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17 posts from December 2012

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, AskPatty Nation!

Happy New Year!

December 26, 2012

Cash in your gift cards for ESCORT Radar's SmartRadar detector

Smart-radarTechnology is moving just as fast as the speed of light and automotive telematics in vehicles is moving almost faster. Cars today now come with all of the conveniences of one’s home from DVDs to hands-free voice-activated Bluetooth paired phone service. Radar detectors and their advances are no different and have finally started to come into the age of the 21st century. ESCORT radar is leading the charge of increased radar detector technology by offering all of the latest connectivity accessories in one of their newest products, the ESCORT SmartRadar.

The SmartRadar will make the perfect gift for those who love technologically but do not love getting speeding tickets.

What’s Included                                                                                                                                

- Radar/laser receiver with built-in Bluetooth wireless technology with brackets and guides

- Mini display controller which mounts behind one’s rear view mirror What’s It Does

- Can adjust laser sensitivity and even mute any X band which can sometimes be caused by interferences such as grocery stoor doors.

- Includes anti-falsing software to eliminate excessive alerts from erroneous X- and K-band sources, such as traffic flow-monitoring systems.

- Can change the sound of the warning tones and alarms

- There are also multiple settings for driving including; highway, auto, Auto No X

- SmartRadar also includes seven user-selectable programmable features so one may customize their detector to meet their needs. Display Brightness, Power-On Indication, Power-On Sequence, Signal-Strength Meter, AutoMute, Voice, and Bands.

X036SMRTRDi-o_mapThe SmartRadar featues ESCORT Live, an iPhone application specifically for this unit. This feature provides linked access from ones iPhone and sync’s with ESCORTs real-time ticket protection network, which warns you of upcoming alerts received by other users in the area. It also includes access to ESCORTs DEFENDER® Database, which warns the driver of verified speed traps, speed cameras, and red light cameras. There are also other GPS based features which sync with the iPhone , including speed-limit data for over-speed alerts, live traffic data for driver’s current location, and TrueLock™ to help eliminate false alerts.  A driver may also tag locations on the ESCORT Live iPhone map to show if police are in the area (offering real-time information to other users) or if certain X or K bands are false the radar will store this information for future reference.

Software Updates                                                         

There is a software update available but I would not necessarily call it easy. When I first attempted to load the software (onto my iPhone from ESCORTs website) I was brought to a page where I could buy the radar detector, not run the free/included application. So I went back to the home page and started over. I re-hit the download button to download ESCORT live. Needless to say after many hang-ups I was finally able to download the application onto my phone.. This took over an hour. In essence ESCORTs SmartRadar was pretty reliable although I did still pick up a few false alerts. Although the ESCORT live feature is pretty cool I found that it would be distracting if I were to be driving, looking at the radar message, and my phone to see where the red light cameras are, so opted to test the live iPhone program within the confines of my home. However, the unit with its multiple adjustable features and Bluetooth capability are proof that the radar detector industry has come a long way.

The ESCORT Live program allows your phone to give info to other live users to let them know if and where it has come across actual radar or speed traps. The subscription for this service is $4.99/month or $49.99/year.

ESCORT provides a one-Year Limited Warranty and warrants the SmartRadar device against all defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one (1) year.

The product is made for; iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS but no word if the program is compatible with iPhone 5.


December 21, 2012

Have a Nice Doomsday!

Good morning! If you can read this, then we offer our congratulations on surviving the Mayan Apocalypse!  For those of you who thought there was no need to buy Christmas presents this year, please refer to our Holiday Gift Garage Series to catch up.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend, AskPatty Nation!

Happy New Year 2013 VW Beetle Convertible!

IMG_0075On Oprah a few years ago, the ubiquitous TV show host gave each audience member a 2011 New Beetle as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” To be exact, two hundred and seventy-five Beetles were given away!

At the time, the New Beetle had been fully revamped. A different beast than its predecessor, the bug incorporated more sophisticated leaner styling and a more powerful engine.

The legacy that started with the original Type 1 over 70 years ago continues today.

We recently drove the third generation 2013 Beetle Convertible up the Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica to Malibu. It was an unusually rainy and misty California day. Not a great day for a top down ride. But, then again, who can resist when you are driving a Beetle. The 2013 Beetle Convertible continues to be intriguing.

Continue reading "Happy New Year 2013 VW Beetle Convertible!" »

December 19, 2012

2013 Toyota Avalon: Grandma’s Car No More-It’s named for Camelot Lore

San Antonio, Texas: One of my favorite car stories is about my friend Bob’s elderly grandmother, who drove a Toyota Avalon. She would take four right-hand turns to avoid a left. For a number of years, I thought of this driver as the demographic for this four-door, full-sized sedan. I surmised that this Toyota model was designed to appeal to older, more cautious drivers who loved rolling along in large and long lumbering boats. Times have changed, cars have changed, and so have my impressions of Toyota’s flagship Avalon. I have an all-new impression of the all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon which, by the way, is named for a mythical island in Camelot lore.

Continue reading "2013 Toyota Avalon: Grandma’s Car No More-It’s named for Camelot Lore" »

December 18, 2012

Happy Holidays from AskPatty!


December 17, 2012

AIADA Joins Federated Insurance to Combat Distracted Driving

Aiada logoEstablished in 1970, the American International Automobile Dealers Association, (AIADA) is the only association whose sole purpose is to represent America’s 10,000 international nameplate automobile franchises that sell and service: Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Saab, Scion, Smart, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities they serve, providing more than 500,000 American jobs.


Distracted drivingCurrently AIADA is partnered with Federated Insurance to bring attention to the growing and serious problem of distracted driving. Through the partnership, Federated Insurance is offering a free copy of its video, “In the Blink of an Eye,” to AIADA members. The video reveals the devastating, real-life consequences of distracted driving. Dealers can also request accompanying materials to increase awareness of the problem among their employees and within their local communities.


FederatedFederated Insurance provides members with products for risk management resources, customer service, financial strength, mutual structure, and association relationships. Visit to learn more.  To view a clip of the video, "In the Blink of an Eye", click here

December 16, 2012

Prayers of Comfort for the Sandy Hook Elementary School Families

Jody DeVere CEO of and our entire staff send our condolences and prayers of comfort to the families who lost these precious loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December,14,2012.

- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

An official fund for victims' families, and the community as a whole, has now been established: The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut will provide support services to families and the community. All donations to this fund will go directly to those affected.

In addition, Save The Children has released 10 tips for parents wondering how to help their children deal with their feelings about such a traumatic event, such as spending extra time with your kids, and limiting TV time.

December 14, 2012 Holiday Gift Garage: Week Four - Gifts for the Kids

Welcome back, AskPatty shoppers!  This week in the AskPatty Nation our Gift Garage series continues, and it's all about the kids - or the kids in all of us.  These gifts are sure to delight and inspire the young racer, engineer, or auto enthusiast as well as the older ones.  Let's get going!

SlotcarCarrera Marvel - The Avengers "Hero Team Chase" Race Set:  Here's a hobby that you may remember - slot car racing!  Believe it or not, slot car racing's still alive and well.  Introduce the classic racing hobby to your kids with this set from classic slot car maker Carrera.  They'll love assembling the track and readying the cars - and the Marvel Avengers theme should really pique their interest!  If this gift is a hit, this set is fully compatible with all the other Carrera slot car sets, so you can add cars and expand your track - the sky is the limit!


MariokartMario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS - If you asked me "what is the one racing video game I need?" the answer would definitely be one of the amazing Mario Kart series.  These go-kart racing games featuring characters from the Super Mario Brothers saga of games are innovative, addictive, and way too much fun.  This year, the latest in the series is Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS handheld.  For the first time, drivers explore new competitive kart possibilities, such as soaring through the skies or plunging to the depths of the sea. New courses, strategic new abilities and customizable karts bring the racing excitement to new heights.  This one's gonna be a hit!

XboxXbox 360 Holiday Bundle with Exclusive Amazon Holiday Bonus - And speaking of video games, if you're in the market for a new console, this is an unbeatable deal (and I should know, I just bought one myself!).  The Xbox 360 holiday bundle comes with the console, a 250gb hard drive (that's a lot of storage!), a wireless controller, headset, a free month of Xbox LIVE Gold, a free month of Hulu Plus, a free month of Epix, the full game "Skyrim" as a downloadable install, AND the great auto racing game Forza Motorsport 4.  The Amazon Bonus actually adds to this - giving you an a whopping 3 months of Xbox LIVE Gold, 5 free digital arcade games to download, and a $10 Amazon Instant Video credit.  It's a huge bundle, don't let this one pass by. 

ZoobZOOBMobile Car Designer - Feed the brains of your budding engineers with this building kit.  ZOOB is "The Moving, Mind-Building Modeling System" where the five basic shapes you use to build with connect to each other in a mind-blowing array of ways, allowing you to build amazingly complex structures.  This kit contains pieces to build a wild assortment of cars - the only limit is your imagination!  Adults, playing with this kit will make us jealous that we only had Erector sets as kids - though to be fair, I did love my Erector set!

CarsLEGO Disney's Cars - Flo's V8 Café - And of course, if you're looking for building and creative expression, the only name you really need to know is LEGO.  These guys consistently make incredible sets of imagination-expanding building blocks.  This one is for fans of the Disney-PIXAR Cars series.  It's a LEGO re-creation of Flo's V8 Café, but it's just one of many, many Cars-themed building sets.  Let your imagination run wild!

December 10, 2012

The 2013 Jetta Hybrid Adds Miles with Smiles

IMG_01232013 Jetta Hybrid: By Sue Mead Santa Fe, New Mexico: Introduced at the 2012 North American Auto Show, the updated four-door Jetta Hybrid is Volkswagen’s second hybrid offering, following the Touareg SUV, and it both looks and drives like a success. We recently drove the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid in the trendy high country of New Mexico and parked overnight at Santa Fe’s luxury-appointed Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado. The new Jetta Hybrid is most fuel-efficient car in this German automaker’s U.S. lineup, and gets up to 45 mpg. It will travel at speeds of up to 37/44 mph on electric power alone. The SE model starts at $27,785, including a $795 destination charge, while the SEL has a sticker price of $30,120; a base hybrid model, which is only available by special order, stickers at $25,790.

The Jetta Hybrid has modernized and sporty-practical styling as the other models in the Jetta lineup, has a narrow front grille and, by today’s big-badge standards, relatively modest “VW” logo in the center. The sedan’s overall profile looks lower, sleeker and coupe-ier than past Jettas, which have tended toward the boxy. A low front air dam, side skirts and an integrated spoiler help to lower the car’s drag to 0.28 – lower than a standard Jetta by 0.02. Fifteen-inch steel wheels, featuring a windmill-like design unique to the hybrid, are standard, with 16-inch and 17-inch alloys available on higher end models. Up-market Jetta hybrids also come with standard fog lights. Inside, Jetta hybrid is comfortable and somewhat spartanly-dressed.

Continue reading "The 2013 Jetta Hybrid Adds Miles with Smiles" »

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