussion about their safe driving habits. If you notice these signs, be sure to act with these helpful tips:

  • Making talking about it a priority
  • Let the conversation be a reoccurring one instead of a closed one-time conversation
  • Approach the subject matter in a one-on-one setting so that everyone is comfortable
  • Allow the conversation to be a two-way conversation
  • Elaborate on the importance of their safety and independence
  • Be sure to cite specific reasons for your concerns
  • Offer alternatives

The last point of this conversation could be one of the best options to include in your conversation. It offers them alternative methods of transportation. Providing options can make the conversation feel more positive and allow transportation to continue through alternative transportation programs such as Senior Ride, Senior Center Shuttle, ADA Ride, Employment Transportation, and Medical Trip program.

This infographic offers helpful insight into having this conversation, but it also provides helpful facts to include. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety offers helpful topics to include in your discussion. For instance, more than 200,000 drivers ages 65 and older were injured and more than 3,500 were killed in traffic accidents in 2016.

In 2017 there were more than 23,000 drivers 65 years and older that were in Arizona. This caused 187 deaths and more than 7,500 injuries. The AAA Foundation also points out that experts suggest that seniors "plan for driving retirement at the same time they begin planning retirement from their work."

Implementing helpful facts and alternative options in your conversation will be a great way to lead the conversation, but one of the major factors mentioned in the infographic is to allow your elderly loved to let their voice be heard.

November 25, 2018

Understanding Electric Cars

Electric Cars are a big hit. Chances you might have seen all the electric stations that are appearing in parking lots in malls and airports. Seems that more and more people are buying them as they are getting to be more affordable.

Have you wondered what's the hype all about? With all the different manufacturers, there's so much technology to learn. Thankfully businesses like Exchange and Mart makes it simple. They put out an Electric Guide that gives you a great overview of the Electric Car market.

If you're in the car buying market, it's worth a quick read to know your options.

Exchange and Mart

Offers plenty of valuable information

  • A beginner-friendly introduction to electric cars (EVs) and why they're increasingly becoming popular.
  • Differences between electric cars and hybrid electric/diesel models, as well as examples of brands and models of EVs in the market today.
  • Government grants, tax advantages, and other public support enjoyed by electric car owners.
  • Other useful information, advice, and resources to help you decide if an electric car is right for you.

Four Things I learned from reading the Document

  • While the document focuses on the UK market, many of the technologies certainly apply to cars sold in the United States.
  • Amazing how electric cars were once a big hit, but it was Henry Ford and the Combustion Engine that priced out a lot of people.
  • There are various type of electric cars with the Nissan Leaf being the current market leader.
  • The guide does a great job explaining what you may need to do to help charge the car from home. How a simple installing a special charging point can help charge the car up faster.
August 20, 2017

50,000 Miles

This past weekend I had a hard lesson about what happens when the car hits 50,000 miles.

For the past week my car, Subaru Legacy, has been making some noise but I didn't think much of it. I thought it was because I was a bit late for an oil change. The noise continues after the oil change.

Then on Friday my brake light went on. That's when reality hit. My brakes were the cause of the noise.

I took it to a local repair shop and they gave me the bad news. My brakes were in bad shape and the rear caliper reman had to be replaced. It was going to be an expensive visit.

Subaru Legacy

Life lesson

If your car has hit 50,000 miles, I encourage you to take it to your local shop and have the brake pads inspected.

At least know that brake pads typically last about 50,000 miles. Chances are that they will need to be replaced soon.

Most national chain auto repair shops will inspect the brake pads for free. It's certainly worth having them looked at.

October 16, 2016

Subaru Key Fod Battery Type


If you have a 2010 Subaru Legacy, right about now you may encounter issues unlocking the door with the key remote. This is because the battery in the key fob is dead. Looks like the life of the battery is 6 years.

There's no need to go to the dealer to get it fixed. You can find instructions on replacing the battery on iFixit. It very easy to open the Fob and replace the battery.

The Key fob for the 2010 Subaru Legacy uses the Panasonic CR-1620 (3V). This is a not a common battery and is not available at CVS or Walgreens. You can find it at Battery Plus, or on Amazon.com.

Subaru Key Fod
This is what the Key Fod looks like when taken apart.

Amazon Purchase Update - October 21, 2016

I purchased the Energizer CD1620 Lithium Battery from Amazon. It as a five pack and it worked perfectly. There's no "freshness" date on the pack, so I don't know how long they will last, but for $6.83 it was a good a good deal for 5 batteries. I need the batteries for both my key fods.


January 31, 2016

Generation Z Driving Abilities

We pass many new Generation Z drivers everyday on the roads while making our commute to work, school, or leisurely activities. Many are found in driver's education cars, learning how to operate automobiles so they have the ability to pass their driver's test. Other, who might believe they are better drivers than they really are, are already found cruising the streets in their first cars.

Growing up as a person in the generation Z category creates a completely different environment than the Baby boomer generation. As older siblings and parents, many of us who have been driving for much longer than a few years learned our driving skills by learning distractions caused by roadway signs, pedestrians, speed limits, and maybe even the radio if you were lucky.

Generation Z

As our children grow into new drivers on the road, they are faced with more obstacles than we have been in the past. Being bombarded with the use of technology and prevalence in their society, Generation Z?s are often glued to their phones and rely on technology as a lifeline for their survival. It's nearly impossible for this age group to wake up in the morning without checking their phones or computers.

With this, it's nearly impossible for our youth to put their phones down while operating a car. It's something that we should consider- being raised around advanced technology only ingrains the generation to heavily rely on phones and laptops for daily functioning. It's no wonder we have a rise in cell phone use while operating an automobile.

Now, generation Z?s are faced with two types of distractions on the roadways: typical roadway distractions such as signs and other automobiles on the roads, as well as notifications from technology like cell phones and iPads. Though past generations are prone to these distractions as well, Generation Z is in more serious trouble because of the over-dependence on these devices.

Overcoming the problem

It's important that older generations take action against this problem, and help to protect all drivers on the roadway. We must communicate the seriousness of double distractions that are faced by Generation Z, and future drivers.

Regular communication with new teenage drivers will ensure safety for all of us on the road. Additionally, there are plenty of resources, such as this distracted driving game that can help to safely communicate the dangers of texting and driving to our youth. We should all work together to eliminate the double distractions that are faced by new drivers- and reduce the risk so that roadway signs and pedestrians remain the only notifications encountered when behind the wheel.

August 3, 2015

Watch it when you drive

On the way home from Cape Cod this past weekend, we had a near accident that certainly would have changed what we would be doing this morning.

We were cruising on the fast lane on Interstate 495, somewhere near Middleboro, when I notice that the traffic in front of us was coming to a slow down. I slowed down leaving plenty of room between the cars. I didn't come to a stop, just went from 65 to about 35 in a fairly short distance.

As I was slowing down we suddenly heard behind us a loud breaking streaking sound. A sound that catches anyone attention, much like a police siren would. In my rear view mirror, I could see a red convertible coming up right behind me very fast.

The car veered off to the left side of the road partly hitting the guard rail and then coming onto the road in front of me. The car came to a stop in the dirt area between the guard rail and the fast lane. I am guessing that they were going about 70 mph and didn't notice the car in front of them was slowing down.

Luckily for everyone else the car didn't hit any other car. It looked like the car did get some scrap damage on the drivers side and it looked like the driver side mirror was hit. Had the driver not veered off our car would have gotten some serious body damage.

We didn't stop. None of the cars around us stopped or even pull over to see if they were alright. We were all happy that no other car was involved.

At first, I thought maybe to break lights weren't working on our car and that's why they didn't slow down, but they were checked only a couple of days ago. Also, no other car around us stopped suddenly. So this clearly wasn't our fault.

I was then concern that perhaps the driver would go after me in a road rage for causing damage done to his car. Perhaps in his worldview I did something wrong. So for the next ten miles or so I kept looking back to see if the red convertible was behind us. I kept looking. After a while, I figured that the driver must have pulled off the exit to get a better look at his car. After ten miles, he wouldn't have the ability to catch up. In addition, it went so fast that they wouldn't have had time to remember what car they almost hit.

So the moral of this incident is to always be watching what your doing when your driving. Don't always assume that the traffic in front of you is going the same speed as you are.

March 10, 2015


This is pretty cool thought of ways that the Apple iWatch may integrate with home automation systems:

As for home automation, the watch can detect your body temp and adjust the house temp to be warmer or cooler. So if your too hot from a workout, the house will be cool when you get home.
April 10, 2014

Parking Lot Availability

Just a quick update on the limited availability of parking spaces at the Framingham MBTA parking lot. In short, there isn't much parking spaces for commuters that take the commuter rail after 8am.

This morning, I noticed there was only one available parking space in the public commuter rail parking lot. This public parking lot is available for both monthly and daily commuters. This basically means that if your taking the 8:18 (P512) train out of Framingham, your fresh out of luck finding a space at the commuter rail parking lot.

If you are planning on taking the Commuter Rail out of Framingham on a regular bases, you should considered some of the alternative parking areas near the commuter rail. You are not guaranteed a parking spot if you sign up for the Monthly parking program. There is a two hour parking limit around many streets in downtown, this applies to meter and non-meter parking.

If you find a broken or missing meter you will get a ticket or your car could get towed if you park for more than 2 hours. Warning: The town is looking for additional reveue, and they will give you a ticket! There are 12 broken meter spots around the train station, and they are happy to write up tickets every day!

Here are some alternative parking areas around downtown. You will need to contact the owners before you park in the lots: