How To Use Your Rearview Camera Safely

how to use your rearview camera safely

As the years go by, there are more and more safety features that cause us to wonder how we ever survived before they were invented. From seatbelts to airbags, there have been a lot of safety inventions in the last one hundred years. One that is being added into nearly every new vehicle is the rearview camera. Here is how to use your rearview camera safely.

The first thing to note about rearview cameras is that objects in the camera may seem bigger, smaller, closer, or further away than they actually are. To be safe, look over your shoulder once or twice just to make sure that what you are seeing in the camera is accurate.

It’s also important to understand that there is a blind spot directly beneath the camera. That means that anything below your camera and bumper will not show up on your screen. Whether it’s a bike lying on the ground or broken glass, have a look around the area a little bit before backing up into, or out of, your space.

By following these simple tips, you reduce your risk of accident significantly. Nearly every car will have one of these cameras in the near future, so it’s important to learn how to use them now.

How to Detail Your Car Like a Pro

how to detail your car like a proCar maintenance is something that too many people let fall by the wayside. Whether they don’t feel like paying someone to do it, don’t have time to do it, or don’t know how to do it, it just doesn’t get done. Here’s how to detail your car like a pro to keep your car looking fresh and clean.

The first step is to take out your air compressor to get rid of any stubborn dirt in the cracks and corners of your vehicle. Blow the dirt out of the cracks and into the center of the car, where it can be vacuumed up later. Before you put away the air compressor, turn it on the vents to clear the vents of any old dust to keep your car smelling nice.

Next, turn your attention to the outside of your car. When washing your car, avoid any acid-based cleaners. These types of cleaners eat away at the protective layers on your rims and paint, so choose your soap carefully.

By following these simple tips, cleaning your car will become a simple task. As long as you clean your car regularly and on a schedule, your car will last much longer.

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treat

Halloween safety tips

If you’re taking the kids out trick-or-treating this October, keep these Halloween safety tips in mind to ensure that everyone has fun getting free candy and seeing everyone’s cool costumes.

Plan Your Route: Even if you live in a suburban neighborhood, you still need to keep an eye out for cars. Planning your route ahead of time allows you to minimize the amount of times kids need to cross the street, and it also lets you get the most amount of candy in the most efficient amount of time!

Keep Costumes Practical: All costumes should fit well while still being short enough for your child to walk without tripping. If masks can be avoided, do so, because they reduce your costumer’s ability to see.

Be Visible: Other people need to see you, too, especially drivers. If your kids are wearing dark costumes, have them wear reflective tape or carry a glow stick. Stay in well-lit areas, too.

Wear Comfortable Shoes: All that walking can get tiring. Make sure the little ones don’t hurt their feet by having them wear gym shoes or something equally comfortable and supportive.

Sort Through Candy: Everyone knows this rule – check the candy at the end of the night to make sure your kids don’t get any nasty surprises.

Follow these Halloween safety tips and you’re sure to have a great time this upcoming October 31st.

Best Pumpkin Patches in Central Iowa

best pumpkin patchesOne of the greatest fall traditions is to take your family out to a farm and pick your own pumpkins for carving. However, in Central Iowa, there are lots of great spots to choose from. What are the best pumpkin patches to go to in Iowa?

Center Grove Orchard: This one landed the #1 spot on Des Moines Parent’s fall bucket list for a reason. Both pumpkins and apples are available here, along with hayrides, corn and hay mazes, and even weekend festivals with live music.

The Pumpkin Ranch: From homemade goods like cider, hot chocolate, and pastries to unique attractions like zip lines and a 9-acre maze, the Pumpkin Ranch is a great choice.

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch: Howell’s also landed the fall bucket list in the #5 spot. Come see and interact with live animals and visit the Greenhouse. Plus, all attractions are included in one upfront price.

Geisler Farms: Once you pay admission to Geisler Farms, you also get access to their aptly-named “Fun Zone,” including all-ages entertainment like pedal karts, corn hole, and rubber duck races.

North River Adventure Corn Maze: North River offers the corn maze in addition to other attractions like jumping pillow, a tire mound, and even a party barn. Come check out the fun and enjoy drinks and snacks onsite, too.

These are some of the best pumpkin patches in Central Iowa, so why don’t you go give them a shot? Have fun!

Five Tips for Detailing Your Car

Five Tips for Detailing Your CarYour car is a lot like your body. You have to provide it with its nutrients, take it in for checkups, and keep it clean and maintained. Here are five tips for detailing your car like a pro.

Blow Away the Dirt

The best place to start is the cracks and corners in your vehicle. You should use compressed air to blow the dirt out of the hidden cracks and into the middle of your car where it can be vacuumed up easily.

Keep the Smell Fresh

While you have the air compressor out, you should turn it on your vents to get rid of any build up that you may have in the vents.

Avoid Acid Based Cleaners

When you go to clean your tires, you should stay away from acid based cleaners to avoid damaging the ri

Choose to Hand Wash

When you hand wash, you familiarize yourself with your car’s shapes and features. When you do wash it, though, make sure to use dedicated car cleaning soap—avoid using dish soap, since it can strip protective layers off of your car.

Go Back for Seconds

Simply washing your car one time usually isn’t enough for most people. If you run your hand over the paint, and it feels rough, you should wash your car a second time.

By following these five detailing tips, you will keep your car looking fresh and maintained.

Best Midwest Road Trip

Best Midwest Road Trip

While the Midwest gets a bad name at times for being all farmland, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy. Although it isn’t quite as famous as Route 66, the Lake Superior Circle Tour is one of the best road trips in America.

The Lake Superior Circle Tour spans across Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and it touches more than 2,700 miles of beautiful shoreline. From cliffs to waterfalls to views of the vast Lake Superior, there are plenty of changes in landscape to keep you interested.

Some of the more interesting sites that you can see on your trip are:

  • The Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota
  • Kakabeka Falls in Ontario
  • Ouimet Canyon in Ontario
  • The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Michigan
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan

You can spend as much or as little time as you want on this trip, but if you want to truly enjoy the scenery you should plan for at least five days to be able to sit back and enjoy the local food, lighthouses, and different towns that make this part of the country so special.

If you’re looking for an easy, beautiful road trip in the Midwest, the Lake Superior Circle Tour is a great place to start.

How to Keep Your Car Cool on Hot Days

keep your car cool

August is the hottest month of the year, so figuring out how to keep your car cool when it’s hot outside is vital. The inside of your car can get dangerously hot at peak temperatures, so follow these tips on cooling it off.

If you have a garage, park your car inside. If not, leave the windows down if you’re comfortable—or just open them a crack—and try to park under a tree or somewhere in the shade. If you have to park somewhere without shade, it’s a good idea to invest in a sun shade that folds out and sits in your windshield to reflect the sun away from your car.

When you first get into your car, try changing the air so that you’re only using the bottom vents. Roll your windows down and let the cool air push the hot air up and out of the car. Once it cools off a bit, you can switch back over to the top vents.

If the sun is too hot or bright when you’re driving, you might want to look into getting your windows tinted. Always keep antifreeze in your car, as hot weather can lead to your engine overheating. And make sure your tires are inflated properly—hot weather can damage them if they’re underinflated.

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.