Safe Travels for Thanksgiving!

     Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Tomorrow is the big day, and hundreds of thousands of people will be traveling. Either you are already at your destination, or you will be getting there soon. While you are out and about on this holiday safety is key. Here is a list of 15 Best Family Cars for Thanksgiving!

     Thanksgiving is one of the few days that American families are guaranteed to be driving, which makes that day the family car’s time to shine.

     Last year, AAA projected that 48.7 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more from home for Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with the year before. That was the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007 and was spurred on by an improving economy and gasoline that was $2.16 per gallon.

     Roughly 89%, or 43.5 million Americans, planned to drive. That was an increase of 1.9% from the year before, even though gas prices were just $2.05 per gallon they. In fact, gas prices have actually risen somewhat steadily since Thanksgiving 2008, when they were $1.85 per gallon on average.

     So how will families get over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this Thanksgiving? In vehicles roughly the size of hotel rooms. Cambridge, Mass.-based car research and shopping site CarGurus recently found that parents who have to ferry multiple kids around in sedans are generally less satisfied with their cars than those driving larger minivans and SUVs. Roughly 21% of sedan owners said their car does not meet their family’s needs, while only 7% of both minivan and SUV owners felt the same about their vehicles. Of all the respondents reporting that their current primary car does not meet their families’ driving needs, 62% said it’s because their car is too small.

     That would be easy to write off if the numbers didn’t bear it out. During the last year, with gas prices hovering around $2.50 per gallon or less, sales of cars of any size have dropped 1.8%, according to MotorIntelligence. Midsize car sales are down 12.3%, and small car sales are down 9.3% after helping lead automakers out of the recession.

     “Cheaper gas prices may push some sales of bigger cars, but with capacity being a main driver in the car purchasing decision, low running costs really just make the decision to buy a car that fits the family’s needs easier,” says Matt Smith, editor at CarGurus. “In the end, this decision is based more on prioritizing space over fuel efficiency.”

     The combination of both has made crossover SUVs extremely popular. Sales are up 6.3% year-to-date as drivers with more gas money in their pockets spring for more space. Minivans, meanwhile, have seen sales drop 12.7% as Nissan killed off the Quest and new minivans from Chrysler and Kia found their footing. While minivans still a relatively small portion of the market (they’re little more than 10% the number of crossovers sold during the same period), they outsell all but midsize non-crossover SUVs.

     For their part, families are using all of that space. The majority (56%) of parents with middle-school-aged kids report they are driving their kids to and from school or activities at least five days per week. One-in-three middle school parents spends 4 hours or more per week driving their kids around. That’s more than eight days of driving per year, or two round trips from Boston to San Diego.

     Remarkably, the majority of those hours aren’t being spent in silence as the child in the back stares at a tablet. Almost half of parents surveyed (45%) said they are most likely to have a conversation with their children about their day while driving in the car as opposed to the dinner table or at their child’s bedtime. In addition, most parents allow their children to eat in the car (78%), read in the car (73%), use mobile devices to play games or watch media online (70%) pr choose the music for the ride (60%).

     “We were surprised to see that while bells and whistles are often what’s marketed and advertised, they were not the primary factors in this decision for families,” Smith says. “A small percentage of respondents communicated that these types of features were crucial, with only 12% noting that entertainment technology features like Bluetooth or video screens and 9% stating that convenience features like an automatic tailgate lift were very important factors in their car buying decision.”

     However, that’s meant a very slow death for the family sedan. Car sales of any kind are down 10.5% this year, and automakers like General Motors (GM) , Mitsubishi and Volkswagen continue to trim sedans from their lineups in favor of crossovers.

     “Looking at sales trends, soccer field parking lots and school drop-off lines, it’s clear that families have moved on from the family sedan, and now the modern family car is an SUV,” says Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “As SUVs have grown more comfortable and fuel efficient over the years, car shoppers  have demonstrated an increasing preference for the elevated driving position, superior cargo versatility and higher profile of SUVs, which make them more functional as family cars than traditional sedans.”

     Families want safety, cargo capacity and fuel economy — and they want them all at a reasonable price. With that in mind, we consulted automotive research and shopping sites Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book and came up with the Top 15 family cars available around this Thanksgiving holiday:

Chevrolet Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt

Starting price: $36,620

Combined miles per gallon equivalent: 119

Electric charge range: 238 miles

Cargo capacity: 16.9 cubic feet

    Forget the Chevrolet Spark or Volt: This vehicle is GM’s first serious swipe at Tesla.

     With 200 horsepower, fast-charging capability, satellite radio, OnStar information and communications with 4G Wi-Fi, automatic climate control, remote liftgate release and an 8-inch passenger information system, the Bolt is built as if it wants to attack Tesla’s Model 3 head-on. However, with safety features like lane departure and collision sensors extra and with cargo volume restricted to 16.9 cubic feet with the seats up, the Bolt is leaning heavily on that range — which still falls short of the more powerful Model S.

Kia Soul

Kia Soul 

Starting price: $16,100

Combined miles per gallon: 28.5

Cargo capacity: 18.8 cubic feet with all seats up, 49.5 maximum

     This wasn’t such a great family car in its early years, when it basically looked like every other boxy neo surf wagon on the street. That’s why why Kia gave the Soul a character-altering overhaul this year that made it look like a wagon, dropped horsepower down from 138 to 130 and modestly improved mileage (27.5 mpg combined). It still has nearly 50 cubic feet of total cargo space, but don’t let the subcompact price fool you. With high output headlights, LED taillights, heated and ventilated seats, pushbutton starter and the 8-inch touchscreen UVO information and entertainment system, the Soul offers lots of perks at relatively low cost.

Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5

Combined miles per gallon: 27.5

Cargo capacity: 30.9 cubic feet with all seats up, 59.6 maximum

     Mazda sells fewer than 300,000 cars here, which means most major automakers’ midsize sedans outsell the entire Mazda line. However, its crossovers saw sales increase this year with help from this sporty little SUV.

     Under the hood is a 4-cylinder, 155-horsepower engine whose 30.5 combined mpg are every bit befitting a lightweight compact. However, it’s the CX-5’s in-car features that do the heavy lifting. The CX-5 is teeming with wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio and navigation system, pushbutton starter and three power outlets. The ample rear seating and up to 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats down aren’t exactly throwaways, either.

Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Tahoe

Starting price: $47,215

Combined miles per gallon: 19.5

Cargo capacity: 15.3 cubic feet with all the seats up, 94.7 maximum

Families really don’t care how much Wi-Fi you put into a car this large. They don’t care that you can fit nine people in it and that stability features make it far safer than the trucked-up SUVs of yore. Even if they have a camper or a boat, that towing capacity can now be found in cheaper, more efficient cars. That said, the 15% increase in sales of large SUVs like this one since last year shows that families care about the total package. If this apartment on wheels can do it all, they’re going to take it.

Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey

Starting price: $25,836

Combined miles per gallon: 24

Cargo capacity: 38.4 cubic feet with all seats up, 148.5 maximum

Its versatile cabin seats up to eight, with second-row seats that can be configured to fit three child seats. The Odyssey’s removable center console offers a useful flip-up trash-bag holder, and there’s also a “cool box” beverage cooler to accommodate chilled refreshments. Best of all, an in-cabin vacuum is an available option for parents who just know that a healthy percentage of that trip’s road snacks are going to end up on the floor.

Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek

Starting price: $24,510

Combined miles per gallon: 29

Cargo capacity: 22.3 cubic feet with all seats up, 51.9 maximum

It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since Subaru introduced the last link to its wagon-shaped past, but the former Crosstrek XV has come a long way. Sure, the four-cylinder engine still seems a bit undernourished at 170-horsepower. Sure, the Starlink multimedia system and its four speakers still leave much to be desired. But there’s 55 cubic feet of total cargo space (though just 20 with the seats up), its mileage sits at a noteworthy 29 mpg combined and all-wheel drive remains standard. Even by just giving folks an easier interface for their smartphones and slightly more room to breathe, Subaru made some much-needed upgrades to a vehicle begging for them.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander

Starting price: $44,625

Combined miles per gallon: 27.5

Cargo capacity: 13.8 cubic feet with all seats up, 83.2 maximum

This Camry-based crossover helped kill the lumbering conventional SUV when it was introduced little more than a decade ago and continues to trim the fat, especially in hybrid form. That mileage complements features like a panoramic moonroof, power liftgate, three-zone climate control and backup camera without sacrificing the Highlander’s 94 cubic feet of storage space or three rows of seating. the NHTSA and IIHS both give it their highest safety ratings for good reason: This seven-seater is an absolute tank.

Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica

Starting price: $28,595

Combined miles per gallon: 23

Cargo capacity: 32.3 cubic feet with all seats up, 140.5 maximum

Death to the Town & Country. Chrysler is really gunning for the whole “luxury minivan” angle here by offering features like leather seats, a three-panel sunroof and noise cancellation. At it’s core, though, this is still a family hauler: Stow-and-Go seats that fold into the floor, electronic safety features, handless sliding doors, an available vacuum, 3,600 pounds of towing capacity and a whole lot of interior cargo room leave us wondering why the minivan hasn’t performed better as a category this year.

Toyota Sienna

Toyota Sienna

Starting price: $28,850

Combined miles per gallon: 23

Cargo capacity: 39.1 cubic feet with all seats up, 150 maximum

It’s terrible mileage, but great space. Toyota’s Sienna uses an upright folding seat in the second row to squeeze in as many as eight passengers and its entire second row slides up to allow third-row access. With power sliding doors, keyless entry, power liftgate in the back, second, row climate controls, a sliding center console, panoramic moon roof, backup cameras and Entune entertainment and information system all available, the Sienna is keeping the heat on its rival Honda Odyssey.

Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot

 

Starting price: $29,990

Combined miles per gallon: 23.5

Cargo capacity: 18.5 cubic feet with all seats up, 109 maximum

This is why the standard SUV is shrinking into a nice: Lots of space, terrible mileage. The Pilot got huge upgrade for 2016 because the 2015 version was even more terrible. The folks at Honda’s plant in Lincoln, Ala., trimmed 300 pounds off its frame between generations, brought combined mileage up from 20 mpg and maintained 27.5 inches of legroom in the back and 4.5 inches of headroom. It’s spacious, if still a bit sluggish.

Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V

Starting price: $19,215

Combined miles per gallon: 31.5

Cargo capacity: 23.2 to 24.3 cubic feet with all the seats up, 55.9 to 58.8 maximum

This small crossover comes with LED brake lights, heated side mirrors, the HondaLink app suite, a 7-inch touchscreen entertainment and communications center, voice texting, wheel-mounted controls, multi-angle rearview camera and options including a power moonroof, heated seats and automatic climate control. It isn’t the biggest wagon out there, but it’s a nice middle ground between the CR-V and the subcompact Fit.

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V

Starting price: $19,215

Combined miles per gallon: 29.5

Cargo capacity: 37.2 cubic feet with all the seats up, 70.9 maximum

Hail to the king. We end up writing about this car and its competitors, the Ford (F) Escape and Toyota RAV4, for the same reason station wagons received a lot of press in the ’70s, minivans soaked up a whole lot of ink in the ’80s and far larger SUVs garnered attention in the ’90s… they’re the family cars for their time. They’re the top-selling crossovers in a fast-growing category, and the CR-V’s cargo space and amenities like a leather interior, moonroof, Pandora-connected information display, heated seats and rearview windows and navigation system with controls mounted on the steering wheel have kept it ahead of the pack.

Kia Sedona

Kia Sedona

Starting price: $26,400

Combined miles per gallon: 21.5

Cargo capacity: 33.9 cubic feet with all the seats up, 142 maximum

This minivan entered the U.S. market in SUV-flooded 2002 was bold, but received a far better-timed makeover in 2015. After making the exterior look a bit meaner, giving the Sedona xenon headlights, LED taillights and accents, Sirius-XM satellite radio, a touchscreen information and entertainment system, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted controls and a backup warning system, sales jumped quickly. Its cargo space and mileage still trail the category’s leaders, but Kia’s gamble is paying off.

Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan Pathfinder

Starting price: $29,830

Combined miles per gallon: 23.5

 

Cargo capacity: 16 cubic feet with all the seats up, 79.8 maximum

As recently as two years ago, the Pathfinder was still being built to compete with the Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco. It was hopped up on trucks, still getting a paltry 18 miles per gallon and it still firmly believed a 4.0-liter V6 is something anyone wants in a family vehicle. Recently, it joined the rest of the modern automotive world by switching to a car-platform crossover, trimming to a 3.5-liter V6 and cutting fuel economy to a combined 23 miles per gallon. It still has seven seats, the second row moves up five inches for easy rear-seat access and there’s three-zone climate control to go with an available three-zone entertainment center.

Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage

Starting price: $22,990

Combined miles per gallon: 26.5

Cargo capacity: 30.7 cubic feet with all seats up, 60 maximum

You can throw in all-wheel drive for $1,500 and this CUV still wouldn’t break the $25,000 barrier.

Meanwhile, features including rearview camera, Sirius-XM satellite radio and Bluetooth wireless connectivity make lovely freebies, the UVO information and entertainment system and backup warning system also can still be had within the $25,000 price range. A redesign recently gave it 30.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up and 60 altogether, but it also made it look a little less like a soccer shuttle and a little more like a fun beach buggy you might actually enjoy owning.

I hope you enjoyed the article!

I wrote the first paragraph, but I got the rest of the information from: https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/14352139/1/15-best-family-cars-for-thanksgiving-travel.html

The article was written by Jason Notte on November 13, 2017 for TheStreet.

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Scary Cars

     It’s the spooky month of October and Halloween is right around the corner. What better way to celebrate the season then some scary cars!

     Here are our Top scariest cars. They came through and were even kind enough to tell us for whom exactly the cars are scary. Read on, if you dare (imagine spooky laughter here)…

1969 Ford Mustang

Scary for: Bystanders and other drivers

     Looks like an early Ford Mustang, right? It is, on the outside anyway. The inside, however, is all Ford Falcon, a pedestrian vehicle if ever there was one. So what, you say? Well, drop a Boss V-8 into a Ford Falcon and what do you get? An overpowered car that doesn’t have the shocks, brakes or structural rigidity to turn or stop well. In other words … look out!

1969 Pontiac Trans Am

Scary for: Bystanders and other drivers

     Garish? Sure, but that’s not our complaint. This was the height of muscle-cardom. This was when American car manufacturers figured out how to make humongous, powerful engines. Sadly, they hadn’t yet figured out how to do handling, so you had an overpowered rear-wheel-drive car with no weight in the rear end. As a result, when there was half a drop of rain on the ground this thing spun around like Dizzy Dan from the Battling Tops. Anything but perfect weather, and it was totally uncontrollable.

1971 Ford Pinto

Scary for: Firefighters and plastic surgeons

     What could possibly be scarier than a car endorsed by both the Shriners’ Burn Ward Fundraising Division and the League of Asbestos-Clothing Manufacturers? These cars had an unfortunate tendency to explode when hit from behind, since that’s where the gas tank was located. Ford did eventually fix the problem, but the damage was done, so to speak. Being anywhere near a Pinto still gives us visions of Robert Duvall calling in airstrikes in “Apocalypse Now.”

1973 Volkswagen Microbus

Scary for: Drivers

     Here’s a scary idea: Design a car so the occupants’ legs are the very first line of defense in a frontal crash. Then add poor stability. Shaped like a pizza box standing on end, the Microbus blew around on the highway like Calista Flockhart in a wind tunnel. Drivers never had time to worry about these issues, though; they were too busy trying to keep themselves warm in the chilly Bus.

1974 Volkswagen Thing

Scary for: Onlookers

     Just take a gander at this. No wonder they named it the Thing; it was styled by the same guy who invented the cookie sheet. Thankfully, they rusted quickly enough that few remain to invoke PTSD for former owners.

1980 Chevrolet Monza

Scary for: Mechanics

     The Monza was designed as an economy car, so it was built to have a four-cylinder engine. Unfortunately, when sales slowed down, some geniuses at Chevy decided that what the Monza needed was a V-8, so they shoehorned one in there. The result? Half the spark plugs are almost impossible to reach; to get at them you need rappelling equipment and an air chisel. Whenever one of these beauties reared its ugly grille in front of the garage, every mechanic with more than six weeks’ experience would go running for the men’s room and lock the door.

1986 Suzuki Samurai

Scary for: Drivers

     Rolling over is fine if you’ve got personal knowledge of Knuckles Goldberg’s wrongdoings and you’re heading into the witness protection program. Rolling over at 70 miles per hour on asphalt, when you’re swerving to avoid an errant chipmunk? Not so good. These cars were cheap, so they were purchased mostly by young drivers — the people most likely to end up hanging from the seat belt with four wheels in the air. Scarier still, the Samurai wasn’t that much worse than other SUVs of the era.

1987 Ford Festiva

Scary for: Drivers

     Take a good look at this car. Kind of small, wouldn’t you say? Now imagine yourself in a Festiva surrounded by amphetamine-snacking tractor-trailer drivers. Going 75 miles per hour. At night. In the rain. Scared yet? We sure are. We once got in trouble for saying this car came right from the factory with a funeral wreath on the grille.

2005 Pontiac Aztek

Scary for: Onlookers

     Well, now we know where the designers of the Volkswagen Thing went to work after VW canned their sorry butts. Take a good look at this vehicle — it’s a tribute to the art of unfortunate compromises. Someone at GM said “take a minivan, whack off a few corners and make something we can call a utility vehicle.” The car itself was not bad — rather utilitarian, actually — but it pinned the needle on the visual pollution scale.

     These are not the views of R. H. Willson, but a comical article dealing with Halloween and Scary Cars.

     Cartalk.com is a production of Tappet Brothers LLC d/b/a Dewey, Cheetham and Howe. Contents © 2018 Tappet Brothers LLC. CAR TALK, DEWEY, CHEETHAM & HOWE, SHAMELESS COMMERCE, WARPED DISCS, and CLICK AND CLACK are registered trademarks of Tappet Brothers LLC

     I got this information from https://www.cartalk.com/content/top-10-scary-cars.

 

How to prevent your car from overheating?

During this heat, you take precautions for your skin and body; but some people forgot about their vehciles. They get negative side effects from the heat. Below are some ways that you can take action against the heat and save that vehicle of yours.

  1.  Park in the shade

You can feel the temperature difference between the shade and the sun – and so can your car. Parking in the shade not only keeps you cool, but can prolong the life of your car. No shady spot? Use a sunshade to reduce heat inside the car.

  1. Tint your windows

A local dealership or auto body shop can apply tinted windows to help keep your car cooler, and protect your interior from sun damage.

  1. Use a sun shade

Keeping a sun shade in the car is helpful because you can’t always guarantee that you’ll find a shaded or covered area to park in. These UV heat shields will keep the interior from getting super-hot, plus it protects your interior from the damaging effects of the sun. You might even consider getting a custom-made sun screen that is designed to fit your make and model of car. These special shades can be more effective at keeping all of the rays out.

  1. Get rid of hot air

Closed windows trap hot air, and the glass serves as a conductor that helps heat up the enclosed space. Leave your windows open slightly so the air can escape – and if you have a sunroof, crack that, too. Make sure the opening is not large enough for someone to reach through. If you leave your windows cracked, remember to keep an eye on the weather – one sudden summer storm could lead to a soggy interior.

  1. Turn the floor vents on

Most people get in the car and turn the upper vents on “high” to get the air flowing. But you’re actually better off directing the air through the floor vents. Hot air rises, so switch to the bottom vents and put your blower on the maximum setting to push that air out. Then, once the car begins cooling, you can open the upper vents again.

  1. Use the fresh air setting on your A/C

Using the re-circulation setting means you’re just moving that hot, trapped air around your vehicle, so that’s something you want to use after your car has had the chance to cool down. Give it 10 minutes or so, then switch over.

  1. Keep your eye on the temperature gauge

 Located on the dashboard, the device has a needle that should always be pointing toward the center. If it points toward hot, pull over, turn off the engine and let the car cool down.

  1. Turning on the heat

Turning on the heat may be the last thing you want to do on a hot summer day, but it can pull hot air from the engine compartment and cool the engine. It won’t fix the underlying problem, but it’s a good measure for long drives.

  1. Add engine coolant

This is especially important in hot months. To check the coolant level, open the hood and locate the coolant reservoir. The coolant level is shown by indicator lines on the reservoir. If too low, simply add the appropriate amount of coolant and reattach the cap. Engine coolant is often sold as a 50/50 mix of water and coolant. You can also buy concentrated coolant and mix it yourself.

 Safety tip: Never add coolant to a hot engine. Wait for the engine to cool before removing the cap or pouring in coolant.

  1. Have your cooling system flushed by a mechanic

Even if you keep engine coolant at the right levels, it will eventually get dirty and need to be replaced. Flushing involves draining old coolant from the radiator, cleaning it with flush fluid and adding new coolant. Mechanics recommend a flush every 40,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.

  1. Consider replacing your battery

If your car battery is older than three years, it may not be providing the power it once did, so your car has to work harder and can overheat. Your mechanic can help you determine whether you may need a new battery.

If you find yourself in a situation where your car overheats, follow these steps to ensure you and your vehicle remain safe:

  • Pull over, park your car and turn off the engine as soon as possible. Let your car cool for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Open the hood of your car to allow the heat to clear out quickly.
  • Once your car has cooled off, turn the ignition to its first position (don’t start the engine). If you see that the temperature gauge is within a normal range and engine fluid levels are sufficient, try to start the engine.
  • If the engine makes unusual sounds or it does not start at all, it’s best to stay on the safe side and call for roadside assistance to have your car towed. This will allow for a mechanic to inspect it and make the necessary repairs.

What can cause your car to overheat?

Hot temperatures alone might not be causing your vehicle to overheat. If your car’s cooling systems aren’t functioning correctly, it can lead to serious damage to your engine and expensive repairs. Here are a few common engine problems that can cause your car to run hot that you should know about:

  • Coolant: Every car has a cooling system to help keep the temperature of the engine down. If your cooling system has a leak, blockage or pump malfunction, the coolant might not be able to circulate properly. Cooling system malfunctions aren’t just problematic when it’s hot out; very cold temperatures can cause coolant to freeze and prevent circulation.
  • Thermostat: Another possible issue could be a problem with the thermostat. A vehicle’s thermostat is responsible for regulating the amount of coolant flowing through the engine. A broken or malfunctioning one can easily cause your car to overheat.
  • Low Oil: A car’s oil does more than just lubricate moving parts. It also helps to remove excess heat from the engine. If your vehicle has low oil, it might be causing your car to run hot.
  • Radiator Fan: If your cooling fan isn’t turning on or running at the right level, it can case your car to overheat. Radiator fans usually run on electric motors, so any motor mechanical problems can lead to your fan not providing enough cool air flow.

Of course these aren’t the only possible problems that can cause a car to overheat. It’s a good idea to find a reliable mechanic who can diagnose and service your car, and get protection in case your car overheats while you’re on the road.

This information is from Nationwide Blog (Vehicle – Maintenace from June 4, 2017)

https://blog.nationwide.com/how-to-keep-your-car-from-overheating/

The Rise and Fall of Salvage Yards

     I have been doing this blog for one year next month, and we have talked a lot about salvage yards. We talked about benefits, conditions, and aspects of the business, while explaining some common misconceptions dealing with recycling and the environment. My goal has always been to open people’s eyes about salvage yards; but with this month’s blog post, we are going to take a different approach. I am going to talk about the cold-hearted truth that “Salvage Yards” are vanishing all around the country and the world, but there is still hope for some.

     Why do you think salvage yards are closing down? Think about it a minute or two!  Well here are some answers. The economy goes down and up so many times that people do not have extra money to fix their project cars. Reason two is that there is the internet.  Everyone looks up what the part is online. They know the prices and details about the part. People want the cheapest price, and that is all that matters to them. They no longer care about the quality of the merchandise. Then you have all the aftermarket parts from China and different countries, which are cheaper.  You will have a customer for twenty years that no longer comes because they can get the parts they need from the internet. If you have ten of your customers doing that, then you will be losing a substantial profit.

     The third reason has to do with small business. Mom and Pop stores that service small towns are being bought up by big businesses that have stores in every city in the country. It is hard to compete with huge corporations with thousands of employees. They have the budget and the manpower that small businesses do not have.

     The fourth is that the price of scrap metal drops dramatically with no warning. You will have this huge amount of metal to scrap, and at the same time money continually going out. Then with no warning the price goes from $100 a ton to $20 a ton.

     The fifth and final reason is with the environment. People think that salvage yards hurt the land and the air, but some people make these accusations without getting all the facts. Yes, there are some places in the US that do not properly deal with oil, gasoline, and other liquids; which does leave a negative impact on the environment. But look at the salvage yard and get all your facts before making accusations about someone’s business.

     These are all serious reasons why salvage yards across the United States have either been forced to close down or close down because they are not making any money. It is so sad because salvage yards are a part of an era to many people, but I believe salvage yards are not over!

     A very important fact in staying open is being up to date with every possible regulation there is, especially the environmental ones. Recycling everything you can while staying on your toes. You can never be content with what the business is doing; you need to always push for more production and more customers. Always be on the lookout for new things to add to the business. We started off in 1954 by just selling auto parts, but look at us now. We continue to sell new and used parts; we have an auto repair.  We scrap junk cars and scrap metal, and we do town towing. That is just a list of the many things we do, but there is always more.

     Salvage yards still exist and are flourishing, but it will always be a struggle to get our name out there in a positive light. We will never give up the hope for salvage yards in the United Sates or the world. We will continue to push for the future of salvage yards everywhere.

 

Winter Months at R.H. Willson

Hope everyone had a good holiday, but now we are getting back to the day to day. After vacation time and the holidays it is hard enough to get back to the swing of things. You eat so much more on the holidays, and you get to stay inside and relax. After those nice days reality comes and hits you in the face. You are back to work with no holiday break coming up for awhile. It also gets colder after Christmas. It is now freezing out, and the snow is piling up as we speak.  Everyone is back to work, but now we have to deal with the snow. It happens every winter in New England, but no one is ever truly ready for it.

R.H. Willson is open year round, rain or shine. That is what this month’s blog post is going to be about, the working conditions of the salvage yard in the winter months. The staff at R. H. Willson is committed to their customers.

Every time that it snows out, we have to clean the entire yard. The driveways need to be plowed and salted multiple times for our customers to safely enter and exit. A couple days later, we back plow the driveways. We use the loader with a plow on it because there is a lot of area to be covered. Back plowing is when we scrap the leftover snow and slush by dragging the plow backwards on the driveways. The building’s roofs and the cars all need to be shoveled. There are over 2,000 cars located at R. H. Willson so not all of them get shoveled off, but to sell the parts off the cars we need to be able to see the car. The crusher down back gets shoveled and whatever else it needs so it does not freeze. The building is concrete and metal so it takes awhile for the building to heat up, but all the heat comes from the recycled oil that goes into the furnace that recycles oil, which we talked about in another blog post. This is just what we go through with the equipment, but now we can talk about what the employees go through to get those parts.

The employees dress very warmly because the temperatures can get below zero. When someone goes out to get a part, they have to shovel off the cars and shovel the path to get to a certain vehicle. They do whatever is necessary to get to the car, but then they have to remove the part in the freezing temperatures with their bulky gloves and gear. This is just a normal routine for the staff because they have to get the parts for the customers.

Snow is snow, and there is a lot of it in New England during the winter months but we never know what the employees at business go through getting the inventory they need.

Every business is different, but you should take some time and think about how much really goes into getting a side mirror off a car in the dead of winter when there is a snow storm. These are the conditions that are inevitable, but we still have to work through them and produce the inventory necessary to sell.

This is just talking about the winter months, but every season has its obstacles for working indoor or outdoor. There are different precautions to take depending on the month and season. So take a moment and reflect because you never know what a business has to do to for even small parts.

A different approach then the normal blogs but with winter sometimes it is a good idea to discuss different situations that happen while working at any business especially salvage yards.

The Salvage Yard

     This month’s blog post is about R. H. Willson. The past blog posts focused on different ways that the salvage yard recycles.  There are always more ways and more items to recycle, but I just wanted to have this month’s post focus on the business.

     My grandfather opened this business in 1954. He started off by selling auto parts. Overtime the business grew to have up to three different buildings. Down the road my parents bought the business in 1996 and expanded even further. In 1998 they started an auto repair on the premises. Bringing in different customers and staying competitive in the industry. One big change was computerizing everything. Changing all the paperwork from pen and paper to computer generated slips. That was a big change for the industry and everyone working here. Overtime people learned to love computers because it made work faster and more organized. With the help of the computers, the parts industry expanded. Now people can buy their parts online, over the phone, or walking in. The expansion was a necessary progression, but there were other avenues the salvage yard also explored.

     The auto repair was another great expansion to the business.  Fixing cars and buying parts go hand in hand allowing for our customers to have faster service. Eventually we expanded by getting more mechanics, which allowed us to help more customers.

     Another aspect of R. H. Willson is town towing and picking up junk cars. The town towing allows us to be involved in the town and get exposure by doing it. It is very convenient because if a car needs to get fixed, there is an auto repair on the premises to fix the car. As I said in the beginning of the paragraph, we also pick up junk cars, which lead us to our last point.

     Not too long ago, the business got a scale for scrap metal. You come to the salvage yard and drive over the scale, which weighs how much the metal is. It opened up another avenue of the business completely. People bring their scrap metal here, and we pick up junked cars for scrap metal. Getting rid of the excess metal in people’s houses or business helps the environment and our salvage yard.

     R. H. Willson is constantly improving and making adjustments so we can better help our customers. We have been opened since 1954; I hope there will be many more wonderful years of being innovative for this salvage yard and all salvage yards out there.

Recycled Oil

     Last month’s blog post was well nothing. I didn’t post anything last month so everyone could take time to read the previous posts and digest them. Take some time to understand what this blog is really about, which is to open people’s eyes and minds about salvage yards. There is always more to things then people imagine.

     Saying that let’s dive right into this month’s blog post, which is OIL! Most people know exactly what oil is or have a common knowledge to describe the liquid. Oil is “a viscous liquid derived from petroleum, especially for use as a fuel or lubricant,” (Google.com, 1). That is a basic definition of the liquid because we know that oil can be used in cooking and painting as well. Oil has many vast uses, but for the purpose of this post we are going to stick to things that pertain to cars or heat. Now that we have some facts on the topic on hand, let’s discuss how oil is used differently at R. H. Willson.

     The obvious is that at a salvage yard cars are a very important part of the business. So, yes we use the oil where it is necessary in cars or vehicles, but when they are junked we take the appropriate precautions to drain the liquid. I am not going to go over the rest of the uses of oil pertaining to cars because I want to talk about a very important use of oil. More importantly how the yard does something different to obtain it. What is this very important thing, it is HEAT.

     A large amount of the population use oil to heat their homes or businesses, but R. H. Willson is a little different. We not only use oil to heat our business, but the oil that we use is recycled from the vehicles that we get.

     R. H. Willson has been aware of the environment and the effects of oil for a very long time. Saying that let’s get into our process of recycling the oil.

     It all starts with the cars that we pick up or are brought to the business. Once they are on the premise and determined junked, we take care of the liquids. The cars are then brought into our garage where we take great care into draining them. The oil from the car flows into drain buckets, and then is stored in 55 gallon drums that are leak proof and spill proof. I know it means the same thing, but it is very important component to why we use the drums we have and for storing oil. The oil drums are stored in a specific area designed for the storage of oil, and we follow all the used oil storage regulations.

     Now you ask how is the oil recycled to heat the building. Well the oil is transferred from the 55 gallon drum very carefully and efficiently into a Waste Oil Heater or Furnace. These furnaces are specifically for the reuse of used oil. We have had our furnace for over 30 years, and we have loved it every step of the way.

     You may think “ok” the furnace probably heats a tiny part of the building, but then you would be wrong! It heats not one but two steal buildings. We only use our Waste Oil Heater. It heats both the auto repair’s and the auto part’s buildings. Two very large buildings get their entire heat source from recycled oil. It is a cost effective way to recycle the oil back into our day to day process.

     R. H. Willson has always takes time to recycle and give back to their planet. One example is mention above with the Waste Oil Heater. I never even thought about how the business that I work at is getting their heat, but someone 30 years ago did and that is what matters. On a day-to-day basis, we all live in this world, which means that we all want what is best for the environment not only for ourselves but for the generations to come. Take a good look and realize that junk yards were the true recyclers before everyone knew what recycling was.

Works Cited

https://www.google.com