How to React to a Stuck Acceleration Pedal

We at Nalley Nissan wish you a smooth and enjoyable driving experience each time you sit behind the wheel of your vehicle. However, we recognize that equipment can occasionally malfunction, and if such an event were to occur, we want you to be prepared to deal with the situation. Here’s how we recommend that you react if your gas pedal sticks.

Stay Calm

Your adrenal glands will kick into action if your vehicle accelerates without your consent, so firstly remember to not panic. Take a deep breath and exhale—then assess the situation.

Attempt to Stop Your Car

Shift your vehicle into neutral, remembering to utilize the clutch if you drive a manual. Maneuver your car toward a shoulder or a safe place on the side of the road. Push the brake as firmly as possible, potentially using both feet if the pedal is stubborn.

Power Down

If your car is equipped with a push-button start, depress the button for at least 3 seconds to disable the vehicle. If your car does not have this button, turn the keys and turn off the engine if your situation has not slowed down. Be careful that you are oriented toward a safe spot since turning off the engine will deactivate assisted steering.

Call for Help

If this dangerous situation has transpired, your vehicle is in need of attention before you next drive it. Call us at Sands Chevrolet—we will be happy to assist you.

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Original Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you need to purchase a gift that doesn’t say, “I forgot to get you a gift so I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought whatever hadn’t already been picked through!” This year, put some thought into Valentine’s Day with these Nalley Nissan gift ideas.

Experience the holiday.

The whole point of Valentine’s Day is to strengthen one’s ties with one’s sweetheart. The best way to strengthen relationships is to spend quality time together. Try an experiential gift–a hot air balloon ride, a limo ride, bungee jumping, pretty much anything that’s a little crazy, different, fun, or new.

Personalize the gift.

Any man or woman can walk into a retail outlet on Valentine’s Day and purchase gifts for several individuals at the same time without putting much thought into any of them. But when you buy something that’s personalized to the one you love, it shows that you’ve thought about them and their likes and dislikes. Ideas include a photo cube with pictures already included (of you and your special someone) or a photo album with pictures of your wedding or other special occasion. If you don’t mind cheesy–it’s Valentine’s Day, after all–put a picture of you and your Valentine on a shirt, coffee mug, or a pillow case.

Make something.

When you make something, it says “I care enough about you to take time out of my busy schedule to think about you for a prolonged period of time. Let’s kiss!” It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a traditional Valentine’s Day gift such as a card or some cookies or a heart shaped pizza. It could be something normally not associated with the holiday, just something you’re good at, like stone-cutting or furniture making, or those pieces of rice with someone’s name engraved on it.

Join a club.

If you’re looking for a better gift than a glass of wine at the overpriced restaurant uptown, you should seek out a gift that allows you to spend quality time with your Valentine once the holiday has passed. A membership to a club does just that. Although the membership should be geared toward your lover, it should hold your interest as well. Ideas include book clubs, fitness clubs, or country clubs.

So as your neighbors stuff themselves with chocolate and other candies manufactured especially for Valentine’s Day, you and your special someone can share a special day together this Valentine’s Day with these original gift ideas.

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Point/Counterpoint: Should the Driving Age Be Raised?

In the United States, the minimum age for a driving license varies from 14 to 16 according to different state regulations. Once young drivers have received their licenses, there are generally a number of restrictions in place for several years later, and in most cases, drivers are only able to drive freely after fulfilling certain conditions. There are a number of considerations to be made when it comes to considering an increase in the minimum driving age. Here are Nalley Nissan summaries of the main arguments for and against.

For                     

Statistically, younger drivers are much more likely to be involved in an accident. What’s worse is that they are much more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. While it is unfair to make generalizations, young drivers are often more reckless and less sensible than older drivers, so it makes sense to increase the minimum driving age in order to try and reduce the number of young deaths on the road. Older drivers are still involved in serious  accidents, of course, but any action that can reduce deaths makes for a strong argument.

There are environmental considerations, too. Despite advances in fuel technology and car manufacturing, cars are still major pollutants, and all nations need to look at ways to reduce the harmful emissions from cars. One obvious way to do this is to reduce the number of cars on the road. If the minimum age of driving was to be increased, it would cut down the number of people eligible to drive. Supporters also argue that it might encourage young people to get used to using public transport.

There is also a question of need. Supporters argue that young people simply don’t need their own cars and that there is no problem with preventing people from driving until a later age, simply to cut back on fuel consumption and road congestion.

Against

Opponents of this change argue that the accident rate in new drivers is comparable across different age groups, and that it is important to get people driving as early as possible. Increasing the minimum age for driving could simply delay the time it takes an individual to get the appropriate experience on the road. Opponents argue that recklessness is common across all age groups.

Being able to drive is a great step in gaining independence, too, and can encourage young people to become more responsible. With supervision, these young drivers can be shown good driving habits that they can carry on into life and it makes sense to start this process as early as possible. For parents that want to stop acting like a taxi service, it may be a very popular move.

For some young people, public transportation simply isn’t an option, either. Without the ability to drive they may be cut off from friends and potentially from employment opportunities. Bear in mind, also, that some young people act as drivers for adults in their lives. For these people, the car can be a lifeline.

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What to expect at your 30,000-mile maintenance

It wasn’t so long ago that a car showing 100,000 miles was said to be on borrowed time. Fortunately, and in light of the fact that a new car in the United States now has an average sticker price of about $30,000, those days are gone. For the past couple of decades or so, cars have been engineered to last much longer than their earlier counterparts. In fact, most cars built since the 1990s will last 200,000 miles or even more, but in order to reach that mark, we at Nalley Nissan believe it is essential to stay on top of regular and timely maintenance.

Something as simple as changing a car’s engine oil at specific intervals can help ensure that the internal parts remain properly lubricated. In turn, this will keep that engine running smoothly and efficiently. There are many different automobile manufacturers out there, with an equally different number of maintenance recommendations and/or requirements. The average driver will put anywhere from 10,000-15,000 miles on his or her vehicle each year. However, regardless of model or make, the 30,000 mile mark is a universal point in a car’s lifetime when many services need to be performed.

Generally, the first scheduled car check-up will take place at 15,000 miles. This is typically a very basic service call and will involve an oil and filter change, an air filter and cabin filter replacement, a wiper blade inspection, and possibly a tire rotation. The important thing to remember is that every subsequent service should include the previous items along with new services that will need to be performed as the car ages.

Thus, when that car reaches the 30,000 mile mark, one can also expect a fuel filter replacement, a coolant change, and possibly a flushing and replacement of the power steering fluid as well as automatic transmission fluid. As for those wiper blades, they may have still been in good shape at 15,000 miles, but by the time 30,000 miles have rolled around, those blades will have been in use for at least two years, so it’s time to replace them. Individual owner’s manuals for specific makes and models will of course vary, but the thing to remember here is that all of the above services should be performed at those 30,000-mile intervals. Thus, if you had your transmission fluid and coolant changed at 30,000, then these procedures should be done again at 60,000, 90,000, 120,000, and so on.

Other services included in your 30,000 mile checkup may include a brake inspection, which may reveal that you need new pads or to have the rotors re-machined. A general tune-up may also be included, where the ignition components are checked and replaced if necessary. An example of this would be new spark plugs. Other fluid levels may be checked and an undercar inspection may take place. The tires and wheels could be checked not only for wear, but also proper alignment and inflation. Finally, miscellaneous items may also be checked, such as hoses, belts, the battery, and all the lights. If a bulb is burned out anywhere from your headlight to a turn signal light, it will need to be replaced.

Since no two car makes or models are exactly alike, the only way to get an idea of what that 30,000-mile scheduled maintenance will cost is to ask. Your dealership service advisor will be able to give you a comprehensive answer on what you can expect to pay. It will depend not only on what needs to be done and how labor-intensive the tasks are, but also how expensive the new parts are. Nevertheless, the important thing to remember is this: staying on top of your scheduled maintenance goes a long way in ensuring that your car will provide many years of faithful service.

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Why Do I Need to Get a State Inspection for My Car?

There are two separate forms of state inspection for cars in America, these being related to safety and emission level checks. Although some states such as Alaska have received a federal waiver from the need for emission inspection, in many other states, it’s important to ensure you get your car regularly inspected for several reasons:

Registration renewal

In a number of states, including New York, having a valid state inspection certificate for your car is essential when you need to renew its annual registration. Any registration of cars is dependent upon the vehicle having an inspection that has been completed within the previous twelve months. This requirement applies to all cars purchased within the state or being registered in the state for the first time.

Legal requirement and penalties 

There is typically a financial penalty for non-compliance, which in the case of New York takes the form of a fine and additional charges, the amount of which is dependant upon the circumstance of non-compliance. Furthermore, if a vehicle parked on a public highway is not displaying a valid inspection certificate, it is also likely to incur a parking fine. The legal requirement also extends to compliance with the federal Clean Air Act, unless a state waiver exists.

Roadworthiness and accidents

One of the most critical for state inspection is to ensure that your car is roadworthy, as well as reducing the damaging impact its emissions can have upon the air quality and the health of other people. Keeping you car roadworthy is not only important to ensure the safety of yourself and any passengers but also reduces the risk of harm to other road users as a result of accidents. Equally, of course, it reduces the risk of you being prosecuted if the condition of your vehicle is found to be a casual factor in the event of an accident.

Summary

It is apparent from the above explanations that in many cases, getting an inspection for your car is a legal requirement of the state authorities. Not only are there financial penalties for non-compliance, but in most cases you will not be able to renew your vehicle registration without the requisite certificate. More importantly, in the event of an accident, if the lack of road worthiness of your vehicle is found to be the cause, you could be liable to prosecution.

It should be noted however that the legislation for inspection differs between state and it therefore is essential that you acquaint yourself with those applicable to your home state and others to which you may travel or move.

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Tips for Properly Using Your Rearview Mirrors

Your car has rearview mirrors for a very good reason. These mirrors greatly increase your visibility when driving and maneuvering your car, and without them, you could not really drive your car to any safe extent. Strangely enough, this still does not seem to deter some drivers from largely ignoring them, but as every driving instructor will tell you, using your mirror should become second nature. Here are four simple tips to ensure that you use your rearview mirrors safely and effectively.

Keep them clean. It may seem obvious, but your rearview mirrors are only useful if you keep them clean. The side-view mirrors are likely to get very dirty, especially during wet, wintry weather. Ensure that you give your mirrors a good wipe before you set out, and you might want to try keeping a packet of wipes in the driver’s door to help you remember. Even though it is inside, your rearview mirror can get grubby too, so give that a good wipe from time to time as well. 

Use them all the time – even when driving straight. When you are driving in a straight line, it is easy to become complacent and to become less alert about the road. It is vital that you continue to use all your mirrors to keep a full perspective of what is going on around you. Check for vehicles approaching you from behind, so that you can see if somebody is about to overtake you, or so that you can spot any other unexpected hazards.

Keep using mirrors when passing. Some drivers will simply check their mirror once before passing, assuming that a quick glance will ensure that it is safe to maneuver. In fact, you should check your mirrors, signal that you intend to move out, check your mirrors again and only then finally pull out. Keep checking your mirrors while you are passing and then check the appropriate side-view mirror to check that it is safe to pull back in.

Use all your mirrors at roundabouts. When approaching a roundabout, many drivers focus entirely in one direction, and that is simply to check for a gap to join the roundabout. It is, however, really important to use all your mirrors. Check for vehicles in the lane beside you, particularly as the cars will be further back. If the car next to you decides to pull out, you need to be aware that it is there. Check for vehicles approaching you from behind on the roundabout and ensure that your exit really is clear before your maneuver by checking your mirrors once again.

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5 Ways to Prevent Rust on Your Car

Car manufacturers have invested heavily in the use of new and improved materials to help reduce the risk of damage to your car from rust. Where decades ago rust was a very common problem, modern cars are rather more resilient, but if you drive an older car, or if you want to keep your new car in great condition for as long as possible, then you should never ignore the threat of rust. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent rust on your car. Here are five of them.

Protect your undercarriage

Your car’s undercarriage is very vulnerable to damage, and there are a number of critical mechanical components to protect. As the undercarriage is not something most drivers ever really look at, it is easy to neglect it. This could be a costly mistake. Invest in an undercarriage sealant to help protect mechanical parts from damage. There are a number of products that you can apply yourself, but working on the undercarriage is potentially dangerous if you are not properly equipped, so you may want to ask our service department for help.

Inspect your paint work regularly 

Rust is a problem that gets progressively worse, and the longer you leave a rust problem, the harder and more expensive it will be to fix. Learn about the parts of your car that are the most vulnerable. Paint work is constantly exposed to the elements, and the early signs of rust appear as bumps and lumps under the paint work. Treat these areas promptly. There are a variety of ways to do this. Removing the affected metal is one possibility. Rust convertors halt the rusting process, but may not always be effective. Talk to our service department if you spot the early signs of rust and need further advice.

Use a rust preventative

There are a variety of rust preventative products available to consumers, many of which can easily be applied at home. A rust preventative can, for example, be sprayed onto or into a part of the car that is otherwise very difficult to access. This will help slow down the formation of any rust, and will also halt the spread of existing rust. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely when using these products.

Apply wax and sealant to your paint work

Look after your paint work to ensure that it stays in great condition. This is not just about cleaning and polishing the paint work. Over time, your paint work will wear and become more susceptible to rust if you are unable to protect the finish. A wax layer, with sealant, adds an additional physical barrier between the paint work and the elements. This prevents damage to the bodywork, which might otherwise expose the metal underneath the paint and allow rust to form. You can apply wax and sealant at home.

Keep your car clean

The simplest thing you can do to protect your car from rust is keep it clean. Deposits of mud, salt, and other dirt can all corrode your paint work surprisingly quickly. Regular car washing reduces the amount of time it takes to get the vehicle clean on an ongoing basis. Do not forget the undercarriage and other hard-to-reach places too, but do not use a jet spray underneath the car as this could damage vital parts. It may be a good idea to ask our service department to help if you are unsure.

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Top 5 Music Venues in Georgia

Naturally thoughts about top Georgia music venues may race to Atlanta and its environs, but we’ll start with a couple of stellar clubs in the university town of Athens.

An ideal large-capacity place is the 40 Watt Club, where they’ve been hosting quality talent for years. Mix string lights, an expansive single level floor, and exceptional sound, and you have an extremely popular late-night music venue. Not so good for student grades, perhaps, but the kind of place, you could wander into in years past– and alas! – discover R.E.M. on stage. Those were special days, when whispers through the student grapevine would herald the impromptu R.E.M. presence – but they’re still booking great talent today. The club has launched the careers of many top bands, which started with $10.00 shows at 40 Watt Club.

The Melting Point, another hot spot, takes on historic significance, housed in a former Athens Foundry that crafted the UGA Arch and other renowned pieces. The design honors the Foundry’s roots, where today it is musical craftsmanship that takes to the stage. Among exposed bricks and original mid 19th –century masonry, you’ll discover lots of seating choices along multiple tiers. Twenty-two-foot ceilings and new garage doors create ideal concert acoustics and views that max out at 53 feet from the stage.

Moving west to Atlanta, the grand dame of music venues is the Fox Theater. With a tasteful but lavish interior, the historic Fox includes over 4,600 seats and hosts over 300 rock, concert, and Broadway performances each year. The beloved landmark on Peachtree Street has created many special memories for music aficionados through the years, so much so they call it “The Fox Experience.”

Another great downtown music venue, though a bit pricey, is the former Baptist church called The Tabernacle. Blend astounding acoustics with huge stained glass windows and an enormous organ to create an ideal venue for enjoying music performances. Viewing options range from ground floor standing room directly in front of the stage to balcony seating and couch-filled lounges.

Finally in East Atlanta Village, The Earl is known for great burgers and greater music. It’s a venue frequented by emerging talent, bands perhaps on their way to The Tabernacle and beyond. Imagine that – gathering with 100 or so music lovers, enjoying a future superstar for $10; when they will later command ten times that amount. That’s the beauty of The Earl.

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10 Cool Things About the 2013 Nissan Altima

Nissan’s Altima has been on the North American market since 1993 when, to all intents and purposes, it replaced the Nissan Bluebird. A mid-size sedan, the Altima has increasingly moved towards a more performance-driven market, and sees an entirely new design for the 2013 model year. There are plenty of reasons why the 2013 Nissan Altima is such a cool car. Here are just 10 of them.

  1. There are three different trims on the 2013 Nissan Altima, both of which will benefit from an upgraded, efficient 2.5-liter engine. Despite the Altima’s performance styling, you can expect an estimated 38 miles per gallon when you hit the highway.
  2. Driver comfort is paramount in any car, and Nissan certainly hasn’t overlooked this when it comes to the Altima. The driver’s seat can be adjusted in six different ways (eight on the highest trim level), and a programmable memory then makes sure that you come back to exactly the same settings you stepped away from.
  3. The Altima’s designers have looked at every part of the new car to ensure that it is designed to perform as effectively as possible. The brake pedal, for example, has been optimized to be as firm as possible, which reduces the likelihood of foot and leg fatigue.
  4. Sharp turns can be a little hair-raising in your average sedan, but the Altima has you covered. New active under-steer control ensures that you can remain fully confident on even the tightest of corners.
  5. While not intended to be a luxury car, the Nissan Altima still has plenty of touches to improve comfort. The ZF Sachs performance shocks, for example, are the same kind of parts used on top-end luxury models, but the Altima comes equipped with them as standard.
  6. If you’re sensitive to the cold, then you might enjoy the Altima. The steering wheel is heated (no more gloves required) and the seats can be heated, too.
  7. The sleek, eye-catching design of the new Altima is no coincidence. No stone has been left unturned to make sure the body shape is as cool as possible. The space between the body and the wheels has been minimized, for example, to accentuate the Altima’s sportier styling.
  8. To get the Altima’s seating right, the engineers at Nissan have turned to their friends at NASA, who have helped them test new seats. The seating is designed to offer a position that is as comfortable as possible, and with as low a risk as possible from any kind of fatigue.
  9. The Altima wants to make sure that you can see and be seen, whatever the conditions. The headlights respond automatically to the light conditions outside, and the lights also come on as soon as your wiper blades have completed four swipes.
  10. An intelligent locking and remote start system comes as standard on the Altima. Without taking the keys out of your pocket, you can simply tap the door handle to gain access, and you can also start the engine remotely, to allow the cabin temperature to decrease or increase until it reaches a comfortable level for you to drive in.
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Meet the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

SUV drivers have a new target in life. Nissan has unveiled the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, and this latest generation of their leading crossover SUV looks like it has the potential of being a huge hit. With both reduced weight and an increase in interior space, Nissan has also produced best-in-class fuel economy figures for this great vehicle.

The seven-passenger car has managed to shed 500 pounds from its previous generation, through moving away from the old body-on-frame platform to a new unibody setup. The engine is now a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out an impressive 260 horsepower, and the EPA figures a measured 20 miles per gallon for city driving and 26 miles per gallon on the highways in front-wheel drive form. The four-wheel drive version only slips slightly to 19 and 25 mpg, respectively. These figures are top of the line for large crossover SUVs on the market, and a must for a driver wanting to make their fuel go further.

The Pathfinder can be used as a working vehicle with its total towing capability of 5,000 pounds, even if it happens to be perfectly suited for a leisurely driver. Inside, there is a much more comfortable, spacious cabin than previous generations of the vehicle, and there are all sorts of luxury options available to customize your ride, including a dual-panel moonroof, three-zone entertainment system, and a 13-speaker Bose surround system. This last piece of equipment features full Bluetooth and USB connectivity, so you can integrate the system with your smartphone to stream songs and playlists wirelessly.

The 2013 edition of the Pathfinder may be riding on a much-updated chassis design, but in spite of the luxurious and comfortable cabin with dual-zone automatic climate control and soft seats, the powerful engine, effective suspension, and four-wheel drive option all mean that it’s a vehicle that’s more than capable of taking its driver on a bit of an adventure, as well as being great for taking the kids on vacation or driving the family to school, the shops, and the workplace. This new Nissan Pathfinder is a great all-around vehicle for a driver who wants that adventurous option, but still has to worry about getting the kids to school in the morning.

In spite of its impressive size, the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder handles well on all road surfaces, in both wet and dry weather conditions. It’s great fun to drive, packed with safety features, and peerless when it comes to fuel economy. If you’re looking to upgrade your SUV this year, check it out at Nalley Nissan!

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