Browsing Posts published by Granite Ford

New Hampshire Campgrounds - Granite Ford

Image via Flickr by BenFrantzDale

New Hampshire is full of scenic byways and beautiful parks. There are many campgrounds located throughout the state, including State Park campgrounds. Take a road trip and stay at one of the best campgrounds New Hampshire has to offer.

Harbor Hill Camping Area

Dedicated to friendly service and cleanliness, Harbor Hill staff will be happy to help with suggesting restaurants and sightseeing locations nearby. This pet-friendly campsite includes an unsupervised pool, onsite parking, children’s playground, and quiet hours from 10pm-8am. Campfires here must be completely extinguished by 11:30pm.

AMC Cold River Camp

This facility is nearly 100 years old, providing a rustic family stay and plenty of adventure. The AMC Cold River Camp is a hiking camp with old-fashioned cabins. These cabins do not offer electricity or running water, though these modern amenities are available at the community bath houses, restrooms, and main lodge. This location offers three daily meals, at least two guided hikes per day, and after dinner activities. It focuses on social activity, allowing you to meet other guests during your stay.

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buy-a-carThe very mention of leasing versus buying a vehicle sparks a lively (and, at times, heated) debate among both consumers and sales professionals. Some people swear by leasing, while others believe it’s a scam and buying is the only way to go. In reality, both leasing and buying have true advantages. It depends on what your personal situation is, because both can be a good decision or bad decision in the right circumstances.

The Pros of Buying 

When you buy a car, whether new or used, you eventually get the vehicle paid off and no longer have to make payments. The car retains value, which can be used as a down-payment on your next vehicle or even collateral on a loan. There are no limits on the number of miles you can drive, and no fretting over mishaps like a spilled cup of coffee, the kids dropping their Happy Meal fries, or the new puppy chewing the door handles. Buyers can modify the vehicles and add any accessories they like, and insurance premiums are generally lower for buyers than lesees. continue reading…

Dogs - Granite Ford

Image via Flickr by Lulu Hoeller

Dogs make great driving companions. Rover will never beg you to change the radio or complain about your performance behind the wheel. But your pooch can destroy your car’s interior if you’re not careful. Read on to discover some easy ways to stop dog-inflicted damage to your car’s interior.

1. Keep Your Dog’s Nails Short

The shorter your dog’s nails are, the less damage they’ll do to your vehicle. When you hear them clicking on a hard surface, it’s time for trimming. Most dogs need their nails trimmed every week, although your dog may need less maintenance if he runs on hard surfaces.

Use clippers or a nail grinder to trim your dog’s nails above the quick. It’s easy for owners to manage, but if your dog misbehaves, a vet or groomer is a safer choice for the job.

2. Eliminate Seat Damage with a Dog Blanket

Sharp doggy nails can easily tear through leather or fabric car seats, but a dedicated doggy blanket can stop this problem. Simply lay the blanket onto the seat before your pooch sits down.

A felt blanket is an ideal choice, because the material is a magnet for dog hair. Label one side with a marker pen so you never lay it “hair side” down. Shake off the blanket when you arrive at your destination to make sure most of the hair never finds its way back into your vehicle.

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New Cars - Granite Ford

Image via Flickr by The Listener

Buying a new car brings up many difficult questions. These six tips will help you find a car that fits your budget and lifestyle.

1. Compare Fuel Efficiency

When considering which vehicles match your budget, you should think about long-term costs as well as how much you have to spend at the dealership. A car that burns a lot of gasoline will cost you more than a highly fuel-efficiency vehicle. If you want to keep your annual costs down, make sure you buy a car that doesn’t burn too much fuel.

The U.S. Department of Energy makes it easy for consumers to compare vehicles. Just search the vehicle on the website and select the cars that interest you. The site will give you a side-by-side comparison.

2. Compare Insurance Costs

Your car insurance will also add a significant amount to the long-term cost of owning a car. Once you have a list of several cars that interest you, contact insurance providers to get price quotes. You will likely find that some cars cost more than others. You’ll also find that insurance companies charge different prices for the same vehicle.

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Gifts for Car Lovers - Granite Ford

Image via Flickr by bradleygee

It’s time to get your favorite gear-head a gift. You understand what they’re passionate about but you can’t afford a new car. Not to worry, there are plenty of gifts that they’ll love. You just need to think like they do. However, in case that doesn’t work out too well for you, here are some idea that are guaranteed to get their motors revving.

1. Portable Back-Up Camera

This is the perfect gift for the guy who needs a better view when hooking up a trailer. They come with magnets so they can be easily affixed to a tailgate, giving the driver up front the perfect view on his handheld 2.5-inch color monitor. They even come with night vision. Not bad for less than $250.

2. Portable Battery Jump-Starter

Car lovers hate it when misfortune strikes and a battery dies on them. Fortunately, there’s the perfect gift you can give them that will erase all fear. Get a high quality portable battery jump-starter, preferably one with 500 amps of continuous power – that peaks up to 1000 amps. That will get any car, truck, boat or RV back up in going in no time. They usually come with 120-psi air compressors so they inflate their tires as well. Be sure it comes with a 120-volt AC charger so that they can recharge it using a household extension cord. Shouldn’t set you back more than $70.

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Vehicle Maintenance - Granite Ford

Image via Flickr by F. D. Richards

Inspecting, adjusting, and maintaining important car parts are the ideal ways to ensure a smooth ride, avoid premature part failure, and eliminate costly repairs. Whether you choose to do it yourself or take your car to an automotive shop, there are a number of car parts you need to check on a regular basis.

Checking Oil Levels

Incorrect oil levels can cause extensive damage to a car’s engine, as its main function is to lubricate the engine parts.  It’s best to check the oil level every couple of hundred miles. This can easily be done with the dipstick. To stay on the safe side, be sure to keep an extra can of oil handy so you can top off when needed.

For top performance and prolonged engine life, use the correct type and amount of oil as recommended by the car manufacturer. Changing the car’s oil every 2,000 to 3,000 miles will help keep your car running smoothly. With the right tools, you can easily change the oil in approximately 45 minutes. If you’re unsure how to do this, you can take the car to a local automotive shop. Regular oil changes are a cost-effective solution for a healthy car engine.

Keep an Eye on Tire Pressure and Tread

Keeping your tires maintained is important for proper vehicle handling and higher fuel economy. Most tire damage is due to driving on tires that are improperly inflated. According to experts, the tires’ air pressure should be checked once a month. With the correct air pressure, you can avoid a blowout or potential flat tire. You are able to make emergency maneuvers and handle road conditions much better. Improper inflation also puts unnecessary wear and stress on tires. The end result is having to replace tires sooner, which can be costly.

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When it’s time for new tires, most consumers rely on experts in the auto industry to tell them what kind of tires they need. Once they’re installed you go happily along your way. However, what if you were educated about types of tires and what all those little numbers on the sides mean? Welcome to Tires 101!

Tire Sizes

If you don’t know what tire size you need—and they come in a variety of sizes, there are ways to determine the size. From the 15-inch used on most passenger cars to the 20-inch tires used on large trucks—it’s easy to find out the size. First look in the owner’s manual from the manufacturer. It will list the size of tires installed when it was originally built.

Unless you intend to change the wheel (rim) size, if your vehicle has 17-inch tires, stick with that size. Also, auto manufacturers are much more innovative than they used to be. Today’s vehicles have a wide variety of sizes depending on model. That means a passenger vehicles are using larger tires so dig out that manual or check the manufacturer’s website.

Tire Tread Depths

Tires also come in different tread depths. A tire’s depth is measured from the top of the tread to the bottom of the tires deepest tread groove. Tire depth is measured by 32nds of an inch and for some that can be tricky to figure out with a standard ruler. Invest in a tread width gauge to calculate the depth. Depth is important in determining if your tires still have useful life in them. You can also use the “Lincoln Penny” test. Stick a penny in a tread on your tire and if you can see the President’s entire head, it’s time for new tires. continue reading…

Image via Flickr by Matthew Hine

Image via Flickr by Matthew Hine

Celebrities have money to spare, and for many that excess cash goes toward the finer things in life: designer clothes, gorgeous houses, and the craziest cars you’ve ever seen. Regular drivers may never have the means to afford a tricked out roadster or a souped up classic, but you can still admire them. Of course, you have to decide whether the craziest celebrity cars are cool or just way too over the top.

Justin Bieber’s Chromed Out Karma

Justin Bieber is perhaps a teenage dream, but his cars are cooler than his top hits or interesting clothing choices. Recently he’s been receiving a bit of negative attention in regard to his growing collection, with allegations of reckless driving and disturbing the peace popping up all over the media. Letting friends run around in his Range Rover is one thing, but he better keep his stunning Fisker Karma a little safer.

The drool-worthy car is entirely plated in chrome. The sight of it cruising by is like watching molten silver in motion. It’s a truly gorgeous piece of machinery, one that many car enthusiasts would kill to test drive. All right, the finish is a bit outlandish, but when you have all the money in the world, what else are you going to do? Well, you could coat your car in gold chrome instead.

George Clooney’s Tiny Tango

As a quintessential leading man, George Clooney often makes impeccable choices, whether he’s picking top roles or pretty dates. You might not call his car collection impeccable, but his rides are certainly intriguing.

At first glance, you might think his tiny electric Tango, courtesy of Commuter Cars, is kind of strange, not to mention small. However, it’s actually one of the coolest cars in existence, primarily because of its size. With something like this, you’d never have to worry about rush hour again, because it’s designed to drive between lanes—and it’s capable of going from 0-60 in just 4 seconds.

Paris Hilton’s Blinging Bentley

Apparently diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Socialite Paris Hilton’s clothing collection is more expansive than her car collection, but the latter is still very impressive. The crowning jewel of her collection is her Bentley GT Continental—not exactly crazy, you’ll agree, until you consider the dashboard. It’s encrusted with diamonds. Combined with the pink color, the car the heiress gifted to herself definitely resembles Barbie’s dream car.

Image via Flickr by Hackworth

Image via Flickr by Hackworth

Jay Leno’s Retro Throwback

Jay Leno has one of the most well-known car collections of any celebrity. He loves automobiles of all kinds, but although he always gets deserved props for his speedy, sleek McLaren and his vintage Gullwing, he’s also got a White Steam car. You haven’t seen a vintage steam car until you’ve spotted the talk show titan in this 1908 classic. It’s hard to believe cars like that ever existed.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, celebrities certainly know how to trick out their rides. If you had more money than you could spend in a lifetime, what car would you buy and what would you do to it?

Sure, stereotypes aren’t always accurate. However, they’re everywhere. It’s good to take a look at yourself every once in a while and take stock of what your things say about you. One of the most prominent of these is your car. Cars say a lot about a person, whether or not it’s completely accurate.

Image via Flickr by M 93

Image via Flickr by M 93

Minis are Sophisticated

Minis are becoming more popular in the United States as time goes by. These cars offer a unique perspective on the person driving them. First, if you drive a mini, it’s assumed you don’t have kids, or at least not many. Since there’s not a ton of room, getting carseats in the back isn’t easy. Plus, minis are seen as sophisticated cars. They bring to mind European nations, and the sophistication that many Americans feel is exclusive to those areas. If you want to be seen as a sophisticated adult, consider a mini.

Vans Designate Parents

Are you driving around a seven, 10, or even 12 passenger van? If so, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that others see you as a parent with a ton of kids. The soccer mom-vibe comes from some of the traditional mini-vans, such as the Town and Country. These vans are good for hauling stuff, but they’re best for hauling people. If you want the soccer mom vibe, get a van. The more stickers you have on the back, the more likely you are to be pegged as the soccer mom. continue reading…

fuel-efficiency-300x199Remember those days you would pull away from the gas station and not feel like you gave away part of your child’s tuition? When gas prices were well below $3.00 a gallon? Since those days are long gone, it seems the only viable option now is to find a gas station around you that offers the lowest pricing. When you go to a gas station though, most drivers would’t be able to tell you the difference between regular or premium gasoline. Sure, you see the different choices there, but what do they actually mean?

To help sort this out, first we need to look at what octane ratings are. Octane ratings are a standard measure of how well your car will perform on the fuel you put in. Regular gasoline has a lower rating of an octane rating, whereas premium has the highest. The higher octane gasoline is typically meant for specialty engines, or those on turbocharged sports cars. Most cars are designed to run on regular gasoline. If you ever have a question on which to use, you can always look back to your vehicles owner’s manual.

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