Two of the biggest investments a person will make in their life is their home and vehicle. As such, we want to make sure that we are taking care of both properly and regularly to keep them both at their highest value. Unfortunately, one can wind up being quite a nuisance to the other if it is not adequately maintained.
Oil stains on the driveway are unsightly and can put a damper on a homes’ curb appeal. The best way to avoid staining the driveway is to have regular maintenance performed on your vehicle. When you have regular preventative maintenance performed on your vehicle you can catch a potential leak before it starts, saving you money and saving your driveway. If, for some reason, the signs that your oil may begin leaking are missed and you wind up with a spot on your driveway, there are ways that you can try and remove it.
Here are six ways to remove oil stains from your paved driveway:
Oven cleaner can be used to remove oil stains from the pavement. Simply spray the oven cleaner over the oil stain until it is fully saturated and allow the oven cleaner to soak in for at least 15 minutes. Take a hard steel brush or hard bristled brush and scrub at the stain using as much muscle as you can muster. As you scrub, you will see the stain start to disappear. Scrub until you no longer see a spot. It is not uncommon for an oil spot to seemingly reappear, it is just some of the more deeply soaked oil making its way to the surface. If this happens, you can repeat the process to completely eliminate the stain.
Dawn Dish Soap
Pour Dawn dish soap over the oil stain and let sit for about 10 minutes. Use a large, hard bristle brush to scrub the stain until you see the oil pulling from the asphalt then rinse with a hose. Repeat if needed until the stain is gone.
Powder Laundry Detergent
Completely cover the stain with the detergent. Sprinkle it with a little warm water so that the powder will mix and use a hard brush or strong wire brush to scrub the detergent into the stain. Once the detergent has mixed with the oil let it sit for an hour so that the detergent can really penetrate the oil. After the hour spray the detergent away with a hose. Repeat if necessary.
This method is not great for old, deep, and large stains. However, if the stain is small and has just occurred, Coca-Cola can be a pavement saver! You need only take a can or two of Coca-Cola and pour it over the stain before you go to bed. Allow it to sit overnight. In the morning you can rinse it with water and the stain should be gone.
Spray the stain with WD-40 until completely covered and allow it to sit overnight. In the morning you can rinse it away and in most cases, there will be no signs of the oil stain remaining.
Cover the stain completely with large amounts of baking soda then scrub with a steel brush. You may find it a bit fascinating as the baking soda begins to turn black. After you have scrubbed for a good 10 minutes or so allow the baking soda to sit for at least a half an hour then rinse with a hose. Repeat if needed.
Remember, the best way to protect your driveway is to keep up with your vehicles’ regular maintenance schedule. Virginia Auto Service is here to help you with your automotive maintenance and repair needs. We are your go-to in Phoenix, AZ for reliable, high-quality auto services. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
You rely on your car for a lot of things, such as getting to work on time and transporting the kids to and from soccer practice. It’s easy to see why problems can arise if your car refuses to start.
There are literally dozens of reasons why your vehicle may not start. However, it can be fairly easy for our expert auto repair technicians to diagnose the issue depending on the symptoms.
The following are the five most common offenders of automotive no-start situations, and advice on how to ensure your vehicle stays in tip top shape.
You Have a Dead Battery
The most common reason for a car not starting is a dead battery. It is especially common after a long, hot summer. There are several factors that can contribute to a dead battery in a vehicle including its age, loose wires, leaving the lights on, and more. If you determine that your car is not starting because the battery has died, your first step would be to check and make sure the terminals are clean and connected tightly. If they are good, you will want to try and jump-start your vehicle. If the jump-start is successful, then your battery wasn’t completely dead but is on its way out. At this time, you should consider bringing your vehicle in and having the battery inspected by an automotive technician.
You Have an Empty Gas Tank
Sometimes the obvious answer is the right one. If your vehicle was running on fumes and you forgot to refuel, you may not have enough gas left in the tank to get it started the next time you need it to. Try not to be embarrassed, you aren’t the first driver to let your gas level get too low. Though it is embarrassing and more than a little inconvenient, it is a very fixable and affordable problem. Grab your wallet and a gas can then catch a ride to the nearest gas station. And, don’t let it get so low next time.
You Have a Clogged Fuel Filter
If your fuel filter is clogged, the gasoline won’t reach the engine. The fuel filter is responsible for keeping the fuel lines clear and blocking dirt and debris from reaching the engine. When the filter is clogged, several problems can arise, including a vehicle that won’t start. Most fuel filters require changing every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. For details specific to your vehicle, you should refer to your owner’s manual.
You Have a Bad Ignition Switch
The ignition switch is the area in which you insert your key, and it can malfunction. This may be the case if you know your battery is fine, yet your car isn’t turning over. If you are unsure, you can try turning on your headlights. If they work, then the battery is fine, and the ignition switch is the likely culprit. If you have a broken ignition switch, this kind of repair can be proven to be difficult. It is made that way to prevent theft. Bring your vehicle to us and we’ll fix it for you.
You Have a Broken Starter
A broken starter is another common reason your vehicle won’t start. The starter is a small motor that provides the turning force necessary to get the engine running. If you hear a clicking noise when you turn your key, it may indicate a broken or weakened starter. This problem may be temporarily fixed with a jump-start, but to completely fix it, you will need to bring it in to be repaired or replaced.
If your car won’t start, chances are it’s because of one of the above five problems. Whether a dead battery or a bad ignition switch is to blame, you can trust the certified automotive technicians at Virginia Auto Service to fix the problem. We are your go-to in Phoenix, AZ for reliable, high-quality auto repair services. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
The oil filter has one main job- remove contaminants from your car’s engine oil that can accumulate over time as the oil keeps your engine clean. Contaminated oil can lead to many vehicle issues. Issues that can have a dramatic impact on, or even destroy the engine.
Clean Motor Oil is Important
If motor oil were left unfiltered for an extended period of time it could become inundated with tiny, hard particles that can wear the oil pump’s machined components and damage the bearing surfaces in the engine.
How the Oil Filter Works
The outer part of the filter is a metal can that has a sealing gasket that allows for it to be tightly held against the engine’s mating surface. The metal can has a base plate that holds the gasket and has holes around the area just inside the gasket. A central hole is threaded to combine the oil filter assembly on the engine block. On the inside of the can is the filter material, which is usually made from synthetic fibers. The oil pump moves the oil directly to the filter through the holes in the base plate. The dirty oil is pushed through the filter and back through the central hole- where it re-enters the engine.
Using the Right Oil Filter
Oil filters will look similar, but there are small differences in the threads and/or gasket sizes which will determine if a particular filter will work for your vehicle. Consult your owner’s manual to determine which oil filter you need for your vehicle. Making sure you use the right filter for your vehicle is important. If the wrong filter is used it can cause oil to leak out of the engine, or if it doesn’t fit properly it could just fall off. Both of these situations would lead to serious engine damage.
Signs That it is Time to Replace Your Oil Filter
Here are five signs that your oil filter may need to be replaced:
If your oil filter needs replaced, the car will not accelerate as well as it normally would, and the accelerator may feel as though it isn’t working properly. The engine will run, but not as well as it should. Continuing to drive a vehicle like this can damage essential parts of the engine.
A clogged oil filter could cause “sputtering.” In this case, the oil filter will not release oil like it’s supposed too, and your vehicle will not be able to maintain its speed. The sputtering may be soft for a time, gradually worsening. Replacing the filter will remove the sputter.
If the filter is clogged, there will be a lack of oil in the engine causing metal to touch metal as the engine works. If you hear metallic sounds, you should stop driving the vehicle immediately to avoid serious engine damage. Have the oil filter replaced and introduce more oil into the system right away.
Oil Pressure Gauge is Dropping
While you are driving, you can read the oil pressure gauge on the dashboard. A swift drop in the oil pressure is a cause for concern. A pressure change can cause serious problems within the vehicle.
If the oil filter is clogged, the exhaust coming out of your car can be black or dirty. You will also likely smell the oil burning as it passes into the exhaust pipe. If this is the case, you need to bring your vehicle in for assistance right away. Our mechanics can replace the oil filter, fix a clog in the oil system and remove any sludge that has made its way into the car.
The filter is very difficult to reach on your own, and you should bring your car in before real damage is done. If you think it is time for an oil filter replacement, Virginia Auto Service is here for you. We are your go-to in Phoenix, AZ for reliable, high-quality auto repair services. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
Off-roading is a popular activity that people participate in all over Arizona. There are even clubs and Facebook groups dedicated to it!
The activity isn’t without its risks, though. You run the chance of encountering patches of thick mud, especially in the days and weeks following rain. For the most part, you may be able to determine if it is safe to drive through, but even the most experienced off-roader can be misled and find themselves stuck.
Should this situation arise, it is important that you know what to do. How you approach the situation could mean the difference between getting yourself unstuck, or waiting hours (and spending a lot of money) for a tow truck to help you.
Here are seven tips to get your car unstuck from mud:
Like we said, even the most avid off-roader can potentially find themselves stuck. It is safest to plan ahead. One of the best things you can do is include the following items in your roadside emergency kit before you take off on your adventure:
- Shovel– This is probably the most useful tool for getting your vehicle unstuck. You can use your hands or another item for digging or scooping, but a shovel will get the job done quickly and with the most ease. (If more than one tire is stuck, your back and hands will be glad that you had a shovel.) You don’t have to try and figure out how to fit a garden shovel in your car. A D-handle or foldable shovel will work perfectly and fit in your vehicle with ease.
- Cardboard, Carpet, or Plywood– A piece of cardboard, carpet or plywood can help provide traction.
- Plastic Recovery Tracks– A step up from the carpet/cardboard solution, a molded plastic recovery track like the Maxtrax MKII or the MAXSA Innovations 20333, won’t sink or slide under your tire. As an added bonus, when held at the end they can be used as a shovel.
- Hi-Lift Jack– A hi-lift jack can be used to lift a stuck tire so you can slip your traction device (cardboard, carpet, recovery tracks) underneath it with ease.
- Tow Strap– This is great to have if you are off-roading in a group. If you have a tow strap you can use one vehicle to help free another. You should avoid using straps with hooks, as they can be dangerous if the strap breaks. Remember to only connect to automobile frames, and not the body or bumpers
If you find that you are stuck, avoid panicking and acting rashly. Avoid the urge to slam your foot on the gas, as you will only get yourself into a deeper hole, literally and figuratively. Remove your foot from the gas and take calming breaths until you are composed.
Assess the Situation
Get out of the vehicle and assess the situation, then make a game plan. If your wheels are so deeply buried that the axle and chassis are now resting on the ground, you will know that you have a lot of work ahead of you. Same goes if you have more than one wheel sunken into the mud or sand. If the drive wheels are sunken, or if your car is tottering by its frame enough to alter its weight distribution and reducing traction in the drive wheels, getting it unstuck will also prove to be a little more difficult and time-consuming. If your case is less severe than all of that, you will probably get out somewhat easily.
Try the Easy Escape
If your situation doesn’t appear to be very severe, try and gently accelerate your vehicle out of the mud. Use your steering wheel and make sure that your front wheels point straight. For vehicles with an automatic transmission, use the lowest gear setting. For a manual transmission, you should try a higher gear like first or second. Gently accelerate, rocking the vehicle slightly, to see if the vehicle moves without the wheels spinning in place. If you move slightly, but don’t escape, throttle up and try to conserve the momentum you’ve built. At this point, the wheels may start to spin faster than the vehicle moves, which is fine as long as you continue to move in the direction of escape. If you stop moving and/or start to drift uncontrolled, stop. You don’t want to drift further into the mud or towards any potential oncoming traffic.
Ask Someone for Help
Your passenger or a willing passerby can prove to be helpful. Ask them to stand at the side of the vehicle that is opposite your escape path and push. Use the same method as before–slowly accelerating and rocking. Hopefully, they will be able to help push you out of the initial dip. You might find that, while rocking, it also helps to move your steering wheel back and forth. This will wiggle the front of the vehicle and could build momentum to the back and forth rocking. Essentially what is happening is the front wheels are acting as flippers with the back wheels and you are “swimming” the car out of the mud.
If you aren’t getting anywhere with the above tips, then it’s safe to assume your wheels and axles are buried too deep for an easy escape. Now it’s time to dig out the mud surrounding your tires. Gently scrape mud from off the tires as well so that you can see some tread. If you have one, use your jack to lift the tires a little then place your cardboard, carpet, plywood or plastic recovery track in front of the wheels. If you don’t have one of these, a coat, blanket, or car mat can be used. You could even try gravel, rocks, foliage, or sticks. You just need something to provide traction. Accelerate slowly and you should hopefully find yourself unstuck soon.
Time for a Tow
If you have tried everything listed above and you are still stuck, it may be time to blow the whistle and call for a tow. This could be a tow truck or a friend who can use a tow strap and/or winch to help you out.
At Virginia Auto Service, we love to help you with your vehicle and safety in any way we can. We hope you find these tips for getting your vehicle out of the mud helpful. For high-quality auto repair services, give the experts at Virginia Auto Service a try. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
Everyone knows that February 14th is special for lovers, but for Arizona, it holds another important meaning. It was 105 years ago, on February 14, 1912, that Arizona became the 48th state in the Union.
To honor our home state on its birthday, we thought it would be fun to share some facts about it. Some you may know, others you may not, in any case, it is all good fun.
Here are 48 interesting facts about Arizona:
- Arizona was the last of the contiguous United States to be made a state.
- A person from Arizona is called an Arizonan.
- Cattle, cotton, copper, citrus, and climate -also known as the five C’s– were the building blocks of Arizona.
- Arizona leads the nation in copper production.
- The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Prescott.
- The Capitol building’s roof is made up of enough copper to make 4.8 million pennies.
- Ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote across the United States. However, in Arizona, women earned the right to vote eight years earlier in November of 1912.
- Arizona has the largest percentage of Native American lands, with nearly one-fourth of the state being reservation land.
- There are currently 22 sovereign American Indian communities in Arizona.
- Arizona is the sixth largest state, in area, falling behind Alaska, Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico. Arizona is close to 114,000 square miles. It is around 340 miles wide and 400 miles in length.
- All six states of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) plus the state of Pennsylvania would fit inside of Arizona.
- Only about 17 percent of Arizona is privately owned. The rest of the state consists of forest and park lands, state trust lands, and Native American reservations.
- Of the 50 states, Arizona is the 15th most populous with over 6.7 million people.
- The world’s best-preserved meteor crater is found in Winslow, Arizona.
- You won’t find any dinosaur fossils in the walls of the Grand Canyon because the rocks are a lot older than the oldest known dinosaurs. There are, however, fossils of things like corals, crinoids, sponges, and trilobites.
- Arizona’s last volcanic eruption occurred between D. 1080 and 1150, creating Sunset Crater near Flagstaff.
- Because of its diverse geography and climate, Arizona can yield both the highest and lowest temperatures in the country on the same day.
- In Phoenix and Tucson, the sun shines 85 percent of the year. That is even more than Hawaii and Florida.
- The official state gemstone of Arizona is Turquoise.
- The Arizona Trout can only be found in Arizona and is also the official state fish.
- The official state tree is the Palo Verde. The name means “green stick.”
- Arizona’s official state flower is the saguaro cactus blossom. The flower usually blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during the months of May and June.
- The official state bird of Arizona is the cactus wren, which loves to build their nests in the protection of the thorny arms of the saguaro cactus.
- The saguaro cactus is the largest American cactus, and it is also considered endangered. If you cut down endangered cactus like the saguaro in Arizona, you could face up to a year behind bars.
- With 13 species of rattlesnake residing in Arizona, it has more rattlesnake species than any other state. The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is the official state reptile.
- Arizona is famous for the Petrified Forest, so it comes as no surprise that petrified wood is the official state fossil.
- Arizona is on Mountain Standard Time year-round and does not observe daylight savings time, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state. The only other state that does not observe daylight savings time is Hawaii.
- The World’s Oldest Rodeo is held in Prescott, Arizona every July. The oldest continuous rodeo is in Payson.
- Arizona, along with Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, is a part of the Four Corners. A place in the United States where a person can stand in four states and the same time.
- There are three national parks, six state forests, 18 national monuments (more than any other state), and 28 state parks in Arizona.
- Kitts Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, is the home of the world’s largest solar telescope.
- The largest unbroken Ponderosa pine forest in the U.S. is in Arizona. Around one-fourth of the state is covered by forest growth.
- The West’s most famous shoot-out, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, took place in Tombstone, Arizona. It lasted for only around 30 seconds.
- There are more golf courses than Scotland and more mountains than Switzerland located in Arizona.
- The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern states in 1926.
- The original London Bridge now calls Arizona home. It was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
- The name “Arizona” originated from the Spanish name, Arizonac, which in turn derived from the O’odham name “alĭ ṣonak” (meaning “small spring”).
- The two largest man-made lakes in the U.S. are found in Arizona- Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
- The Arizona flag has 13 rays of red and gold/yellow on its top half, symbolizing the original 13 states in the Union as well as Arizona’s sunsets. The copper star at the center of the flag represents Arizona’s copper mining industry. The blue one the bottom half represents the Colorado River. The red and blue shades on the Arizona flag are the same as the red and blue found on the flag of the United States.
- The hottest recorded temperature in Arizona was 128 degrees in Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994.
- The coldest recorded temperature in Arizona was -40 degrees, recorded January 7, 1971, at Hawley Lake.
- With 3,928 mountain peaks and summits, Arizona has more mountains than any of the other mountain states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming).
- Humphrey’s Peak is Arizona’s highest point, coming in at 12,633 feet.
- The Four Peaks area of the Matzanal Mountains produces top-quality amethysts.
- Phoenix originated as a hay camp to supply Camp McDowell in 1866.
- The Tonto Natural Bridge, near Payson, is thought to be the world’s largest natural travertine bridge. The bridge was discovered in 1877 and is 400 feet long and 183 feet high.
- It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water in Arizona.
- The land area that is now known as Arizona had the Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, and the Confederate flag flown over it at one point in time.
As you can see, we love Arizona. More than that, we love the people of Arizona, and we take pride in our part in keeping them safe on the roads. For high-quality auto repair services, give the experts at Virginia Auto Service a try. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
It’s that time of year, romance is in the air. Do you have plans for this romantic holiday? We have put together a list of eight Valentine’s Day date ideas in and near the Phoenix area to create lasting memories with your significant other.
- Valentine’s Date Night at Butterfly Wonderland– Scottsdale
Guests will enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and a showing of the full-length version of Flight of the Butterflies movie in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater. $25/couple. Pre-registration is required.
- Arizona Renaissance Festival– Gold Canyon
The Renaissance Festival opens the weekend of February 11 and 12 this year. The age of chivalry is alive and well at the Arizona Renaissance Festival! Romance your Valentine at Sunday’s Wooing Contest! The Wooing Contest will take place at 2pm at the Royal Pavilion. Registration is limited, so please arrive a little early to pre-register. The entrants will be judged in 3 areas as they try their best to win the hearts of a lucky Court Lord or Lady – costume, eloquence & charm! SAVE opening weekend and pick up your 2 for $24 coupon at one of the festivals Coupon Partner locations!
- Castles ‘N’ Coasters– Phoenix
On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, February 12, Castles ‘n’ Coasters is offering all day unlimited rides, 18-holes miniature golf, and a burger meal – all times two for you and your date! Get all of this for just $44.99 +tax. That’s under $25 each, for a $85+ value! On Valentine’s Day, they’re offering 2-4-1 Miniature Golf. Great date-night idea! Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event.
Join Dave and Buster’s Westgate for their Family Valentine’s Day event. Event includes a chocolate fondue buffet, unlimited video game play, one spin on the “Spin to Win” prize wheel, be-my-Valentine goody bag, and craft stations. Event takes place in the private event rooms. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time. Parents need not buy a ticket unless they would like to go through the fondue buffet and play games.
- Enjoy Arizona Beer Week– Phoenix
Arizona Beer Week, in its 7th year, is the celebration of Arizona craft beer and happens every February. This year the event runs from February 9-18th. With over 200 events across the state, each hosted by individual breweries, craft beer bars, hotels or restaurants, there is something for everyone. They offer educational behind the scenes tours, tastings, beer dinners and much more. Check the event page for events happening on Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s weekend.
- Romeo and Juliet by Ballet Arizona– Phoenix
Ib Andersen’s full length ballet adaptation of perhaps the greatest love story ever told returns just in time for Valentine’s day. Set in 16th century Verona, Romeo†Juliet chronicles Shakespeare’s tale of two beautiful teenagers from families on opposing sides of a bitter feud. With its sweepingly regal ballroom scenes, vivacious swordplay and poignant pas de deux, Ib Andersen’s production is a feast for the eyes and ears.
- Valentine’s Day Aboard the Dolly Steam Boat– Canyon Lake
Take your sweetheart on the twilight Dolly Steamboat dinner cruise on Canyon Lake on February 14, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Advanced prepaid reservations required.
Theater Works presents a love and marriage comedy show that celebrates marriage and the importance of having that special someone. The performance take place February 14, 2017 at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets $12 per person.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team here at Virginia Auto Service. For high-quality auto repair services, give the experts at Virginia Auto Service a try. Call (602) 266-0200 or schedule an appointment online.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), heat stroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat. Other risk factors include caregivers who aren’t used to driving kids or whose routine suddenly changes, or a child slips away to play in the vehicle and becomes trapped.
Along with the NHTSA, the National Child Passenger Safety Board, a program managed by the National Safety Council, would like to draw attention to National Heat Stroke Awareness Day this July 31st. Since 1998, there have been 684 deaths in the United States from adults leaving a child in a hot vehicle. Noheatstroke.org informs that the children whom have died from vehicular heat stroke in the United States (1998-2015) have ranged in age from 5 days to 14 years. More than half of the deaths are children under 2 years of age. So far this year, the United States has seen 23 children die for this reason. From 1998 to 2015, 30 of these children have been in Arizona.
WebMD states that heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature is greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures. They continue to say that heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Jan Null, CCM, and founder of noheatstroke.org, warns that children’s thermoregulatory systems are not as efficient as an adult’s and their body temperatures warm at a rate 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. The NHTSA stresses that heat stroke can occur even with outside temperatures as low as the 60s. With external temps in the 60s the interior of a car can heat up above 110 degrees. The NHTSA also states that a car can heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, so children should not be left in a vehicle for any period of time, no matter how quick you think your stop may be.
The NHTSA “Look Before You Lock” campaign offers this advice to protect children from vehicular heat stroke:
- NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. Not even for a minute!
- If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle CALL 9-1-1!
- Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
- Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
- IF A CHILD IS MISSING, ALWAYS CHECK THE POOL FIRST, AND THEN THE CAR, INCLUDING THE TRUNK.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car-seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
- Make “look before you lock” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
- Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
Taking Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car
The NHTSA stresses that if you see a child alone in a car, don’t worry about getting involved in someone else’s business—protecting children is everyone’s business.
- Don’t wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return.
- If the child is not responsive or is in distress, immediately:
- Call 911.
- Get the child out of the car.
- Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).
- If the child is responsive:
- Stay with the child until help arrives.
- Have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.
Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
According to WebMB, the hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign. Other symptoms include:
- Throbbing headache
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Lack of sweating despite the heat
- Red, hot, and dry skin
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
Vehicular heat stroke is 100% preventable. If at any point you see a child left in a vehicle, don’t forget to “act fast and save a life.” And, if you are a parent, or someone who is responsible for transporting children at any time, always remember to “look before you lock.” Let’s keep our kids safe not only this summer, but all year, every year.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of American adult drivers have admitted to driving drowsy, and almost one in five admit to having fallen asleep behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that around 100,000 car crashes reported to the police each year are a result of sleepiness and fatigue. This is a rough estimate as it is difficult to pin down exactly how many crashes are actually due to drowsiness.
Drowsy driving accidents are difficult to put an exact figure on for many reasons. One is that there is no test to determine driver fatigue like there is for drunk driving. Also, a large number of crashes associated with drowsy driving are often fatal. However, according to the NHTSA, there are some common factors that accident investigators use to determine that a crash was caused by driving while fatigued:
• Though driving drowsy can affect all types of crashes both day and night, they occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon- both of which are times when there are dips in the circadian rhythm.
• Many drowsy-driving crashes involve only a single vehicle, with no passengers besides the driver running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking.
• Drowsy-driving crashes frequently occur on rural roads and highways.
According to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not tired. When a person drives while tired their reaction time, judgment, alertness, attention, and decision-making are all compromised which leads to a greater chance of crashing. In some cases, a drowsy driver will fall asleep at the wheel. Most people associate impaired driving with alcohol or drugs, but studies have shown that driving when fatigued can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. In fact, someone who has been awake for 17 hours has the response time of someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%. After 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, the impairment is equal to 0.10% BAC. (In all of the US, a BAC of 0.08% is considered legally drunk.) Simply put, driving drowsy has a negative impact on a person’s ability to drive safely.
Who’s at risk?
The National Sleep Foundation’s DrivingDrowsy.org webpage states that although anyone who drives is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, some groups of people are more at risk than others:
• Shift workers and people working long hours– People who work rotating shifts, double shifts, night shifts or work more than one job have a six-fold increase in drowsy driving crashes.
• Commercial drivers– Those who drive a high number of miles and drive at night are at significantly higher risk for fall-asleep crashes. Commercial drivers have also been found to be at a high risk for sleep disorders.
• People with untreated sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)– People with untreated OSA are up to seven times more likely to have a drowsy driving crash. For some people insomnia can increase fatigue.
• Young drivers– Combining inexperience with sleepiness and a tendency to drive at night puts young people at risk, especially males aged 16-25 years.
• Business travelers– Frequent travelers who may be suffering from jet lag and crossing time zones, spending long hours behind the wheel or getting too little sleep.
Though the groups listed above are the most vulnerable to falling asleep and crashing while driving, everyone has the potential to cause a fatigue related accident. Your risks for a drowsy driving accident increases when you are:
• Driving long distances without proper rest breaks
• Working 60 hours or more a week
• Sleep deprived and/or fatigued
• Drinking alcohol
• Driving alone, especially on long, dark, rural, or boring roads
• Taking medications such as antihistamines, cold tablets, or antidepressants
• Experiencing jet lag
Warning Signs of Fatigue or Sleepiness
Most people are not very good at determining when they are too tired to get behind the wheel. Often times they don’t realize they are too tired until they are well into their drive. However, there are key warning signs to tell you when you are too tired to drive that you should take into consideration:
• Turning up the radio or rolling down the window
• Impaired reaction time and judgment
• Decreased performance, vigilance and motivation
• Trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or your head up
• Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
• Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
• Drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits
• Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive
The best thing that you can do to prevent drowsy driving on a daily basis is to always get enough rest. Getting enough sleep is the one true way to prevent against the risks of drowsy driving. Make it a priority to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. The National Sleep Foundation and NHTSA also offer these tips to help you avoid a drowsy driving accident:
• Watch for the above warning signs of fatigue.
• If you notice that you are feeling any of the above signs of fatigue, Stop Driving– pull off at the nearest exit or rest area, or find a place to sleep for the night.
• Take a nap- find a safe place to nap for 15-20 minutes (a nap longer than 20 minutes can make you groggy for 15 or minutes after waking).
• Consume caffeine- the equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours, and usually takes about 30 minutes to enter the bloodstream. Caffeine is available in various forms (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chewing gum, tablets), and in various amounts. For example, the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee (about 135 mg) is about the same as 2-3 cups of tea or 3-4 cans of regular or diet cola. DO NOT rely on this for long periods of time.
• Consume caffeine just before taking a short nap to get the benefits of both.
• Don’t drive if you are tired or on medication that may cause drowsiness.
• If you are not alone, have a passenger take over driving.
• Avoid driving at times you would normally be sleeping.
• Don’t consume any alcohol before driving. Alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
• Get treatment for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome.
• Take a break every two hours if you are driving long distances.
• For your safety, always wear your seatbelt.
Drowsy driving can be deadly and it is something we should take seriously. When we drive we take responsibility for our personal safety as well as the safety of others on the road with us. Be sure that you are using safe driving practices, including avoiding driving drowsy, so that you can remain alert and arrive to all of your destinations alive.
At Virginia Auto Service we understand the value of high quality customer service. In a city that is less public and more personal vehicle commuting, we also understand our customers need their car which is why we strive for accurate work in a reasonable turnaround time. We took a look at what sets us apart from other repair shops and keeps our customers coming back and referring friends and family to us.
Here are 10 reasons to do business with Virginia Auto Service:
1. We are an award winning auto repair shop: 2011 Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Impact Award for Response to Adversity, named a Top 10 Shop by MotorAge Magazine.
3. We have a satisfaction rate of 96%! More than 96% of our customers would refer friends and family to us. We care about what our customers say about us which is why we provide opportunity for two way conversation. From emails, calls and texts to social media and online reviews, we can reach our customers and understand their level of satisfaction. Give us a Yelp! Or a Google Maps review.
4. We Guarantee our work by providing a 2 year/24,000-mile nationwide warranty.
5. We employ only the best technicians who have taken the extra steps to become ASE Certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service. ASE Certification is voluntary and all of our mechanics are certified. Some have gone beyond to achieve the Master Automobile Technician title. This means we are competent and effective for automotive repair work at the best shops in the nation. We care about your car as much as you do.
6. We only use the best auto parts from reputable companies like NAPA Auto parts, AC/Delco, Jasper Transmissions, and the manufacturer.
7. We provide Online appointment scheduling.
8. We do the right thing. If we can give our customers good information about their vehicle even though we may not get the sale we’re fine with that. We know our customers appreciate our service and recommendations.
9. We provide a FREE RIDE: Our courtesy shuttle provides rides for customers to work or home while their car is being repaired. When the car is finished, we pick them up. We have been told by many customers this is the most valuable service we offer.
10. We have Location…location…location: We are located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix at 7th Street and Virginia.
11. We Give Back to the community: One of our favorite charities to work with is the Auto Repair Good Guys Foundation (ARGG). They do no and low cost auto repairs for those who can otherwise not afford repairs to their vehicle.
12. We save you money with specials & coupons which are posted on the website & social media. We love offering Groupon’s so register and look for the next deal. Go to VirginiaAutoService.com and click “Specials” for more information.
At Virginia Auto Service we believe customer service is above all other services. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing more from you!