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February 2009

February 27, 2009

Choose the Right Auto Mechanic

Auto Mechanic The following tips, from the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) — the group that tests and certifies automotive technicians — will help you choose wisely among the many automotive repair facilities.

  • Start shopping for a repair facility before you need one.
  • Ask your friends and associates for their recommendations; consult local consumer groups.
  • Arrange for alternate transportation in advance so you will not feel forced to choose a shop based solely on location.
  • Look for a neat, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays.
  • Look for a courteous staff, with a service consultant or technicians willing to answer your questions.
  • Look for policies regarding estimated repair costs, diagnostic fees, guarantees, acceptable methods of payment, etc.
  • Ask if the repair facility specializes or if it usually handles your type of repair work.
  • Look for signs of professionalism in the customer service area such as civic, community, or customer service awards.
  • Look for evidence of qualified technicians: trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work, and certification by ASE indicate the presence of professional, trained technicians.
  • Reward good service with repeat business and customer loyalty.

 Click here for more auto advice and tips from RTM.

February 26, 2009

Battling Colds on the Road

Traveling While Sick Doesn't it feel like you have the worst luck sometimes? You're feeling healthy, strong and ready for your next business trip. You make it through the long flight and the first day of meetings. And then you wake up the next morning, congested, coughing and sneezing. Your head is pounding and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed.

Being sick while traveling is the worst, so obviously, you should do everything you can to to avoid it. The best way to do this is to stick to your normal routine. Try your hardest to stick to your same diet and sleep routine. When traveling in busy places it's also important to wash your hands often, keep distance possible between you and the person sitting next to you on the plane, and if you are sick dispose properly of tissues. It's all stuff we learned growing up, and just because you are traveling there is no excuse to slack off on healthy habits.

Visit RTM for more healthy travel tips.

February 25, 2009

How Clean is the Air in Your Car?

Breath-clean-header We never think of our vehicles as having anything but clean air in the passenger compartment, but studies have proven that the air in the cabin, as it’s called, can be worse than the air outside due to mold, mildew and other contaminants. So what are we to do?

Have your cabin air filter changed. During the hot summer months, contaminants, such as pollen, dust, mold spores and smog, can easily enter a vehicle's passenger compartment through the air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, making the air in the car six times dirtier than the air outside.

However, most people have never heard of a cabin air filter or don't know if their vehicle is has one. Make sure you refer to their owners' manuals for this information, so you can have a safe and healthy drive.

Click here for more car care tips on RTM.

February 24, 2009

Visit Taos, New Mexico for a Summer of Love

Taos, New Mexico As winter winds down, everyone starts to wonder about this year’s vacation. Well how about visiting Taos, New Mexico. Not only is this thriving, mountainous arts community steeped in Spanish and Native American history, making it full of interesting and relatively inexpensive things to do and see any time of the year, but this summer it has heightened travel caché: From May through September, the town is offering a very special, once-in-a-lifetime event -- The Taos Summer of Love 2009.


And due to the unfortunate state of the economy, most people’s pocketbooks are leaner, but stress levels are at an all-time high. However, that doesn't mean you have to to blow off a warm-weather holiday this year; if anything, it’s more important than ever to get away. Taos provides a warm weather getaway that will satisfy you and your budget.


Click here for more information about visiting Taos and The Taos Summer of Love 2009.

February 23, 2009

Basic Safety for Teen Drivers

Basicsafety_h If you are a parent trying to teach your teen how to drive it’s important to start with the basics. They may seem like obvious rules of the road but you must remind your teen over and over of the safety basics.

  • Wear a seat belt. Even if you're just driving up the street to pick up your friend, you should always wear your seat belt. Statistics show that seatbelts save lives - don't gamble with yours.
  • Follow the speed limit. Speeding reduces the time you have to avoid a crash and increases the braking distance you'll need to stop a vehicle safely. So always obey the speed limit and drive defensively.
  • Don't drink and drive. Drinking or using drugs and then driving is a recipe for disaster - alcohol is involved in almost half of all motor vehicle crashes that kill teens.

Visit RTM for more important rules of the road to teach your teen.

February 19, 2009

Avoiding Vehicle Attacks

Women in Car According to a national crime victimization survey report titled, "Violence Against Women," conducted and reported by Ronet Bachman, Ph.D., with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., 43 percent of the attacks on women were by strangers and occurred outside the home.

Included in the extensive survey are the following statistics:

  • 37 percent of all attacks against women occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight, when most women leave work, are on their way out for an evening or are on their way home.
  • 53 percent of all attacks occur near home, including in private garages. This figure also includes "follow-homes."
  • 36 percent of victimization's occur in parking garages.
  • 51 percent occur in open or public areas, such as parks.
  • Women who work or live in cities are considerably more vulnerable than those in rural areas.
  • 64 percent of all rapists used guns.

 For more safety tips visit RTM.

Stay Warm While Traveling

Shoulder Wrap Are you freezing while your co-driver is warm? Do traveling temperatures leave you feeling a bit chilly? If a sweater seems like just a little too much for you, the causal shoulder wrap might just do the trick. The lightweight, warm wrap made from washable, acrylic knit is a simple way to add a bit of warmth whether on an airplane or taking a brisk stroll. ($39) Find it here.

For more great travel products visit RTM.

February 18, 2009

Repairing Windshield Damage

Windshield Damage With pothole season comes window damage (i.e., chips, shatters, complete replacement). Here are some important facts that drivers should be aware of in the event that they need their windshield repaired or replaced:

There are four elements of a quality windshield replacement.
A professional technician, the right glass, the right adhesive and a warranty.

Not all auto replacement glass is the same.
A properly fitted windshield reduces the likelihood of wind noise, leakage and appearance problems.

Always ensure the technician who worked on your vehicle clearly defines the safe drive-away time.
This information should be obtained as part of written instructions to the owner, which can include pre-inspection results and the type of glass, primers and urethanes used.

For more auto related tips visit RTM’s advice and tips section.

February 17, 2009

Lost & Found: What Happens to Lost Luggage

Lost_luggage_2Traveling can be stressful enough when you have your bags with you so lost luggage can create a vacation nightmare. Even if you've never lost a bag before doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared.

Airlines around the globe mishandled about 1 percent of the 3 billion bags checked last year. Airlines in the U.S. alone lost 10,000 pieces of luggage a day. Although airlines claim to return roughly 98% of lost luggage within a few hours to a few days, it makes traveling, and more importantly, enjoying your vacation, difficult.

What should you do when your luggage is lost?

Read some expert advice on avoiding and recovering lost luggage. 

February 16, 2009

Reducing Carbon Emissions on the Road

Green-travel You don’t have to own a hybrid to be interested in protecting the earth from dangerous greenhouse gases. And if you are someone who feels there isn’t a hybrid available to suit your lifestyle, there are alternative options to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Carbon Offset Programs — Many programs like MyClimate offer services that allow users to calculate their personal, carbon emissions – based on automotive transportation, flights and energy consumption. Calculate yours and see where changes can be made.

Traveling Green — When traveling, consider eco lodge options, those that use green products, generate their own power and specialize in sustainable, responsible tourism.

On the Road — Headed for a road trip? An often overlooked option is a hybrid car rental; ask the rental company if they have hybrid options. Stuck with the car you’ve got? You can still do your part by carpooling – an efficient way to save fuel, reduce carbon emissions and relieve traffic congestion.

Learn more about offsetting your carbon emissions.