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Dangers Of Driving In the Rain With Your Cruise Control On

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I ran across this article on Facebook written by Gene Cobb a Driving Safety Instructor. I never really gave driving in the rain with your cruse control on too much thought. I do it all of the time…I’m not so sure I will now.

Excellent Driving Tip: Especially for the young drivers!

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago. It was raining, though not excessively when her car suddenly began to hydroplane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence! When she explained to the Police Officer what had happened, he told her something that every driver should know – NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON.. She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain…. But the Police Officer told her that if the cruise control is on, your car will begin to hydro-plane when the tires lose contact with the road, and your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an airplane. She told the Officer that was exactly what had occurred. The Officer said this warning should be listed, on the driver’s seat sun-visor along with the airbag warning. NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE ROAD IS WET OR ICY We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed – but we don’t tell them to use the cruise control ONLY when the road is dry. The only person the accident victim found who knew this, (besides the Officer), was a man who’d had a similar accident, totaled his car and sustained severe injuries…

Now, this certainly made sense to me. However, I haven’t independently verified this, or have done much research outside of the article itself. That being said, I thought it was more important to relay this information to you with haste, because if it is accurate, it is certainly information that you need to know!

If you have more information, or feel that this warning is in accurate, please leave a comment below. The more we know about safe driving tactics, the better we will ALL be for it.


New Drivers Need To Know More Than The Rules Of The Road

If you have a child, it’s inevitable that one day they are going learn to drive and end up wanting to borrow the keys to your car. Of course they are going to go to  a driving school, and you may show them a thing or two in an abandoned parking lot.  However, their automotive education should end there. It’s a very good idea to cover basic car care tips.  Owning a car means more than learning how to get from point A to point B, it also entails knowing how to keep your car running, and knowing how to fix and prevent problems.

“What do you mean I have to change my oil?”

I’m surprised at how many new drivers think that their car operates via some kind of magic and rarely give a second thought to how the thing actually works. Changing the oil is a prime example. Young drivers may go way too long between oil changes, if they even change it at all. A good plan is for you, the driving parent, to walk them around the car and show them under the hood and explain to them how things work.  Here’s some good things to teach them.

  • Explain that all cars, new and old, need regular attention. Make sure your teenager knows and follows the maintenance schedule for her car. In addition to making a car safe to drive, preventive maintenance can save thousands of dollars during a lifetime of driving.
  • Don’t overlook the owner’s manual. This is full of information about the car that your young driver may never know unless he is familiar with this automotive bible.
  • Make it fun. There are myriad sites on the Internet that are fascinating for young and old drivers alike. Some have Q & A sections. Let your teen send the tough questions to the professionals.
  • It’s probably been a while since they went on a field trip. Take them with you to the repair facility, the tire store, the body shop and wherever you have automotive work performed. Get them accustomed to the automotive world-its people, places, jargon and prices.
  • There are hundreds of books available on this subject. Many are written specifically for non-technical audiences; some are even humorous. Buy a few and make them required reading for the licensing process.
  • Make a plan. What happens if the car breaks down, your child has a wreck, or the car gets stolen? What if no adults are home to receive the panic call? Whether you want your teenager to call your family repair facility or Aunt Sadie, give some instruction and put important phone numbers in the glove compartment. [Source: Midas.com]

If you plan on doing any repairs at home, it’s a really good idea to have your new driver help with that service. It give you the opportunity show them the things that you are doing to repair the car. Of course, it goes without saying that, if your teen driver has proved themselves responsible enough to have their own car, swing by Freeman Grapevine and check out our used car selection.

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Change Your Air Filter For More Engine Efficiency

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An often overlooked, but an extremely important component in keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently is your air filter.

Here, we see a lot of need for air filter cleaning, or replacement. It can be hard to adhere to a specific time or mileage figure when a cleaning or change needs to occur, because the life of the filter depends on how much dirt and grime it ingests. We have seen filters that last 20,000 or even 30,000 miles on a vehicle that’s driven mostly on expressways but those same filters may last only a month or two in a rural setting where the vehicle is driven frequently on gravel roads. Changing your air filter annually, or every 15,000 miles for preventative maintenance may be a good recommendation for the city driver, but not its country cousin.

Regardless of the mileage or time, a filter should be replaced before it reaches the point where it creates a significant restriction to airflow. Interestingly, a slightly dirty filter actually cleans more efficiently than a brand new filter. That’s because the debris trapped by the filter element helps screen out smaller particles that try to get through. Eventually every filter reaches the point where it causes enough of a pressure drop to restrict airflow. Fuel economy, performance and emissions begin to deteriorate and get progressively worse until the dirty filter is replaced.


If you think that your car could be performing better, or you don’t seem to be getting the gas mileage you believe you should, it might be time to change your air filter. Call Freeman Grapevine if you have any questions or need any assistance.