The Jeep “30 Miles of Freedom” Contest – Enter Now

Are you looking for some weekend adventure? Something challenging? Something original? Well the Jeep brand has just announced a contest that had started in late August. The project is proving to provide Jeep owners a very unique way to join their community by taking part in a short 30 mile road trip to place of their choice, and documenting it. So far there have been over 100 participants, and that number is growing daily. So why wait? You should start planning your 30 mile trip today, document and see if you can top the others!

So far it is just the Compass and Patriot models which you can see at We are also certain a lot of people out there who show a similar passion for adventure and their Jeeps would love to learn about you and your own personal trips. So to begin you can start by registering here:

Posted by pfiorini on Sep 5 2013 in Automotive Industry News, Driving Tips, Fuel Economy, Jeep News

Off Roading Tips from Jeep

Its that time of year, when Jeep owners get their Jeep SUVs geared up and ready to hit the trails. Whether you are a brand new off roader, or a seasoned veteran to off roading, it is a great idea to review basic off road safety and tips offered by Jeep.

BE PREPARED: Always check your vehicle before going off-road. Make sure your battery is fastened, all hoses are in good condition and oil and fluids are topped off, including fuel. Also be sure that all four tires are in good condition and have the proper tire pressure. Avoid travelling alone, especially into unfamiliar territory.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT: Once off-road, put your vehicle in 4WD whenever you anticipate a situation that will demand the additional traction. It’s difficult to engage 4WD after you get stuck. You’ll also want to get into the habit of looking over your hood, scanning left to right so you can clearly see what you’re approaching on the trail. If you’re just watching the left tire, there’s a good chance you’ll get the right tire in trouble. Avoid putting your head outside the vehicle to see what’s coming (that’s what Wrangler’s folding windshield is for).

TAKE IT EASY: Speed and power are not required in rough off-road driving. In low-range 4WD, the low gearing and low speed of Jeep® vehicles at idle will generally pull you over obstacles. In many cases, with manual transmissions, letting the clutch out slowly and allowing the vehicle to crawl over obstacles in the lowest gear is the best scenario. As a matter of fact, on the Rubicon Trail, the average speed is a mere 1-5 miles per hour.

TREAD LIGHTLY: Leave it better than you found it. Observe posted signs and stay on trails and recreation areas approved for off-roading. Use your good judgment in protecting the beauty and solitude of the area. Don’t leave anything behind and, better yet, pick up and remove any trash that others have discarded. And if the terrain looks especially fragile, take an alternate route. For more information on how to Tread Lightly click here Leave it better than you found it.

Posted by pfiorini on Apr 12 2012 in Driving Tips

Towing Tips for Dodge Vehicles Continued

Whether you’re towing furniture or a brand new boat, you want to do it right. In this week’s post we continue with advice on how to properly hitch and tow loads behind your Dodge vehicle.

Check to make sure that your hitch, brake systems and electrical systems are connected properly and are locked.

Is your hitch coupler locked properly with a bolt or locking pin?

Are the lights on the trailer working? When you first get into the vehicle, check the brakes several times before you take it down the highway.

When you accelerate, make it slow and steady instead of fast and furious. Trailers can experience side-to-side yaws so make sure you don’t make any sudden wheel moves while driving.

Allow yourself extra room when turning for the trailer to clear  the corner.

Downshift when you go uphill for more power and again when you go downhill to give yourself more braking power.

When you reach your destination, have someone stand outside the vehicle and act as a guide when you park your vehicle.

Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Posted by pfiorini on Dec 31 2010 in Automotive Safety, Driving Tips

The Components of Jeep’s Trail Rated Badge

The Jeep brand of vehicles have been the leader of off-road capability for over 69 years. From the Jeep Wrangler, to the Jeep Cherokee of the past, to the all new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep’s Trail Rated badge means that your Jeep 4×4 has been designed to perform in five categories of off-road conditions: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording.

Water Fording: Many off road situations will include areas where you must drive through water. Trail Rated Jeep 4x4s feature additional electrical and body sealing, along with a high air intake location for optimum water fording capability. Never attempt water fording unless depth is known to be less than 19 inches.

Articulation: On Trail Rated Jeeps, flexibility is the key to good articulation. The more a wheel can travel, or flex, the better it can maintain contact with the ground and provide the traction needed to cross an array of obstacles.

Maneuverability: An off road vehicle must have the ability to navigate steep inclines,  narrow gaps, and avoid cosmetic damage to underbody sills thanks to precision steering and optimized wheelbases. Jeep’s are built to maneuver through the many situations that off roading presents.

Ground Clearance: What is an off road vehicle without proper ground clearance? Jeep Trail Rated 4x4s feature optimized approach, departure, and breakover angles to keep you in the clear.

Traction: Traction of an off road vehicle is equivalent to grip on asphalt. Jeep’s Trail Rated traction helps you stay in control on untamed terrain, slippery (wet, mud, snow) conditions, and on steep grades.

Posted by pfiorini on Dec 8 2010 in Driving Tips

Save On Gas the Easy Way

Save on Gas in FLWant to save on gas without buying a new car? Interested in finding another way to ‘go green’? Well, believe it or not there are a number of very easy steps you can take with your present vehicle to get more mileage, use less fuel, and save a little extra in your pocket.

Check Your Tire Pressure: Under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which causes you to burn more fuel to keep the car moving. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (if equipped), or the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) label on or near the driver’s side door. Properly inflated tires may improve your fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent.

Use The Proper Maintenance Fluids and Replacement Parts: Always use the engine oil, replacement parts and any other fluids that the manufacturer recommends. Change your oil at the recommended intervals and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for all routine maintenance.

Slow Down: One of the best ways to save on gas is to reduce your speed. According to the DOE, every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph represents a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy.

Drive A Consistent Speed: Follow the lead of trucks and keep a consistent speed. Constant slowing down and speeding up reduces fuel economy. Consider using cruise control when appropriate. Fast acceleration wastes fuel. Accelerate modestly so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears more efficiently. Rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by up to 33 percent on the highway and up to 5 percent during city driving.

Limit Extra Weight: Carrying around extra baggage — or anything that you don’t need for that trip — only adds extra weight to your car and impacts fuel economy. For example, depending on your vehicle’s weight, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could decrease your MPG by up to two percent.

Plan Your Trips Better: Consider grouping your trips instead of making several trips to accomplish your daily tasks. Several short trips may use twice as much fuel as a single, longer trip that covers the same distance.

Posted by pfiorini on Oct 8 2010 in Driving Tips

Important Highway Rules for Teens to Learn

highwayFor any parents of teenagers, the time for them to get their lisence can be a worrisome and nerve racking experience. Young drivers are put on the road with little real life situation experiences. Sure, they log hours in drivers, they log more hours with their parents. But the fact is drivers never stop learning. One of the harder driving tasks to truly master is highway travel. It involves high speed, lane changes, and often distracted drivers who are trying to get to their destination as fast as possible. So, as parents, make sure you go over the rules of the highway. Hear are some good guidelines to teach your kids.

The On Ramp

A freeway ramp gives you a very short distance, on a sometimes very curved sloping road, to reach freeway speeds. Considering this, it is important for new driver to remember they must quickly accelerate on the ramp to reach upper speeds before merging. Use the merge lane, and your driver mirror, to smoothly enter the freeway. The keyword is “smoothly.” If you’re not already traveling at the speed of traffic by the time you reach the merge lane, you did it wrong. When merging into slow-moving traffic, use the patented “you go, I go” technique. It’s a simple and courteous way to keep things flowing, yet not many people bother to employ it: Watch the car in front of you merge; before you merge, let the guy next to you creep up behind him.

Stay right

Make sure teen drivers go by this rule: stay in the farthest right lane unless you have to pass a slower motorist.  When traffic is light, your driving time should be spent in the far right lane of the freeway. Drive in the middle lane when the right lane fills up with slower-moving cars. But never travel in the far left lane unless passing a vehicle in that center lane. Watch out for cars merging onto the freeway. The should yield to oncoming traffic, but if they don’t it is ok to switch over to the middle lane to go around them, and then return to the right lane.

Don’t Hold Up the Left Lane

You may be passing someone, but there will likely always be someone going faster than you. If you are in the left lane, and see a vehicle gaining on you, know that this happens. You may get a quick flash of the lights if you don’t move over. Don’t take this personally; it is just a gentle reminder to the slower driver to return to the middle lane. Just teach your teens, move over as soon as it’s safe and let drivers going faster go by.
Also,  the left lane is not the place to cruise it’s the place to pass.

Teach Zero Distractions

Distractions while driving are plentiful, but there are ways to limit this. Keep both hands on the wheel. Be aware of your surroundings, is there a car behind you? Beside you? Will you be taking an exit ramp soon? And of course, no cell phones and no texting. Teach teen drivers the rules of the highway and you are off to a good start for safe driving.

Posted by pfiorini on Mar 9 2010 in Driving Tips

The Consequences of Distracted Driving

200288278-001Driver inattention is a major contributor to highway crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 25% of police-reported crashes involve some form of driver inattention. Driver distraction is one form of inattention, and is a factor in more than half of these crashes.

Distraction occurs when a driver is delayed in the recognition of information needed to safely accomplish the driving task, because something within or outside the vehicle draws his attention away from driving. The presence of a triggering event distinguishes a distracted driver from one who is simply inattentive or “lost in thought.” Driver distractions or inattentive driving play a part in one out of every four motor vehicle crashes. That’s more than 1.5 million collisions a year – more than 4,300 crashes each day!

driving-on-cell-phone-and-eatingIt is unbelievable what some people do while driving, not only talking on the phone, but eating, shaving, texting! The list goes on. How can you reduce your chance of crashing? Its actually pretty simple. Leave your morning tasks, such as eating and hygene at home, if you have to get up half an hour earlier than do it. As for talking and texting, avoid while driving. For some this is hard to imagine, but you have to remeber that in the recent past, there were no cell phones or text messages. If you have a call you have to take, then pull over. The alternative is a hands free phone, but studies vary on whether this reduces distraction. For some it may seem like a pain to only focus on driving while driving, but in the end, it is worth the ‘aggrevation’ of not multi-tasking.  Driving while distracted puts you at the risk of, not only crashing up your car and personal injury, but also the safety of others.

Posted by pfiorini on Feb 1 2010 in Driving Tips