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Does your car need an alignment? What’s an Alignment? How do you even know if you need one?

Does your car need an alignment?
What’s an Alignment?
How do you even know if you need one?


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You have probably heard the words “alignment” or “align your tires” over the years but do you really know what that means? An alignment is actually the measurement and adjustment of the complex suspension angles and a variety of suspension components. Sounds like lots of big words, huh! Simply put an alignment is the positioning of your tires necessary to keep the tread wear balanced on all 4 tires to maintain the performance of your tires.. Keep the tread wear even!
Call your service advisor to get an alignment scheduled if:
  • It’s been over 12 months since your tires were last checked.
  • You purchased new tires recently and are not sure if they were aligned.
  • Shhhhh, we know you hit that pothole a little hard and your vehicle is pulling right or left 😉
More technical words but a very good explanation of why you should have regular wheel alignments.
Maintain Your Wheel Alignment for a Healthy Vehicle
An accurate wheel alignment service is critical to the performance of a vehicle’s tires. Routine wheel alignments will usually save you as much in tire wear as they cost  and should be considered as a necessary preventative maintenance. Out-of-alignment conditions occur when the suspension and steering systems are not operating at their desired angles. Out-of-alignment conditions are most often caused by spring sag or suspension wear (ball joints, bushings, etc.) on an older vehicle. They can also be the result of an impact with a pothole or curb, or a change in vehicle ride height (lowered or raised) on any vehicle, regardless of age.
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1001 State Route 10 West  |  Clinton, IL   61727
217-935-3106 or toll free 800-234-3106

I’d Like to Share a Story

 

I’d Like to Share a Story
By Kimberly Kane

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About ten years ago, a couple from Clinton, Illinois, Randy and Ann Anderson, decided to support a local charity – The Baby Fold in Bloomington.  They visited the Festival of Trees fundraiser and bought one of the custom designed, pre-decorated Christmas trees. This couple enjoyed the beautiful  trees on display and went back for more the following year.  What began as a way to support The Baby Fold turned into a passion for this couple.  They have purchased over 40 trees so far, some of which were given away, and some of which were used to decorate their business.  As the number of trees grew, people who came into the business around Christmas time marveled at the displays. This couple decided to use their passion for supporting The Baby Fold as a way to share the Christmas spirit in their small town. Now, the business closes its departments and opens the building for candlelit tours with Christmas music and refreshments in an effort to bless their community. This event is called The Showroom of Trees.  I am blessed to work for this wonderful couple, and I am honored to invite you to join us for this year’s open house!
 
December 9th and 10th, Anderson Ford of Clinton will dim the lights, set out cookies and hot cocoa, and open the doors for the 5th Annual Showroom of Trees. This year’s display, the largest ever, includes over 30 themed trees.  Each tree has a unique emphasis, like The Snowman Tree, The Gingerbread Tree, The Route 66 Tree, The Fish Tree, and The Mickey Mouse Tree, to name a few.  On Wednesday, the 9th, the open house will be from 5pm to 7:30pm.  On Thursday, December 10th, the open house will be from 4:30pm to 7pm.  There is no charge for this event, and refreshments will be provided.  We would love to see you there!
 
All of these trees, purchased to support The Baby Fold, are made possible because of those who have donated their time, talent, and money. The Baby Fold’s vision is “transforming children’s lives through strong family and community partnerships”.  Their annual Christmas fundraiser draws over 10,000 visitors during its three day run, and in 2014, they raised more than $230,000. 
 

Kim is the Marketing Coordinator, here at Anderson Ford of Clinton. If you would like more information, please feel free to call or email her:  217-935-3106 (wk)  kim@anderson-ford.com.

Should I Test Drive a Car Before I Buy It?

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Should I Test Drive a Car Before I Buy It?

If you’re shopping for a new car one of the most important steps is the test drive. Never consider buying a car without taking it road for a test drive first. There are many factors about a car that you will only experience by sitting behind the wheel. If you’re like most people, you will be driving your car for at least three years, so it is important that you are very comfortable with the way it feels, drives, and handles. The following are just a few things to consider when test driving a car.

Research vehicles and come up with a short list of makes and models that you are interested in before ever sitting behind the wheel. It helps to put together a list of options that you absolutely have to have in your new car, options that would be nice to have and options that aren’t really that important to you. It also helps to really think about how you will be using your new car on a daily basis. Will you be using it mainly as a commuter car or will you be hauling 5 kids to soccer practice? After you have narrowed your list down, then it would be time to head to the dealership for a test drive.

Before ever starting the engine, just sit in the car for a few minutes. Are you comfortable? Will the seat adjust to fit your particular frame? Are all of the various controls in a location that makes it comfortable for you to use them without ever having to take your eyes off the road? Can you get in and out with ease? Check the visibility of the mirrors. Make sure there aren’t any blind spots that block your view or that may require you to strain your neck. It’s also a good idea to get in the backseat and make sure you find it comfortable. Proper leg room is essential for both the front and back seats. You will also want to check the trunk or storage area to make sure it is large enough to accommodate your needs. When you are completely satisfied that the interior meets your requirements, take it out on the road for a test drive.

When you get the car out on road, make sure to drive it as if you are in a normal driving situation. If you are mainly commuting, then drive it during rush hour. If you spend a lot of time driving on curvy roads, then be sure you drive it on some curvy roads. You want to check the acceleration and its cornering ability. Listen for any noises, and how loud the cabin of the car is. It is important that you really drive the car like you would on an everyday basis. This is a big purchase so do not be afraid to give the car a good workout. In many cases it helps to take a notebook with you to record your thought as soon as you can after driving the vehicle. This will help later when you are trying to choose between the various cars you are considering.

The test drive is a crucial component of buying a new car. It’s always a good idea to check both the interior of the car and how it drives. A new car is a big investment so you should make sure the car that you purchase is a good fit for you and your passengers, both inside and out.

Winter Weather Car Care – Survival Tips

Disclaimer:  For the best tips about your car, for the winter or anytime of the year, your best source is your dealership’s Service Advisor. They are knowledgeable about your make and model and will always give you the best advice and suggestions to keep your car running smoothly and your family safe.

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Winter is here! We all know it comes after fall every year but every year it seems to take us by surprise.  This year is no different.  The calm mild weather had been here for so long that when we got snow over last weekend we were totally caught off-guard.  At least I know my family and I were.  So let’s take a look at some of the things that you can still do to prepare your vehicles and yourself for the harsh winter months.

With winter here, these are 5 basic winter car care tips to keep your vehicle intact during the worst weather of the year. These may seem like no-brainers, but the truth is many forget about these simple tasks – that slip can end up costing you big time and no one wants that!

Tip #5: Be prepared It’s almost December, now is the time to make sure your car(s) are prepared for the winter. Ideally, this should be done mid-Fall so you give yourself time to make sure everything is ready – before it is too late.

Tip #4: Check your wipers and wiper fluid levels Working windshield wipers and a solid supply of wiper fluid will ensure that you have visibility in the worst of snowstorms. Wiper blades only last a year. If you don’t remember the last time you replaced them, it likely is time for them to be replace. Depending on how bad your winters are, you may want to equip your vehicle(s) with winter specialized wipers. Lastly, make sure your car(s) have wiper fluid with a low freezing point and maybe even a de-icing agent.

Tip #3: Change your oil and find the proper viscosity – For this tip it’s best to talk to your service advisor.  He/She can be your best source of information.   The cold weather negatively effects oil’s effectiveness. The cold climates will make your oil thicker, reducing engine circulation. This can be avoided by purchasing oil that is thinner than normal, most vehicles provide a winter oil viscosity (thickness) in the owner’s manual – along with other proper oil viscosity for the changing seasons.

Tip #2: Have your battery checked. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. However, most motorists can perform routine care. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly. A word of caution: Removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles, so always check your owner’s manual first. A great suggestion would be to have a professional inspect the battery.  This would avoid any danger, or car issues, that can come from inspecting a battery.

Tips #1:  Consider getting snow tires. Yes, you read that right…Snow Tires.  (Especially, if where you live is below 45 degrees all winter.)  Snow tires are made of a softer rubber than all-season tires which allows them to retain flexibility, even in the coldest of cold. Tread patterns on these tires also allow for exceptional grip in the snow and ice. However, snow tires aren’t an instant-fix. They won’t remove the chance of slipping and sliding in your car, but they do provide more traction than standard tires.

Now that we have some car care tips covered, let’s talk about what you should have in your car in case you become stranded or stuck in the snow.  There are a few key items that you should round up and put in a box or basket in your trunk. Hopefully, you will never need them but if you do, they are there.  If you regularly travel with more people than yourself please make sure you pack accordingly.

Essential items to include in a winter survival kit, according to a combination of recommendations by Wisconsin Emergency Management’s Ready Wisconsin initiative and survival expert Peter Kummerfeldt’s OutdoorSafe website, include:

  • Bottled water (at least four quarts)
  • Snack foods, particularly nutritious energy bars
  • Raisins, dried fruit, nuts, candy bars
  • Strike-anywhere, waterproof matches and small candles
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Folding knife and multi-tool
  • Emergency flares
  • An extra winter coat, mittens and a wool cap
  • Winter boots
  • Toilet paper
  • Cellphone and charger
  • A space blanket
  • A spare blanket or sleeping bag (again pack accordingly to the number of people normally in your vehicle.)
  • A portable radio with spare batteries
  • Tow rope
  • Nylon cord
  • Flagging tape
  • Chemical hand and body warmer packets

Don’t forget the kitty litter to use as a traction agent, jumper cables and maybe even a small shovel to dig out if necessary.

It’s always a good idea to let someone know when you are leaving and what route you are taking if you have to travel in a snowstorm. Of course, the safest thing would be to stay home until it stops and roads are clear.  Make sure you have plenty of gas!  If you do get stuck, call for help.  Don’t over exert yourself and never ever leave your car and walk for help.

Most of all don’t panic!  The calmer you are, the calmer your passengers will be and the less stressful it will be on all of you.

 

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Anderson Ford of Clinton supports the Clinton Maroons Football Team!!!

Are you ready for some Friday night football?!?!

55da714cde810.imageClinton got a taste of success last year, all of 9 points away from a playoff berth. With a lot of players back, the Maroons feel good about their chances of going to the playoffs 11 years after they last did. Gallery at herald-review.com/gallery

Head on out to Clinton High School and cheer on the Clinton Maroons coming off their 67-35 win over Flanagan last week.

Make sure you stop by the Drive 4 UR School tent and sign up for the halftime “Kick it to Win” contest. The person who kicks the farthest field goal by the last home game will win a 40″ TV!!

Be sure to set your sites on the field for the halftime show! The M-Squad will be hosting the Clinton Elementary Schools 2nd-5th grade girls Cheer Clinic. These are so fun and the girls are so cute! Have a great night!

GO MAROONS!!!

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