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Consumer Reports has conducted their Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey, which included about 230,000 vehicles that are less than 3 years old. Consumers were asked if they would purchase the exact same vehicle again if they had to make that choice again. There are many factors that go into buying a new car like safety ratings, fuel efficiency, performance, and appearance. Click on the tabs below to find out which vehicles ranked highest in their class.

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winter emergency kit
 
Preparedness is essential to surviving the winter here in the northeast. You never know when your car won’t start or if it will even make it out of the driveway. It’s your job to have the tools necessary to keep you ahead of the game. Make sure your winter emergency kit has the following items to best increase your chances of a hassle-free winter this season.

Flashlight – if you’re ever caught on the side of the road at night you’re going to wish you had a flashlight. It beats having to use your cellphone’s battery in order to provide light.

Cellphone – Should the time come that you’re stuck anywhere, the first and best tool is your cellphone. Cellphones can be used to call for help and sometimes even guide the user to the right course of action.

Washer Fluid – You can’t go wrong by carrying extra washer fluid. Be weary about leaving a full jug of washer fluid in your vehicle during the winter as the jug may break if the liquid freezes.

Jumper Cables – At the first indication of a dying battery be sure to visit your local Bertera Service Center to have it replaced without lifting a finger. Once the battery indicator appears on your dashboard it’s essential that you have it recharged or changed. Get it done before you end up in your driveway with a dead battery.

First aid kit – First Aid Kit’s are essential and should be in every vehicle. When the kids play a little too rough or you get a cut at the office you’re going to wish you had a bandage for the wound. The longer you wait to cover the wound the more chances you have of infecting it.

Water – Keeping extra water in your vehicle could save a life of an animal or even another person. During the winter it may be harder to store water in your vehicle as it will probably freeze over night.

Warning triangles/flares – Warning triangles and flares are emergency items that are commonly used by truck drivers stuck on the side of the road. These can be useful in the winter as it may be hard to see and any indicator of your location is better than none.

Shovel – The northeast is infamous for the amount of snow fall we have. When there is two feet of snow on the ground it isn’t exactly the easiest thing to get out of your driveway or even drive for that matter. To get out of your driveway or perhaps a snow pile on the side of the road you may need to dig yourself out. Having a shovel will be much easier than scooping snow with your hands.

Blankets/rags – Having extra blankets and rags in your vehicle will come in handy when the time comes to wait for the tow truck. Vehicles get stuck in the snow, it happens. Whether it has to be a cold uncomfortable wait is up to you. Be prepared for any event this winter.

Tool kit – The time will come when you have to look up how to fix something in your vehicle. Having instructions is good and all but not having the tools is unacceptable. Save yourself some money and purchase a tool kit for the vehicle.

Snowbrush/ice scraper
– Aid your vehicle in the defrosting process by removing snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof, trunk, hood, bumpers, mirrors, and wheel wells. Keep your gloves dry by using a snow brush and ice scraper!

Cellphone charger – Using a cellphone while driving is frowned upon and dangerous. Now, there are times when a cellphone is needed on the road, like when you need to call for help when your vehicle is stuck somewhere. Having a fully charged cellphone can save your life on the road one day. Be sure to always have a car charger for your phone.

Tire chains – Tire chains can be a very important tool in the winter, depending on where you reside that is. For people in the bigger cities we recommend upgrading to winter tires rather than putting tire chains on their vehicle. Another thing to note is whether your vehicle is Front-Wheel Drive, Rear-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive, or Four-Wheel Drive. Depending on the drive train of the vehicle you may have to attach the tire chains to a specific set of tires.

Rope – Rope is essential for every emergency kit. Be sure to keep some durable rope in your vehicle just in case.

Traction sand/mats – With winter comes the ice we all dread. When your tires are covered in snow and hit the ice chances are your vehicle isn’t going to stop or move depending on your speed when you hit the ice. If you’re stuck in your driveway on a sheet of ice the best choice would be to throw some sand, salt, kitty litter, or traction mats down to aid your vehicle.

Extra coat, hat, and gloves – You never know when you may be stranded or who you’ll be with. It’s important to be at least mildly prepared for any situation. In the situation you get stranded with a passenger or even forget your gloves or hat at home you will wish you had prepared better.

Snacks – Non-perishable food is great to have in your vehicle! You never know when you’re going to want, or better yet, need some food in your system.

Fire extinguisher – Vehicles are generally designed to avoid bursting into flames, that being said we know anything can happen. That is why it’s important to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle anyways. Be sure the extinguisher can handle both gas and electric fires. For more information about fire extinguishers click here.winter emergency kit1

Click here to view a printer friendly checklist

Source(s):
FemaLifeSafety.org

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snowstormjonas

As snow storm Jonas approaches the east coast many residents are flooding the supermarkets and department stores in preparation. Make sure you and your family are safe this weekend by staying ahead of the game and preparing for Jonas.

First, preparing your vehicle, home, and family for the storm is essential.
• If your home runs on electric heating make sure you have plenty of blankets for everyone.
• Have your vehicle ‘Winterized’ and make sure you have over half a tank of gas to prevent your gas line from freezing. For more information on ‘Winterizing’ your vehicle click here.
• Make sure the fridge and cabinets have enough food for the weekend. (NOTE: Power loss can be common during snow storms, be sure to keep your refrigerator closed during that time to prevent food from spoiling, or better yet leave the goods outside in the snow!)
• Keep the water running if your home loses heat. This will help prevent the pipes from freezing. You only need the faucet to drip to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Second, What Do I Need?
• Batteries and flashlights are essential items. An alternative would be a power bank and your cellphone flashlight.
• If you do not have jumper cables in your vehicle be sure to purchase a pair. The cold weather is tough on car batteries, that is why it’s essential to have a pair of jumper cables in your vehicle at all times.
• Get yourself some ice/snow melt and a way to clear the snow, whether it be a plow, snowblower, or shovels.
• Purchase a portable power bank to keep everyone’s electronics charged.

Third, Avoid the following.
• If you have a portable generator be sure to have it running OUTSIDE the house and away from the doors and windows to avoid Carbon monoxide from entering the house.
• Grills and camping stoves should be used outdoors only.

Click here to download and print a Winter Storm Preparation Checklist.

Snow storm Jonas is a slow moving storm. It’s currently on its way up to the northeast. The storm should arrive in full force in Western Mass. by Saturday. The image below displays what Snow storm Jonas should look like when it has completely reached Western Mass. For more information on Snow storm Jonas visit weather.com.
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Source(s):
Redcross.org
Popularmechanics.com
Weather.com

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get ready get set go winterize

Winter has arrived and chances are your automobile requires some preventive upkeep to keep it in tip top shape for the remainder of the season.

According to AAA, the most often uncovered issues in its annual vehicle assessments are inappropriate tire pressure, unclean or low motor oil, anti-freeze, and other automobile fluids.

AAA offers the following advice to drivers preparing for the winter driving season:

Get ready: Before you drive long distances, check the weather conditions along your route. Remember to bring a cellphone and a winter season driving kit that includes a flashlight with fresh batteries, a snow shovel and brush, traction mats, ice scraper, booster cables, a blanket, flares, heavy gloves, window washing solvent and a first-aid kit.

Get set: Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before leaving your driveway. Make sure that your tires are properly pumped up, fluid levels are full, front and rear lights are running, and belts and hoses are in great condition.

Keep in mind that one of the most typical causes of cold-weather breakdowns is a dead or weak battery. Good indications that your battery is weak and may require replacement consist of a starter motor that cranks the engine gradually when the ignition is turned or headlights that dim noticeably when the engine speed drops to idle.

Check out a Bertera Service Center for specialist maintenance and repair services if you are not sure about any element of your automobile’s condition.

Go: Now that your automobile has the thumbs-up, here are some winter season driving tips to get you to your location safely.

When driving in slippery and icy conditions, decrease and keep a safe distance from other automobiles. Reduce your brake use and keep in mind that traction is biggest just before the wheels spin. Using gentle pressure on the accelerator pedal when beginning is the very best method for retaining traction and avoiding skids.

The most efficient way to stop on ice and snow is to use your brakes gently, well in advance of the point where you intend to stop. If your automobile has anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not pump your brakes; continue to apply firm pressure to the brake pedal till your car comes to a complete stop.

Note: Notice in the video above how the vehicle without ABS stopped in a shorter distance but couldn’t control the vehicle, whereas the vehicle with ABS took a little longer to stop but remained in control the entire time.

Keep your seat belt secured and ensure that all passengers are secured within the vehicle.

When driving in falling snow or fog, lower your speed, use your low-beam headlights or fog lights and keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of you.

To help avoid gas line freeze up, keep your gas tank at least half complete to reduce condensation. You may also want to consider using dry gas this winter to prevent any water from freezing your gas line.

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Source(s): AAA.com

Prepare your car for momma nature

By this time last year we already had a few feet of snow on the ground. For motorists, that might imply some difficult and unsafe driving conditions.

Be prepared for winter season driving by taking your automobile to a qualified vehicle technician, like those at a Bertera Service Center. An automobile examination will make sure that the engine, battery, exhaust system, heating and defrosting systems are all in good working order, and will see to it that the automobile’s main fluids are at the right levels.

If you are on the road when mother nature strikes, there are things you can do to remain safe. Initially, decrease your speed, taking it sluggish offers you more time to stop and enhances tire traction.

Never ever pump the brake pedal on a car with an anti-lock brake system (ABS), given that the system itself “pumps” the brakes immediately. ABS is created to enable you to continue to steer the vehicle while in a panic by not permitting the wheels to lock up.

In addition, attire your automobile with the right tires during the winter season. Winter tires are technologically advanced to deal with extreme winter season driving conditions.

Winter season tires have tread patterns and compounds that decrease the danger of slipping. Deeper treads on winter season tires permit the tires to dig into the snow and propel your car through it.

Don’t forget to examine your tire pressure weekly during the cooler months. As outside temperatures drop, the air pressure inside a tire decreases. When the automobile has been driven less than a mile or has not moved in more than three hours, check your tires.

By following these basic steps you will be better prepared when Mother Nature strikes.

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Source(s): Youtube.com

Our first car seat checkpoint of 2016 kicked off on a very wet day. Our hopes weren’t high until the first few families came, at that point we had a line out of the service bay. Considering the fact that there was practically torrential downpour most of Sunday we’d say that’s pretty good!
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If you’re interested in participating in our next car seat checkpoint please schedule an appointment here: 1-860-714-5477
Join us on February 7th, 2016 for our next checkpoint!

Check out some of our favorite images from Sunday’s checkpoint below.

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dont get stuck out in the cold

Prepare Your Vehicle for The Winter Season

Who hasn’t slid and slipped across an icy road or had a hard time seeing clearly out of a foggy windshield? The cold winter months bring an increase in dangerous driving conditions. Make sure your vehicle can handle those conditions.

Avoid that frightening sensation you get when your vehicle has little traction throughout inclement weather conditions by putting on a set of winter season tires. Today’s winter tires are designed for snow and ice efficiency, with tread that lowers the threat of slipping and allows for better traction.

In addition to the ideal tires, your vehicle requires suitable maintenance.

“To help stay safe on winter season’s icy roads, embrace great automobile maintenance practices,” encourages Trisha Hessinger, vehicle education expert and pace vehicle driver. Schedule your next service appointment at our Service Center to know you are covered for sure.

As in all seasons, make sure your tires are appropriately inflated, rotated, aligned and replaced as needed. During the colder months be sure to increase the amount of times you check your tire pressure. When the tires have been driven less than a mile or have not moved in at least 3 hours, tires need to be checked weekly at times.

Other automobile components that have to be checked by a licensed automotive service technician include the engine, battery, exhaust, heating and defrosting systems. Also, ensure the vehicle’s primary fluids are filled to the advised levels.

With regard to fuel, motorists should keep their gas tanks full throughout the winter season, as the extra volume can assist reduce moisture problems within the fuel system and add useful weight.

You will be grateful for the included driving control and feeling of security that winter tires and the ideal upkeep will give you the next time you get behind the wheel during inclement weather.

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Enthusiasts from all around the world come to see and participate in the largest Subaru meets in the United States. People of all ages, sexes, and colors come together to celebrate Subaru! You’ll never find a place with more people capable of changing their own oil. Subaru meets across the country bring fans and enthusiasts together to share their ideas, speculation, and future Subie builds with one another. If you are interested in attending or even participating in any of these meets please click the links below to visit their fan pages.

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Is Your Check Engine Light On?

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When you start your vehicle, the check engine light comes on momentarily to test the engine/emission control system and bulb. The system is self-diagnostic and the light is a way to communicate trouble. The system is designed to function in a “limp home” mode when trouble occurs and the light comes on – and stays on. However, take your vehicle to your local Bertera Service Center right away. The technicians have specialized tools and training to access trouble codes stored in the vehicle’s memory each time the light is illuminated. This is a sophisticated system, with the ability to detect and store information about even the slightest changes.

One item which may seem insignificant but which can cause the system to detect trouble is a loose or missing fuel filler cap. Remove the cap, then tighten it until it clicks. If you are unsure whether the loose cap was the cause or if the light stays on, visit your local Bertera Service Center.

The light also can come on if you have installed electrically powered accessories (such as a radar detector or keyless entry system) that aren’t compatible with your vehicle’s systems. If the light comes on and such accessories are installed, technicians may need to disconnect them before any further diagnosis can take place. Be sure the device you are attempting to install is compatible with your vehicle before purchasing it.

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Filters, Filters, Filters.

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Road dust, fuel system condensation and engine-oil sludge are unseen enemies that can cause harm to your engine, or prevent it from working at its best. Your best defense? Visit your local Bertera Service Center for genuine filter replacements to help ensure that your engine lives a healthy, high-mileage life. Refer to your vehicle’s Warranty and Maintenance Booklet for recommended maintenance schedules.

Oil Filters

Motor oil circulates through your engine to lubricate all the moving parts. Along the way, dirt, grit and fine metallic and carbon particles contaminate motor oil and, if improperly filtered out, may ruin your engine. Today’s high-detergent oils are formulated to suspend contaminants until they can be effectively trapped by the oil filter. Regularly changed oil filters protect your engine by removing the suspended particles from your motor oil.

Fuel Filters

Today’s sophisticated fuel injection systems demand clean fuel in order to run smoothly. From the gas tank to your engine, fuel can pick up contaminants like dirt and condensation. If these contaminants are not properly filtered out they will cause reduced engine performance, rough idling and may eventually damage the sensitive fuel injection components. Fuel filters changed using the recommended maintenance schedule can help you avoid expensive repairs.

Air Filters

Your engine needs a great deal of air to run properly. If air is not properly filtered, dust and other suspended particles get into the combustion chamber where they may become lodged between the piston and cylinder wall, causing wear. This may result in loss of acceleration, decreased power and lower gas mileage.

Remember, ALWAYS insist on genuine Filters – your best defense against the most abusive elements.

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