How to Prepare Your Car for the Fall

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Thunderstorms rolling in this week, and some have forecast that it might even snow in the high country by the end of the week. Thus its official: fall is here, and it’s starting to get colder already. That means harsher weather, more rain, and possibly even snow. It might seem pleasant and sunny right now, but the last thing you want is your car to break down in the cold or in the rain. If you want your vehicle to last through to the spring, here are some tips


No one wants to be standing on the side of the road trying to recharge his or her battery. If you need to take your car in for maintenance anyways, have them check your battery and get it recharged or replaced.


Check your oil, brakes, transmission, wiper fluid, etc. Oil should be changed about every 3,000 miles – check your owner’s manual to be sure about when your car needs an oil change. Also make sure that you have windshield wiper fluid that won’t freeze in colder weather. If anything needs to be changed, make sure you do it as soon as possible.


It’s getting darker earlier, and rain and snowstorms make visibility even worse. Working lights are a necessity, not only to help you see the road, but to help other drivers see you. Check all of your lights – headlights, brake lights, taillights, emergency lights, turn signals, etc. Make sure they’re clean and not burnt out.


You should have your tires rotated every other oil change (check your manual for specific guidelines). Also check your tire pressure. It’s easy to forget, but you should check your tire pressure once a month. If it’s getting colder, that might affect your tire pressure. Plus, making sure your tires are properly inflated can get you better mileage.


Be prepared for those winter months. It’s going to get cold! Don’t forget to check your antifreeze. If you wait until December, you might find the shelves at the store empty.

These aren’t the only things you may need to check. Look over your Owner’s Manual and make sure you are up to date with the manufacturer’s guidelines. It may be time to do a scheduled maintenance check at your mechanic or dealership.

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Driving With Your Pet: Tips to Keep Both of You Safe

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Do you travel with your pet?  Is your pet properly restrained?  For most people, the answer to the second questions is probably, “No.”  While most people understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt, dogs are frequently let loose throughout the cabin as the driver cruises along.  This poses severe risks for both the driver and the pet.


Whatever the reason your pet might be traveling with you, whether you’re just going for a short ride or taking your pet with you on vacation, you want to make sure you keep your animal safe and secure in your vehicle.  An unrestrained pet can be a distraction, and can cause further safety risks in the event of a crash.


It’s estimated that tens of thousands of accidents are caused by unrestrained pets.  Unfortunately, there is no definite data because the records for these accidents only indicate that the driver was distracted, and don’t specify the cause.  Furthermore, it’s up to the driver to indicate that the pet caused the distraction.


That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive with your pet at all.  At Penske Automotive, we understand you want to keep your pet at your side.  Just make sure that you follow these tips to keep your dog – and yourself – safe on the road.


Driver Safety

It’s obvious to many lawmakers that cell phones cause dangerous distraction when drivers call or text.  However, pets can be just as distracting.  When you’re on the road, your dog might bark, pace and jump around the cabin, paw at you, and even crawl down by your feet.  Just as you wouldn’t want your children yelling and bouncing around the car, you should also want your pet safely secured.


Your pet not only can cause distraction, but can also become a dangerous projectile during an accident.  It can hit other passengers, or cause another crash if it runs away from the accident.


Pet Safety

The dog is “man’s best friend,” so naturally you don’t want them getting sick or injured.  If you’re planning on take your dog with you, feed them hours before you leave, instead of right before.  Many pets get car sick, and you don’t want to have to clean it up or be distracted.


Make sure your pet is properly secured in your vehicle. Don’t let your pet ride with its head sticking out the window.  They might like it, but it can be especially dangerous.  They might step on the power window button, or could get hit by something outside the car.


The dangers aren’t just unique to when the car is in motion.  If you stop at a rest area, don’t leave the dog alone in the car.  If it’s hot outside, your pet can get overheated.  On the other hand, if you leave your window open to try to keep them cool, you run the risk of your pet being stolen or jumping out of the vehicle.  If you do take your pet out for a walk at a rest area, make sure they are secure in a leash or harness, and never let them run loose.


Some states are starting to implement laws and fines preventing people from driving with unrestrained pet.  Unfortunately, it’s not a top priority; lawmakers try to go after bigger issues. It’s up to you to keep yourself and your pet safe.



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7 Tips for Teaching Your Teen To Drive

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It’s time for your child to learn to drive. Soon, they will have their license and be out on the road on their own. As a parent, naturally you’re worried about how well they will do – you want them to succeed. At the same time, you’re also worried about sending them off on their own. Taking an active role in teaching your child to drive is a great way to reinforce good driving behavior and reduce their risk of being in an accident.

The more hours you spend teaching your child, the more experience he or she will have. Here are some tips for teaching your child the rules of the road.

1. Review the Driver’s Manual Together

Sit down and go over the driver’s manual. Make sure they know all the local rules in your state. You may even find the review helpful for you, too! It’s been awhile since you took your driver’s test, and rules may have changed. This refresher course could also help you when you’re on the road.

2. Sign Them Up for Classes

There are some things only a teacher can teach. Driving instructors have experience in teaching inexperienced drivers the rules of the road and how to drive. They might know advice that you wouldn’t think of because driving has become second nature to you.

3. Help them Study for the Written Exam

There are many quizzes online that help students prepare for the test. Let your child know so they can get extra practice. Ask them questions throughout the day to reinforce their learning. Encourage them to ask questions if they aren’t sure of something. However, also be wary of being too involved. You can’t take the test for them. Don’t provide them with the answers right away. See if they can remember the answer on their own first. Prompt them with hints and reminders.

4. Set a Good Example

When you are driving with your children, set a good example by observing good driving practices. Signal when changing lanes or turning, don’t speed, don’t tail gate, etc. In other words, drive how you would want your children to drive if they weren’t with you. Remember, your children learn behavior by watching you. The biggest fear of a parent while his children are out is their safety. By being a safe driver yourself, you reinforce safe driving behavior.

5. Stay Patient


When you are on the road with your child, stay calm. Remember they only just started learning. Progress at the right pace. For example, start teaching them in a parking lot, then a quiet neighborhood, etc. Don’t put them on the highway too soon. If they do make a mistake, don’t overreact or get mad, as that can intimidate them more and cause their performance to suffer. If they are doing something wrong, ask questions to prompt them to realize their mistake and correct their behavior on their own.


6. Wait Until They Are Ready

Some teens can’t wait to hop in a car and hit the road. Others are more cautious and anxious. If your child is not ready to learn yet, wait. If he or she is nervous, it will be harder to learn and can influence their behavior. An anxious driver won’t learn well and will make more mistakes.

7. Use the Weather to Your Advantage

In the beginning, train during the day, when the weather is nice. It’s harder to drive during the dark and during the rain, so wait until your child is ready before having them drive in those conditions. Once your child has plenty of experience and is ready, take them out during a light rain and teach them safe driving in poor weather conditions. Warn them that the road will be slick and they will have to break gently and sooner than they are used to. Try starting in a parking lot first.

It’s tough to see your child grow up, but when you help them learn, you know that they will be safe on the road.

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Keeping Your Family Safe

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Whether you’re planning a long road trip this weekend or just driving to the soccer field, it’s important to keep your children safe. Here are some tips for families about how to protect your children while you’re on the road. Even if you don’t have a family, check out these tips and stay safe in your new Penske Automotive vehicle.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Always check to make sure that all passengers are buckled before starting the vehicle. Kids twelve and under should sit in the back. While they may protest, sitting “shotgun” can cause harm to the child during an accident if the air bags deploy. Air bags are meant for taller, adult passengers, and could injure a child. Infants less than a year old and/or 20 – 22 lbs should be in a rear-facing child seat in the back of the car.

Drive Hands Free

Texting and using the phone can cause distractions. Set an example for your children and never text and drive at the same time. If it’s important, ask a passenger to talk on the phone or text for you; if you’re alone, pull over before responding. Even if you think it’s “just this one time” or it will “take just a second”, you should still pull over. You never know what might happen in that split second that your eyes are off the road – someone could pull out in front of you or stop short.

Use Turn Signals

Your blinkers are your way to communicate with other drivers. While it may slip your mind, make an effort to use them as they let other drivers know what you plan on doing. Whether you’re changing lanes, making a turn or pulling over, it’s not too hard to flick the switch and put on your blinkers.

Don’t take chances with safety! Buckle up and enjoy your weekend!

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Job Search & Career Networking Tips

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The importance of career networking shouldn’t be discounted when you are in the midst of a job search. In today’s economy, the value of networking should be the #1 priority to those in search of a job. In fact, career networking should become a part of your daily work and career-related endeavors, even after you have been employeed. Nothing is certain regarding employment, and having a stable network to fall back on (in times of need) can always help.

Who to Include in Your Career Network 
Your career network should include anyone who can assist you with a job search or career move. It can include past and present co-workers, bosses, friends with similar interests, colleagues from business associations, alumni from your university, or acquaintances you have met via online networking services. There is no rule against utilizing your family’s network for a potential opportunity to connect with someone with hiring power.

What Your Career Network Can Do For You
Over 80% of job seekers say that their network has helped with their job search. Networking contacts can help with more than job leads. The best ways to do so are using traditional and online methods.

Online Career Networking
Online job searching networking does work. Social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, are very effective, allowing you a chance to portray your personality, interests, likes/dislikes, adding a personal value sence to a prospect employer. A variety of other online networking sites exist that can also be utlilized to broaden your reach. Staying in touch with other at specific companies, with college affiliations or in a certain geographic area are all inportant factors to consider. Be sure to keep a professional presence online, as many employers audit social platforms prior to offering face-to-face interviews.

Keep in Touch – Work Your Network
Don’t just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network regularly – even if it’s just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. Emails are effective, but nothing is more effective then a personal phone call or voice mail. In today’s world, it is easy to send a quick text (sms) from our mobile phones. Depending on the individual, their technological-skill set and personality, be sure to consider that many individuals have a tendancy overlook the value of email and sms messages.


PAG benefits include programs to ensure the well-being of you and your family, such as Medical and Dental coverage (including Vision and RX), Life Insurance, 401(k) with Company Match, Flexible Spending Accounts, Employee Assistance Program and generous Paid Time Off Policies.


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