What is Magnetic Ride Control?

First debuting in a 2002 Cadillac, Magnetic Ride Control has maintained its position as the most advanced suspension system in the automotive industry. Capable of adjusting instantaneously, this suspension system offers a smooth, flexible ride without many complicated parts. Here at Watters Autoland, we have a quick and easy-to-understand explanation of what Magnetic Ride Control is and how it works!

To react to changes in the road instantaneously, the shock absorbers are filled with a special polymer fluid that’s filled with small magnetized iron particles. Electromagnetic coils wrap around the shock absorbers. When an electric charge shoots through the liquid, the particles change the liquid’s viscosity, ranging from a free-flowing liquid to dense rubber.

Magnetic Ride Control is known as the quickest reacting suspension system ever created. By using an Electronic Control Unit and multiple sensors, the system reads the condition of the road up to 1,000 times per second. By reading the road, the system detects potholes, crack, craters, and other abnormalities. The system adjusts the shock absorbers accordingly, effectively reducing vibrations and enhancing ride quality and handling.

As a result of Magnetic Ride Control, vehicles can be designed with handling for the track and a ride fit for back country roads. That’s a huge advancement in technology and considering the most recent generation includes a competitive drive mode, General Motors still has plenty more to come.

How to Stay on Top of Summer Tire Maintenance

Summer Tire Maintenance

Make sure your tires are properly maintained for those summer road trips.

It’s easy to forget about car maintenance in the summer. There are other things on your mind, like packing for vacation, finding someone to watch the kids while you’re at work, and that family cookout coming up in a week or two. But while winter can be tough on your wheels, summer tire maintenance is just as crucial.

It’s basic science: while cold temperatures make tires lose pressure faster, hot temperatures cause tires to expand, which makes them more likely to blow. This is exacerbated by the constant friction of tires on hot pavement.

As a result, drivers should make an effort to check their tires on a monthly basis and make sure their tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure — no more and no less. An underinflated tire is also at risk of blowing out, as the lack of air puts too much pressure on the sidewalls. Additionally, if you notice a particular tire may be underinflated more often, it could indicate a leak or puncture.

Other summer tire maintenance includes keeping an eye on your tread. Tread that is uneven or too worn can indicate that it’s time to get your tires realigned or even replaced completely. You should also keep a spare in your vehicle at all times just as a backup plan.

Outdoor Fun at the Des Moines Principal Riverwalk

Outdoor Fun at the Des Moines Principal Riverwalk

300 miles of Cetnral Iowa trails to explore.

Located at the heart of the downtown area, the Des Moines Principal Riverwalk is a central hub for many of the fun locations and activities nearby. From public landscaping to local art displays and more, the pathways and bridges of the Principal Riverwalk link up to 300 miles of Central Iowa trails.

Take a stroll across nearby points of interest such as the Union Railroad Bridge or Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge. There’s also the Promenade, various trails such as the Meredith Trail and Multi-Use Trail, the Hansen Triangle, and the recently-renovated Long Look Garden. The garden and Hansen Triangle both present public art, along with the Riverwalk’s Hub Spot, a food spot that offers hand-made sandwiches, local craft beers, fresh pastries, and more.

Riverwalk Hub summer hours are Tuesday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, the hub opens at the same time, but stays open an hour later until 9:00 PM. The Hub is closed on Sunday.

The Des Moines Principal Riverwalk completed construction in 2013, and since its completion, the Riverwalk has attracted all sorts of people to the Des Moines downtown area and encouraged development in surrounding areas. With beautiful sites, local art, and delicious food, the Riverwalk has something for everyone.

Next-Generation Buick Regal Could Be a Wagon

Next-Generation Buick RegalWagons aren’t typically a big deal in the United States. General Motors offers the Opel Insignia in Europe, where it’s hailed as a sleek and modern offering in the segment, but the Insignia is only available in the U.S. in the form of its sedan variant, rebadged as the Buick Regal. However, at the recent annual Buick-GMC dealer meeting, General Motors confirmed that the next-generation Buick Regal could come in the form of a rebadged Opel Insignia Sports Tourer wagon.

At the meeting, held in Austin, Texas, dealers and correspondents were shown the upcoming 2018 Enclave, 2018 Regal, and Regal GS in addition to the wagon variant. Industry experts expect the Regal wagon will receive all-wheel drive, though powertrain information was not given at the meeting. GM Authority also discovered some time ago that General Motors filed a trademark for the name “Buick Regal TourX,” which may or may not become the name of the U.S. wagon variant.

It is speculated that the 2018 Buick Regal, along with its wagon version, will make its onstage debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, which is still a few months away. The vehicle itself is expected to launch sometime mid-2017 due to its 2018 model year.

In a market that’s increasingly saturated by crossovers and SUVs, making the next-generation Buick Regal a wagon seems to be a risky move. However, General Motors could be strategically filling empty spaces on the market in order to appeal to niche crowds, as well as consumers with more mainstream tastes. More information will likely be available as the 2018 Regal wagon is revealed to the public.

Visit the Buxton Park Arboretum in Indianola, Iowa

 Buxton Park ArboretumThe center of scenic Indianola, Iowa is the city’s crown jewel of a park — the Buxton Park Arboretum. Loaded with beautiful glimpses into nature, woodland trails for recreational use, a gazebo that can be rented in advance for private events, and a variety of interesting plant life in the gardens, Buxton Park is the ideal place for anyone looking for a beautiful outdoor experience during the summer — or during the rest of the year, too.

Located adjacent to Simpson College at West Girard and North B Street, Buxton Park offers sights such as the lovely butterfly garden, several formal gardens including the Memorial Garden, a bike trail, a fountain, sculptures, public art, and more. Whether you’re just out for a stroll, looking for a place to hold an upcoming event, or looking for something beautiful to photograph, you can find it in Buxton Park.

There’s even a self-guided Tree Tour through the arboretum you can take, outlined in a pamphlet that can be found near the gazebo. Along the tour, you will find a tree that is the largest of its species in Iowa, a conifer that loses its foliage in the fall, and a Kousa Dogwood that’ll be up for adoption at this year’s Adopt-A-Tree event, as well as some interesting facts about the historical uses for bark and wood.

Make sure to make time to visit the Buxton Park Arboretum next time you’re driving through Indianola, Iowa, the place we here at Watters Autoland call home. With everything from the work of local artists to an outdoor trail to carefully-cultivated gardens, Buxton Park is a sight you need to see.

Replacing the Serpentine Belt in Your Car

replacing the serpentine beltIf you hear a squealing sound from underneath your hood, check the serpentine belt. If it’s frayed or even broken, it’s time to replace it, as this belt controls the alternator, power steering pump, and a whole lot of other important things.

Replacing a serpentine belt is possible to do at home, and frequent DIYers will probably find it fairly easy, but it’s not really beginner level. If you’re more advanced, though, give it a shot.

Grab your owner’s manual and find the diagram of the serpentine belt system for reference, and then pop your hood and find the belt. Then find the tensioner, which should be located very near the belt—check the diagram. Move the tensioner so the belt is loose enough to pull it off.

That’s the easy part. The trickier part is getting it onto all those pulleys. There are a lot of them. Again, reference the diagram in the manual to make sure you’re putting the belt on correctly.

When the belt is on correctly, turn the tensioner back so the belt is tight again and use a belt tension gauge to make sure it’s the right tightness.

Improve Resale Value by Following these Tips for Drying a Wet Car

tips for drying a wet carWarm weather is on its way, which is a relief for most drivers looking forward to the summer. However, it also means more people will be tracking water into their cars from swimming pools, and more people will forget to roll up windows when it rains. We’ve put together tips for drying a wet car in order to help you keep your interior nice and dry.

According to NAPA, a wet interior isn’t just uncomfortable for passengers, but it can also do damage in the long run. In addition to mold and mildew, water damage can detrimentally impact the resale value of your car. It is important to keep your seats clean and dry, especially if you are looking to resell your car or if you are leasing.

If there is a lot of water, including standing pools, you want to make sure to get all of it out. Use a wet/dry vacuum in order to suck it out—be sure not to use an ordinary vacuum for this. If you can’t find one, many car wash facilities and gas stations also have wet/dry vacuums for affordable prices.

Airflow is your friend. Fabrics can’t get completely dry using a towel, especially under the surface. Prop up fans and open the windows to create optimum air flow. It is also a good idea to use a dehumidifier if you are in an enclosed space like a garage in order to suck the moisture out of the air.

Finally, get baking soda in order to prevent mold and mildew growth. Simply open containers and leave them behind each seat (do NOT sprinkle it on the fabric). Drying a wet car might seem like a hassle, but just a little work will keep you from emptying your bank account on a new interior in the future.

All-New GMC Terrain Midnight Edition Announced at New York Auto Show

GMC Terrain Midnight Edition

The latest vehicle to get the edgy, aggressive Midnight Edition treatment is the all-new GMC Terrain, following the Midnight Edition models of the Canyon and the Sierra. If you’re a fan of those, you are certain to love the GMC Terrain Midnight Edition.

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice about this new, special edition trim level is that the vehicle is almost entirely black, from head to toe, inside and out. You’ll see glossy, black accents everywhere you look. Tech-wise, you’ll find an IntelliLink 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen, 4G LTE connectivity, and a Wi-Fi hotspot at your disposal.

The GMC Terrain Nightfall Edition will be available for both the SLE-2 and SLT trim levels, and pricing information has not yet been released. However, we should know more as we approach the vehicle’s sale date, sometime during fall of 2016.

Until then, visit us anytime at Watters Autoland to see what we have in store!

Safety Tips and Advice for Driving with Pets

Driving with Pets

Now that the spring weather has begun, you may find yourself on a road-trip with your furry loved ones. To keep both you and your pets safe, don’t forget these safety tips for driving with pets:

  • Be sure that your pets are properly restrained, depending on what type of animal you have and what size they are.
  • Don’t allow pets to sit on your lap or hang out in the front seat while you’re driving, which could distract you.
  • Never, ever transport your dog in a truck bed, which causes many canine deaths and accidents every year.
  • Please do not leave your pets unattended in a parked vehicle, and never, ever leave them in a parked vehicle when it’s warm outside, which can quickly become lethal.
  • In case your pet becomes separated from you, be sure that it has a collar with contact information or even a microchip.

For more safety tips or to start out your spring season with a brand new vehicle, visit us here at Watters Autoland.

Buick Teams Up With Tracey Anderson to Promote Both Healthy Living and Healthy Driving

Tracey AndersonThe weather is finally taking a turn for the warmer. That means now is the perfect time to head outside and start exercising right. With a little help, Buick has developed a list of tips to help you do just that!

According to a Buick press release, Buick has teamed up with Tracey Anderson to promote both healthy living and healthy driving.

Tracey Anderson, one of the world’s premier fitness experts, will be working alongside Buick to promote healthy summer habits in five different categories: skin, songs, sweat, snacks, and, of course, style!

She will also work alongside signature Buick models that embody these values, such as the 2016 Buick Cascada, one of the world’s premier convertible models.

“The road to getting fit and healthy for summer starts by taking the right lifestyle steps now,” said Anderson. “The tips Buick and I have developed are so easy to follow, and we hope they will inspire people to take better care of themselves this summer – and beyond.”

Start making a move toward a healthier and happier summer with Tracey Anderson and Buick!