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« February 2012 | Main | April 2012 »

23 posts from March 2012

March 30, 2012

Ford Launches Three New Models in Portland, Oregon (Part II)

(See yesterday's blog for part one! -ed.)

2013 Ford MustangFinally we came to the best part of the journey, driving one of my favorite cars, the Ford Mustang. While we weren’t able to get the keys to the convertible (probably a good thing since it was still fairly cold and raining) we did manage to jump into a beautiful and sporty looking bright red Mustang. While I would have preferred my favorite manual transmission, that might have gotten a little tiresome with the constant shifting necessary on the winding mountain roads. Our group got behind a school bus for the first 20 minutes of the trip out of Portland, and you could hear the horses snorting and raring to go that were stuck behind us. I resolved to pull over and let them all charge by once the bus turned off, not wanting a repeat performance from the Flex driver of the day before.

The 2013 Mustang has a new design with new front and rear fascias, a more prominent grille and splitter, standard HID headlamps, signature lighting, painted body-side rockers, dramatic LED tail lamps, mirrors with pony projection light and a new wheel lineup.

Continue reading " Ford Launches Three New Models in Portland, Oregon (Part II)" »

March 29, 2012

Ford Launches Three New Models in Portland, Oregon (Part I)

I was recently thrilled to be included in a group of journalists from North and South America who were invited to test drive three new Ford products for 2013 in Portland, Oregon. I had always wanted to go to Portland (home of one of the largest independently owned bookstores in the U.S., and located near forests, the Pacific Ocean, AND breath-taking mountain scenery) so of course I jumped at the chance.

Best of all, we would be driving three of my favorite Fords: the muscled Mustang in three versions; the full-sized Taurus sedan, including the Taurus SHO performance car; and the decidedly different cross-over Flex.

PhotoPlus my charming husband was also on the trip, writing for another publication. It would be fun to drive together for a change, and compare notes on what we liked or disliked about the cars. We quickly found out there was plenty to like about the cars, but maybe not all of our fellow test drivers.

After a fun kickoff event at the Portland Ford Dealers and a restful night at the lovely Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, we were ready to roll. From downtown it was only a matter of minutes before we were winding around the mountain roads in a new Ford Flex.

Continue reading " Ford Launches Three New Models in Portland, Oregon (Part I)" »

March 27, 2012

Infiniti Charmed us in Charleston with their new JX35 CUV

Jx logo Recently I took a trip from Dallas, TX to Charleston, SC to learn about a new CUV from Infiniti.  During the flight to SC, thoughts of the old south with blue skies led to bright and cheery images of cobbled and brick streets, antebellum architecture and horse drawn carriages.  Transportation within the city was on my mind as well as test driving the new Infiniti JX35. Yes, going to the East Coast would be a welcome opportunity and visiting Charleston, (the epitome of the true South) would be both exciting and refreshing.  Springtime in Charleston, just the thought conjured a welcome respite nestled in warm layers of true southern comfort.  I continued to meditate on this peaceful image in an effort to keep my mind calm and my breakfast down during my moderately bumpy flight.  Thankfully it worked.

HorsesAfter touchdown I found my awaiting ride and enjoyed a smooth drive to downtown.  As we drove through the city's main park we passed the infamous horse-drawn carriages trollying tourists throughout the town and hundreds of sunbathers in the square lying in the grass – ah, East Coast living!  We soon arrived to our hotel, the Restoration Inn located on the infamous King Street. 

The hotel:

After a quick walking tour around town and through the market, it was time to settle in for a few hours in my 900 sq. ft. hotel room/loft.  To say the room was contemporary and extravagant would be a big understatement.  It consisted of Charleston brick walls, a large living room and gourmet kitchen with wood block island.

Continue reading "Infiniti Charmed us in Charleston with their new JX35 CUV " »

Technical Tuesday: How to Check Battery Cables

Our own Jody DeVere brings you more of her wisdom from our eHow video series.  In this installment, battery cables.  How to check them, how to clean them, why that matters.  Check it out after the jump, and find more Ask Patty videos at http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_12403_auto-advice.html!

Continue reading "Technical Tuesday: How to Check Battery Cables" »

March 26, 2012

Toyota Presents: The Game of Life

Toyota-prius-c-commercialToyota has produced a series of videos that will ring true to anyone who, like me, played the ever-popular Game of Life growing up.  With humor and dry wit, they compare "real" adult life to the version played out in the board game - and of course, they bring it back to having the right "piece" to play the game. Now, for the uninitiated, in the Game of Life all the player tokens are cars, and they hold not only you but also your little plastic pretend family as you work to make your fortune (or just avoid bankruptcy).  The token Toyota recommends for the full-size game?  None other than the Prius c.  It's their hybrid / electric model and it's turning a lot of heads.

The series of videos has a lot of great information on car buying, they're very helpful if you've never bought a car, or even if you have and are considering shopping again.  I'll give you the first video here, but to see the whole series (and I recommend you do so) go to http://www.youtube.com/priusc.  The first video's past the jump.  Hit it!

Continue reading "Toyota Presents: The Game of Life" »

March 23, 2012

Do You Have the Correct Tires on Your Vehicle?

DriveInstrucI recently had the opportunity to attend and participate in a Nitto brand Tire “Ride and Drive” event in Phoenix, Arizona. I was able to test drive several types of Nitto passenger car tires under both wet and dry conditions on specially designed tracks where I was accompanied by professional drivers who were in the passenger seat to help navigate thru the course safely.

As a point of information, Nitto Tire has a US headquarter location in California and a manufacturing facility in Georgia with 600 employees and with a current production capacity of 2 million tires per year.

Continue reading "Do You Have the Correct Tires on Your Vehicle?" »

March 22, 2012

AskPatty Certified Female Friendly® Blog Carnival - March Edition

Askpatty_femalecertified_logo_webSpring is in the air in the Ask Patty Nation, and things are really lighting up with our legions of Certified Female Friendly automotive retailers!  Here's a sampling of some of the great things going on out there - if you're near one of these businesses, pay them a visit, and if not, then go to askpattycertifiedfemalefriendly.com to find a location near you!

 

LexBrodiesLex Brodie's Tire, Brake & Service Company  Doing business the Aloha Way has been internationally recognized. Lex Brodie's wins the BBB International Torch Award for Excellence in Customer Care — the FIRST company in the world to ever win this award.

CommunitytireCommunity Tire Pros & Auto Repair The BEST of the BEST "RANKING AZ 2012" list is out, and Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair, with several locations throughout the Phoenix area, is on the list of the best to do Business with.  They want to Thank all the loyal customers who voted for them - and continue to support this wonderful business.  Click the link for more information: http://ranking.aznow.biz/

FiatFiat of Austin and the Girl Scouts of Central Texas have a contest for you!  It's Cookie Time - Enter to win a 2012 'THIN MINT' FIAT 500 POP from FIAT of Austin and a one-year supply of Girl Scout cookies!  Only open to Texas residents,18 and older.   Purchase a $100 ticket for a chance to win one of three fabulous prizes.  Follow the link for more information about the give-away and to support the Girl Scouts of Central Texas: http://www.fiatusaofaustin.com/thinmintfiat.htm

StevenSteven Toyota in Harrisonburg, Virginia received the 2011 Toyota President’s Award for the 3rd year in a row. Each year Toy
ota awards its prestigious “President’s Award” to dealerships that demonstrate a superior commitment to maintaining Toyota’s high standards of customer satisfaction.  Click for the full article: http://www.pr.com/press-release/397873

ShockleyShockley Honda in Frederick, Maryland has joined with Animal Control and U2SA - Uniting to Save Animals - for a Pet Adoption Day on March 10, 2012.  They had animals available for adoption, a food drive, a homeless animals awareness program and provided $15 microchips and $10 rabies vaccinations.  Save A Life - Adopt A Shelter Animal.  Visit Shockley Honda online or in person, or follow the link for more information: http://www.shockleyhonda.com/page/custom/en/Pet_Adoption.  Plus -  Have you purchased a vehicle from Shockley Honda in February or March? Thursday, March 22nd is their New Car Care Clinic!

BrahlerBrahler Tire and Lube Centers, with 5 Lube and Service facilities in Springfield, Illinois, are remodeling their lube centers. Check out the new rebates and specials as they make the switch to Valvoline products. Follow them on FaceBook for up-to-the-minute progress and store information.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brahler-Tire-and-Auto/171048702936000

PotomacPotomac Falls Express Lube & Car WashMarch 24, 2012 is Joey Angel's 8th birthday. Guess what he wanted for his birthday? A blood drive to help keep him alive! Joey has Severe Aplastic Anemia and is waiting for a bone marrow transplant. Joey's mother and family friend Pat Wirth, owner of Potomac Falls Express Lube have chosen to try to fulfill his birthday wish. March is Red Cross month, and Wirth is a member of the Loudoun County Leadership Council for the American Red Cross, so it seems a blood drive may be a match made in "heaven" (pun intended!). Joey and his family live in Potomac Falls and Janel, his mom, works for Cardinal Bank.


Darcars-logo-sponsor-pageCongratulations to DARCARS Toyota of Frederick for winning 2012 Maryland Toyota and Scion Dealer of The Year!  Through the Dealer of the Year Award Program, a select number of car dealerships throughout the United States and Canada are awarded for outstanding customer satisfaction as expressed through customers’ online reviews posted on DealerRater’s web site.

JewellJewell Auto received a great female friendly testimonial this month!  "My experience with Jewell Auto was, and always is a great one. This week, I had two vehicles in the shop. As a single mother its important for me to feel as if my mechanic has my financial situation and best interest at heart. At Jewell this is ALWAYS the case. I trust them with the vehicles that carry my prized possessions...my family."

CannonsCannons Automotive is running a March special: Cannon's 6 Pack. 1 year of oil changes plus more. $99.95. You also get a $10 gift card towards a future purchase. Call or stop in for all the details. 362-4415

NigroNigro's Auto Body was featured in the Metro for being the first and only shop in Philadelphia to offer hand control installations. http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/local/article/1098556--paralyzed-but-still-on-the-road

March 21, 2012

Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance

ConcoursIt’s a car lady’s dream weekend in my opinion. World class cars, endless motorsports history, luxurious accommodations, beaches and shopping all while supporting charities. Does it get any better?

A quick road trip from our home in Charlotte, North Carolina, my husband and I just returned from our fourth straight year of attending this wonderful event. The concours and all the events surrounding it are held at the Ritz-Carlton which is situated right on the beaches of Amelia Island with five star dining and a gorgeous spa and fitness center.

The trip kicks off on Friday. It is usually a pretty low key day as the guests are just arriving in town and the manufacturers and vendors are putting the finishing touches on their displays. We often take advantage of the downtime and find our way to the spa for a little treat to ourselves and spend the evening dining and sharing laughs with good friends we only see a few times a year at these types of gatherings.

Continue reading "Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance" »

March 20, 2012

Car Buying Part 1: The Decision

This is about to be a long post...

Never mind. I will break it up into a series <adjusts title of post>. Read on!

I loved my Acura. She was this little blue sporty car, with leather seats and a good grip on the road. She cornered well, had a nice growl when you pushed the gas pedal, and I could drop the gears and pass almost anyone on a hill. I LOVED her. And I bought her on my own. She was my first. I wanted to have her forever.

If I had the money (and a partner who wouldn’t divorce me and a garage that could hold three cars), I would have kept her as a fun car, maybe even finally modifying her as a hobby. Because other than changing out the audio and adding in Bluetooth and a reverse sensor, she was stock. I bet she would corner really well if she was dropped a bit.

6a00d8341c4f3653ef00e54f31af1b8834-800wi
This photo is of us back in 2006, the year after I bought her. Funny, I've had several hair colors and styles since then but I am back to dark and long. 

This was taken for Ask Patty when I worked there. You can even read my article on why I bought her.

Continue reading "Car Buying Part 1: The Decision" »

March 19, 2012

We Love: Sears Craftsman AssureLink Garage Door

LogoIn 2012 the Sears Craftsman brand is celebrating their 85th year in the hardware industry and they have a lot to be happy about. “For the last 85 years we have earned the love and trust of consumers and we do not want to deviate from that,” Craftsman Product Director Derek Voigt said. Earlier in the month Craftsman released their latest technology in their garage door segment which consists of two models of doors. There is the chain drive door and and belt drive steel reinforced (very flexible but no difference in durability) model. 

Continue reading "We Love: Sears Craftsman AssureLink Garage Door" »