Gifts to Give Your Car this Holiday

giftOur cars take a beating throughout the year — especially in winter. While you’re out getting gifts to spoil others this season, don’t forget that your car needs love too. We’ve put together a list of gift ideas for the vehicle (or vehicle lover) in your life.

1. All-Season Floor Mats

One of the worst things about driving in the winter is when snow and rain make their way inside your car. Not only will your floor end up soaked, often it stains and begins to grow mold. Rubber floor mats will protect your carpet from the weather, as well as any other spills that might occur.

2. New Tires

We often fail to check the condition of our tires until there is a serious problem. However, we have to seriously rely on our tires when driving in bad weather. As winter approaches, be sure to check the condition of your tires and replace them if the tread is too bare. Head into the snow with your best defense.

3. An Auto Detail

Sleet. Sludge. Salt. All of these things take a toll on your vehicle. If not properly taken care of, they could cause some serious damage. It’s especially inconvenient to perform a thorough cleaning yourself in the winter, so you might consider purchasing a professional detail.  At DPC, our detailing services include carpet vacuuming and shampooing, wheel and rim polishing, paint touch ups, and buffing.

4. New Windshield Wipers

Even if it never rains, windshield wipers only last six months to a year. Don’t wait until you’re squinting through a snowstorm to decide its time to replace yours. Your car deserves better than deteriorating bits of rubber, and so does its driver.

5.  Auto Care Kit

Of course, another great gift is the catch-all kit of odds and ends you’re bound to need at some point during your travels. This might include road flares or an empty gasoline container, or things to keep it clean like a new microfiber cloth and cleaning solution.

When you’re loading your car with gifts this holiday, don’t forget your vehicle may deserve a few of its own.

Havertown Annual Reindeer Romp

reindeer-306490_640This Sunday, December 14, Havertown streets will be filled with runners taking part in the 17th annual Reindeer Romp!

This 5k was started 17 years ago by local Havertown family the Lakes, in honor of their son Brandon who lost his fight with leukemia at the age of 3. All of the proceeds from the Reindeer Romp go to the American Cancer Society. Throughout its history, the Reindeer Romp has raised over $300,000.

Registration for the event is $25 for adults and $10 for children, and participants must register through the event website. It is expected to sell out and there won’t be registration on race day. Volunteers are also needed for set up and clean up. The race starts at 3 pm this Sunday at Oakmont Elementary School. It will take place rain, shine, or snow.

After the race, everyone is invited back to the Nolan Painting Offices for an awards ceremony. In addition to first, second, and third place awards in each category, Brandon Lake’s family gives an award called Brandon’s Cup to the fastest child runner.

The annual Reindeer Romp is a great, festive family event in Havertown. At this time of year most of the homes are decorated for the holidays, which makes running and walking through the streets very pleasant. Additionally, Santa Claus and Christmas carolers will be present.

For more information, check out the full article on Philly.com.

Black Friday Driving Tips

If you’re brave enough to tackle the shopping holiday of the year, then you 1) are probably insane and 2) are in need of some safe driving tips.

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First off, a fun fact —the name Black Friday originated in our very own Philadelphia, where it was originally used to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic on the day after Thanksgiving.

Now, I don’t blame you for putting your life in danger of anxious, overly-caffeinated shoppers running on nothing more than 0 hours of sleep and a belly full of turkey, because I have also participated in the madness. Who doesn’t love great deals and the not-so-subtle unwrapping of the holiday spirit in the form of bright lights and giant Christmas trees?

The truth is that the most terrifying part of Black Friday is the driving, especially those parking lots.  It’s hard not to sweat just thinking about the havoc.

That’s why we are bringing you Direct Paint & Collision’s Black Friday Driving Tips.

On the Road

  • Stay alert. Many other drivers are going off little to no sleep, so pay attention and drive defensively. Don’t position yourself near an erratic driver.

    Philly traffic Patch

    Photo Credit: Greater Philadelphia Patch

  • Put the phone down. Of course you want to use all your deal-hunting apps while simultaneously sending a text to your kids, but don’t do it. Distractions can wait.
  • Maintain a distance. You also might be tired yourself, so leave extra room between you and the car in front of you.

In the Parking Lot

  • Park at the side entrance. Many malls and bigger stores have side entrances that are less crowded. It will be easier to get in and out without running into problems.
  • Walk off the side dishes. Don’t wait around for the best spot in the parking lot. Parking a little farther away may mean more walking, but the spots will be less crowded and easier to manage.
  • Use your headlights. Even during the daytime, keeping your headlights on reduces your crash risk.

Be safe and take our advice. You could just avoid the day altogether and buy yourself (or your loved ones) a new auto paint job from Direct Paint.

If you do end up with a Black Friday accident, call Direct Paint & Collision.

Protect Yourself from Drunk Drivers this Holiday Season

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s no secret that drunk driving becomes a big issue beginning the night before Thanksgiving and ending on New Years Day. So much traveling and an abundance of holiday parties often leads to more drivers on the road who may have had one too many drinks. While police presence is usually puffed up during these times, they may not necessarily be able to catch all of those drivers before you encounter one.

In this post, we’d like to help you detect drunk drivers before it’s too late and provide some tips on how to avoid them. Of course, you should call the police and report the driver as soon as you are out of harm’s way.

Drunk Driver Warning Signs

While on the road, beware of drivers exhibiting the following behaviors:

  • Driving too slow or too fast for conditions
  • Swerving and drifting between traffic lanes
  • Driving without headlights on at night
  • Accelerating and braking abruptly
  • Reacting too slowly to traffic signals

Preventative Actions You Can Take

Of course, the best action you take is to avoid the roads at night and especially on holidays. However, that’s not always plausible. If you do have to drive on a big drinking night, follow these tips:

  • Stay to the right of your lane. Drunk drivers often have difficulty staying within their lane. When they are in opposing traffic, they could very well drift to your side of the road. Leaving a little breathing room could save you from collision.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Just because a driver has a turn signal on doesn’t necessarily mean they will turn, in that direction, at the next cross street. It’s hard to anticipate a drunk driver’s actions, so it’s always better for you to err on the side of caution.
  • Avoid rural roads. Country roads are often dimly lit and winding, making for poor visibility. This is exactly what you don’t want when potentially sharing the road with drunk drivers. Try to stick to major roadways.

The holidays are a time for celebration, so we hope this information allows you to enjoy them safely. At Direct Paint & Collision, we’re wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

PennDOT Releases ‘Winter Operations’ Video for Safe Driving

As you’ve probably already noticed, winter is well on its way. With temperatures quickly dropping, it won’t be long until we’re making our daily commutes on powdered roads. That being said, PennDOT recently released a video to educate PA drivers about their work during winter maintenance and provide some safe driving tips. You can find that video embedded in this post.

Last winter, PennDOT used more than 1.2 million tons of salt on PA roads. So far, they’ve stocked 639,000 tons and are still accepting deliveries. Motorists are able to check the conditions of roads, traffic alerts, and weather forecasts at www.511PA.com 24 hours a day.

We’ve summarized some of PennDOT’s most important winter safety tips as follows:

  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle complete with water, blanket, phone charger, first aid supplies, and small shovel.
  • Keep in mind that major roadways will receive the most resources in major winter storms. Smaller roads may have more accumulation.
  • Slow down and increase following distance on icy or snowy roads. Last year, there were 427 crashes in winter conditions caused by aggressive driving behavior.

For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists, visit the department’s “Ready for Winter” website at www.dot.state.pa.us/winter.

The Most Stolen Cars in Philly [Infographic]

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds. The question is, could the car you drive affect your chances of having your car stolen?

According to the Bureau’s Hot Wheels report, it could. The Bureau recently released its annual report and found that the most nationally stolen car was the Honda Accord, with almost 54,000 total thefts in 2013.

The Bureau released lists for each state, and the following infographic depicts the most stolen cars in Pennsylvania.

Stolen-Cars-in-Philly

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Please note that this infographic covers all of PA, but Philly experiences the highest level of vehicle theft. In fact, according to watchyourcar.org, the theft rate in Philadelphia is 6 times more than the state’s theft rate.

Here in Delaware County in 2013, 690 of 401,714 registered vehicles were reported stolen.

Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe

Having your car stolen is far from fun, and taking a few extra precautions could help you.

Follow the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s layered approach to keeping your vehicle safe.

1) Use common sense. Lock your car and take your keys with you. Close your windows and park in a well-lit area. Even if you’ll just be gone for a few minutes, don’t take any chances.

2) Use a warning device. Most cars come with a visible or audible device that warns of thieves. This may include audible alarms, brake locks, wheel locks, theft deterrent decals, and more.

3) Use an immobilizing device. Many new cars have a device which prevents thieve from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring your vehicle. These devices may come in the form of smart keys, kill switches, starter disablers, wireless authentication, and more.

4) Use a tracking device. A tracking device can emit a signal directly to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. This is a very effective way to help authorities recover stolen vehicles.

Have you had any experiences having your car stolen? What tips can you share with others?

 

Direct Paint Receives a Best of Delco Award

The Delco Times recently named Direct Paint and Collision as a recipient of its 2014 Best of Delco Awards for our collision repair services. We are very proud of this accomplishment, and would like to thank the Delco Times for acknowledging our commitment to quality service. We hope to make you proud!

At Direct Paint and Collision, we have over 30 years of auto body experience and make the collision repair process as simple as possible. We offer towing and rental cars in addition to repairs so we’re able to support our customers beginning at the moment of an accident. If you’re in need of a tow or repair in the tri-state area, be sure to contact us!

 

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Direct Paint Sponsors the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation

296032_10150490259033858_1540786339_nWe’ve recently become a sponsor to a very worthy, local cause. The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, located in Havertown, is a non-profit dedicated to conquering ovarian cancer in tribute of a strong woman who was lost to this disease in May, 2000.

This foundation keeps Sandy’s memory alive, while educating other women, medical students, as well as the general public about the signs and symptoms in order to catch the cancer in its earliest stages. The foundation also provides a support system for those who already diagnosed.

Get involved!

If you’d like to get involved with the cause, you can make donations, volunteer, or partake in organized campaigns. You can find all of this information on the website. There are also two upcoming events in the area you might enjoy.

1. Cancer Awareness Night with the Flyers

A portion of ticket sales for the October 14th Flyers game will benefit SROCF when you purchase using the link on their website. Tickets are only $55.

2. Shopping Benefit at J. Crew and Crew Cuts (King of Prussia Mall)

On November 13th, you can shop while being charitable. Between 4pm and 8pm, SROCF supporters will receive 20% purchases of $150 or more. You must RSVP to this event. More information here.

Check out the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation Facebook to keep up with events!

Haverford Township Day 2014

102_3729Last Saturday (September 27, 2014) was Haverford Township Day, and Direct Paint & Collision was there partaking in the festivities. This year’s theme was “Blazing New Trails,” in recognition of the newly developed trail network for both pedestrians and bicyclists.

This year’s Parade Grand Marshall was Rich Kerr, co-founder of Friends of Haverford Trails. This group was formed in 2011 to improve street safety and further trail opportunities within the township.

In addition to the annual parade, other events included free skating at Skatium, rides, face painting, jugglers, magicians, live music, and the Haverford Township 5k race. We had a great time and hope you did too!

Check out our gallery below:

Dandelion a Possible Substitute for Tire Rubber?

dandelions-66719_640The tire industry uses up two-thirds of the world’s rubber supply, and it depends on very few countries in Southeast Asia to grow the rubber tree for raw materials. A Dutch biologist believes she and her team may have found a sustainable alternative to rubber — dandelion.

Dandelion-based rubber would give the tire industry a better handle on rubber supplies. According to an MSN article, brands like Bridgestone and Continental are putting millions into this research.

Dandelion Tires?

The taproot of a type of dandelion native to Kazakhstan is said to produce a fluid that contains tire-grade rubber particles. Unlike tropical rubber trees, dandelions are a pretty tough plant. As anyone who’s ever put up a strong fight with these weeds knows, they grow in any soil and climate. Although rubber trees originated in South America, a fungus made it impossible for them to be reestablished there. Some scientists worry that the same thing could happen in Southeast Asia.

Although it’s doubtful dandelions will ever fully replace rubber trees, they could still be an excellent, natural substitute. Should fungus or any other force threaten rubber tree supplies or rubber cost, U.S. companies would be able to cheaply produce this substitute right here at home.

How do you feel about dandelion tires? We want to know!