As the school year begins, you and your kids may feel excited for the new year. However, as the excitement wears off, school can become a challenge for some families. With a few of these back to school tips, you can stay on top of things and keep the excitement for the entire year.
Make a homework space
Make sure your kids have a place where they can do their homework. Whether this is a spot at the dining room table, a desk, or even in their room. Keep a box with all the supplies they might need—pencils, erasers, crayons, scissors, a calculator, etc.
Have a schedule
To make sure everyone in the family is getting enough sleep, create a schedule with set bedtimes and wake-up times. In addition, you should schedule family meals and after school activities, too, so everyone knows what to expect.
Have some fun
Talk to your kids about what they are learning at school. Try to find ways to incorporate the new things into your lives. For example, if they are learning about fractions, bake with them and let them do all the measuring.
At Olathe Ford, we hope everyone has a great school year. If you need a new back-to-school ride, visit us and check out the great family-friendly Ford models available.
Jump starting your car is one thing you hope you never have to do, but it’s important to learn the proper technique. Not only should you understand proper procedures to stay safe, but it will also prevent you from getting stranded with a dead battery. Here are the basics to using jumper cables on a dead battery.
First, according to Popular Mechanics, make sure it’s a dead battery—there’s no use messing around with cables if it’s not. If you have a dead or dying battery, the lights will not work (or they will be very dim) and the ignition may click but not turn over.
If you’re sure it’s a dead battery, you’ll need to find a jumper car. Pull the cars close together, but make sure they are not touching. Next, get your cables out and begin making connections. (Cables should ideally be 20 feet in length and 4 to 6 gauge in size.)
With both cars off, start by attaching the positive (red or +) clamp to the dead battery. Now attach the red clamp to the functioning battery.
Now you can connect the negative (black or -) clamp to the terminal on the good battery. This next step is very important: do NOT attach the negative clamp to the dead battery. Instead, attach it to a piece of unpainted metal in the engine compartment, like an engine bolt or part of the frame. This grounds the circuit and makes the process much safer.
Now you can start the engine of the jumper car and leave it running for a while. After a few minutes, try to start the dead car. If it doesn’t work, let it charge longer. When you get them both running, leave the previously dead car running for a while to charge up the battery. Remove the cables in the reverse order you put them on, but be sure to watch out for moving parts. For more info about jumping cars or for a new battery, visit Olathe Ford.
No one wants to leave their dogs and cats behind when they go on a vacation, and a lot of the time, you might want to bring your furry friends along for the ride. But, taking road trips with pets isn’t as simple as sticking them in the backseat and hitting the road, so here are some easy tips that will make you and your pets safer.
One of the most neglected parts of pet travel is making sure the pet is used to being in the vehicle for long periods of time. Take them for a few mini-road trips before you leave, especially if they aren’t a fan of driving.
It’s also important to do your research. If you’re planning to stay in a hotel, you have to find ones that are dog-friendly. You also can’t leave your pet alone in the car, so don’t plan to stop at a lot of restaurants on the way unless you’re going to drop your dog off at a hotel beforehand. Invest in car harnesses or crates that you can use to keep your dog safely in place for the ride.
During the drive, you want to make sure your dog or cat has access to water during the drive. Feed them at their normal times—so if you usually feed them at 5pm, stop the car and give them their dinner and then you can get back on the road. And you have to take frequent bathroom breaks! You don’t want messes in your car, and you don’t want an uncomfortable dog.
For more tips on traveling with pets, give us a call at Olathe Ford!
Improving fuel economy is not only great for the environment, but it can also save you money in the long run. That’s why we at Olathe Ford have compiled a list of the best ways to increase gas mileage, from changing your driving habits to regular service and maintenance. Read on to learn more about how you can up fuel efficiency.
According to How Stuff Works, one of the best things to do is slow down. Speeding can significantly decrease gas mileage, especially when travelling on the highway. In fact, many highway speed limits are set based on safety as well as efficiency standards, helping you to get the best performance. By slowing down, you’ll save more at the pump.
Next, maintain your vehicle. This include the basics like regular oil changes, alignment, and new tires. You can do some of this work yourself, like checking tire pressure every few months, but some things may require you to take your car in for a checkup. In fact, a yearly tune up can drastically improve fuel economy.
Finally, get a new car. The latest model year tends to have the latest technologies and tuned powertrains, offering the best fuel economy. You may also want to check out any one of the new hybrid vehicles available from Ford.
Driving on loose sand is one of the hardest terrains for 4×4 vehicles because it’s so easy to sink into the sand if you don’t do it right. Beach sand is easy—it’s wet and beaten down by hundreds of feet every day. Desert sand is more difficult, but it’s doable if you follow these easy tips for driving on sand.
First of all, you need to put your car in low gear and let some air out of your tires. The lower pressure increases the amount of tire that touches the sand, letting it glide over the sand instead of digging into it.
Somewhere between 12 and 15 psi is good—it’s obviously much too low to drive on pavement, but the softness of the sand means your wheels aren’t going to hit solid ground and bend, so there’s nothing to worry about. But don’t forget to re-inflate them when you get back to solid ground!
It’s also much harder to turn on sand, so don’t take curves too quickly, and make it wide if you can so you can turn gradually. If you start to get stuck, straighten out and get some momentum back before you try to turn again.
If your tires start spinning and sinking into the sand, try to ease backwards and give yourself some kind of traction if you can, like a floor mat or chain. If you’re near fresh water, wetting the sand can help, but don’t use your drinking water!
Remember, it’s safest to do this in a 4WD vehicle. Front-wheel drive is a big no and rear-wheel drive is only a little better.
Getting into the holiday spirit is easy if your home looks like it belongs in a winter wonderland. Christmas decorations can be expensive, though. If you really want a festive home, you should consider creating some DIY Christmas decorations. Whether you are throwing a holiday party or merely want an eye-catching—and delicious—centerpiece, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some Christmas decorations ideas for your home.
Create your own yarn tree. If you don’t have a lot of space for a real tree, or merely want to liven up your entry way, then consider making your very own yarn tree. This decoration is easy to make. Simply cut strands of yarn to the needed height and create paper-circle ornaments out of patterned paper. Attach these options in a tree-like shape and add a beautiful star to the top. You can even use strings of holiday lights instead of yarn to truly get in the holiday spirit.
Make an edible centerpiece. Having bowls of candy sitting around the house is a great idea during a holiday party, but you can easily turn this bowl into a gorgeous decoration. Grab a glass cylindrical candle holder and candy wrapped in red, green, and silver wrapping. Alternate these candies in color-coded layers, then add a festive bow to the candle holder.
It’s almost that long awaited fall evening that graces us with its spooky presence each year. Halloween is a favorite for anyone with a sweet tooth and a love of dressing up. Before you and the little monsters, ghosts or princesses head out for the evening, follow these tips for the best trick-or-treat night ever.
Deciding which route you will take ahead of time will save you time and keep you on track. Pick a walk that will keep you away from heavy traffic and under the street lamps. Make sure you walk in a loop so that you can cover more ground and make the most of your time out.
Halloween night can be chilly, so make sure that costumes are as warm as possible. Long sleeves, tights and hats can add to a costume while also adding a little extra warmth. Trick-or-treat night also requires a lot of time walking, so make sure everyone wears comfortable shoes!
Save Some for Later
Once the actual trick-or-treating is over, celebrate and warm up with a warm cup of hot chocolate or cider. While the kids are sipping on their drinks, the adults can sort through the candy, checking for any tears or punctures in the wrappers. Once every piece has been checked, allow the kids to pick some portion of their candy to eat that night. The rest should be saved for later dates. After all, they should keep something sweet to snack on before the Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies abound!
Driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries for most young people. That’s why it’s important to teach traffic safety tips to children and young adults, and it’s also a good idea to remind yourself of the basics as an adult. Read on to see some traffic safety tips everyone should follow.
For young children, try teaching the basics of pedestrian safety. Children should understand that traffic can hurt them, that it is very dangerous (try not to scare them, however). Teach them to look left, right, then left again when crossing to instill good habits, and make sure they always cross with an adult (if under 10 years old). Children should know to cross only at crosswalks, and to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are seen. Most importantly, set good examples by following these rules yourself.
For teen drivers, there are a different range of things to think about. Traffic fatalities have risen significantly in the past few years, according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Sit down with your teens to develop a list of limitations and rules. Working collaboratively can help them to feel more invested, and it also clearly establishes rules without sounding authoritarian. Focus on the following:
- Cell phones
- Passenger distractions
Finally, consider safety tips yourself. For adults, texting is often a major issue—don’t set bad examples for others. Also, be sure to remain calm behind the wheel, as road rage can lead to speeding, distracted thoughts, and worse. Always look twice at intersections, as our brains often fail to account for bikes and motorcycles. Last but not least, stay up to date on the latest traffic laws (cell phone rules, for example).
Safe driving from Olathe Ford!