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Automotive

How to choose the right mechanic

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If your car needs a tune-up, it can be difficult to find a mechanic you trust. Whether you turn to a dealership, private mechanic, or franchised repair shop, you should inquire about the following:

• Warranty options
• Available automotive equipment
• Hours of operation
• Services offered
• Hourly rates
• Environmental practices
• Employee training and qualifications

Additionally, it’s a good idea to read customer reviews to see if there are any complaints about the shop.

Whether you speak directly with the mechanic or a member of the front desk staff, make sure they take the time to clearly explain what’s going on with your vehicle. It’s a good sign if they can tell you which repairs must be done immediately and which ones can wait. If the person you speak with can’t be bothered to explain everything to you in detail, you may want to try another shop.


Is your vehicle still under warranty?
Even if your car is still under warranty, you can go to any mechanic for basic maintenance tasks like oil changes. Just make sure you follow the standards outlined in your owner’s manual. However, keep in mind that only dealerships can honor warranties. They’re also the most knowledgeable about mechanical issues and recalls that could affect the make and model of your specific vehicle.

Even if you trust your mechanic, you may be better off hiring a specialist to repair your windshield, muffler, transmission or air conditioning.

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Automotive

How green are electric vehicles?

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Although purchasing an electric car is generally associated with being environmentally friendly, some consumers doubt it. Here are some facts to set the record straight.

Complex calculation
Fuel consumption alone doesn’t define a car’s environmental impact. In fact, the car’s entire life cycle must be considered, from the extraction of materials used in its manufacture to the car’s ultimate disposal.

The amount of energy and resources required to manufacture the vehicle and to power it is an essential ecological consideration. Moreover, the vehicle’s weight, mileage, and recyclability must also be considered.

Striking a balance
Studies show that manufacturing electric vehicles creates more pollution than manufacturing gasoline-powered cars. However, once the car reaches a specific mileage, this disadvantage gets canceled out. This is especially true in countries, states, and provinces that produce and use renewable energy from such sources as solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams.


The most ecological choice
Although not a cure-all as some would describe them, electric cars are a more climate-friendly option than conventional vehicles. That said, you can help reduce your environmental impact by making lifestyle choices like carpooling and using public transit whenever possible.

 

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Car accessories: how to choose a cargo carrier

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Do your hobbies require you to carry around bulky equipment like bikes, kayaks, or camping gear? Are you looking for a cargo accessory you can install on your vehicle? Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one.

• Roof racks allow you to carry luggage and large objects of various shapes and sizes. They’re the ideal choice if you enjoy doing several activities. Some models are easy to install yourself, while others require specific tools and professional knowledge.

Once you’ve chosen a model, you must purchase straps, hooks, and bungees to secure your cargo. Some roof racks come with integrated fastening systems specifically designed for kayaks, snowboards, and skis.

• Roof boxes are great for protecting your belongings from the rain and snow. They come in various sizes and can accommodate large equipment. However, remember that roof boxes must be installed on roof bars.


Consult your car’s user manual to determine the maximum weight capacity. The dimensions of the roof box and the direction it opens are equally important.

• Bike racks come in all shapes and sizes. However, you should choose one that’s easy to install and is compatible with your vehicle. For instance, bike racks that sit on the roof of your car require roof bars. Some vehicles come with roof bars already installed, while others require after-market installation. You can also find bike racks and cargo carriers that attach to your car’s trailer hitch, so you don’t have to worry about vertical clearance.

Visit your local auto parts store to see these accessories up close before making your choice.

 

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Autonomous car classifications

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Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Legislators are seeking to modernize laws to regulate this new reality. Some have adopted a classification system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Here is a summary of the six-tier system.

• Level 0 cars have limited driving support functions like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, and lane departure warning. Drivers must constantly supervise these support features and perform all driving tasks like steering, braking, and accelerating.

• Level 1 and 2 cars are equipped with advanced steering and/or braking and accelerating supports like lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The first tier may have one of these functions, while the second tier can include both functions simultaneously.

• Level 3 vehicles are at the level of autonomy that legislators are more concerned with regulating. Drivers must be prepared to assume control if the system can’t execute the task. However, the car does most of the driving.


• Level 4 and 5 cars are fully autonomous. They can perform all driving tasks without human intervention, so the steering wheel and pedals are unnecessary. The autonomy in Level 4 cars is limited to certain conditions. Level 5 vehicles offer complete and unconditional driving automation, regardless of the location and road conditions.

Fully autonomous cars are still being tested in many parts of the world. They aren’t yet available on the consumer market.

 

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6 advantages of driving an electric vehicle

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are praised for being eco-friendly. However, they have more going for them than simply being good for the environment. Here are six good reasons to invest in an electric car.

1. Innovative technology
EVs are equipped with the latest safety features and entertainment technologies. They also incorporate eco-friendly materials.

2. Superior performance
Electric cars offer instant torque, which makes it easy to accelerate and safely pass other motorists. Moreover, EVs have a lower center of gravity than conventional vehicles, making them more stable and less likely to roll over.

3. Convenient perks
If you drive an EV, you’ll gain priority access to reserved lanes and parking lots. This can save you a considerable amount of time and make it easier to find parking.


4. Easy charging
Electric cars don’t run on gas. Therefore, you don’t need to stop at a gas station to refuel. You can simply recharge your vehicle at home or at a charging station on the road.

5. Low maintenance
Electric motors undergo less wear and tear than gasoline engines. Additionally, electric engines have fewer moving parts than conventional ones and don’t require as much maintenance.

6. Superior reliability
Electric engines don’t stall. This is partly due to not having a clutch. Therefore, if you live in a cold climate, you don’t have to worry about your vehicle not starting in cold temperatures.

To schedule a test drive, contact an EV dealer near you.

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5 windshield wiper tips

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Your windshield wipers allow you to see when driving in rainy or dirty conditions. Here are a few tips for maintaining your wiper blades.

1. Don’t use your wipers on a dry windshield. This can cause the rubber to prematurely wear.

2. Regularly clean your wiper blades with a cloth soaked in windshield washer fluid to keep them in good condition.

3. Don’t allow dirt to accumulate on your windshield. This can damage your wiper blades. Make sure you wash your windshield often, especially after driving on muddy roads.


4. Replace your windshield wipers every six months to ensure optimal visibility when driving.

5. Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear on your wiper blades to avoid unpleasant surprises on the road. If your wipers squeak, chatter, skip, smear or streak, change them immediately. Additionally, if you feel cracks or tears along the rubber part of the blade, it’s time for a new set of wipers.

Do you need new wiper blades? Visit your local auto parts retailer to find the model you need.

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FAQs about electric vehicles

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Do you want to buy an electric vehicle (EV) but still have some concerns? Here are the answers to four of the most frequently asked questions about them.

1. What options are there?
EVs run exclusively on electricity and must be plugged into an outlet to recharge. Plug-in hybrids have combustion engines, and extended-range EVs have gasoline generators. Conventional hybrid vehicles have gasoline engines and cannot be plugged in.

2. How do you charge an EV?
You can charge an electric car at home, work, or on the go. However, the type of charging station you choose will dictate how fast your vehicle will charge.

3. Are EVs expensive?
Electric cars cost more than their gasoline-powered counterparts. However, you can take advantage of government rebates to offset the cost. Additionally, EVs require less maintenance and have lower insurance premiums than conventional vehicles.


4. How far can you drive in an EV?
EVs can easily meet the daily driving needs of most people. However, if you’re taking a long-distance trip, it’s a good idea to find out if there are roadside charging stations along the way.

If you have more questions about EVs, visit a dealer in your area.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

May
21
Sat
9:00 am Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Kids’ Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
May 21 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Kids' Fishing Tournament @ Shenandoah River State Park
Held in the picnic area by the river. 2 prize categories: biggest catch and most unique catch Children ages 15 years and younger are eligible to compete Check in with the ranger at Shelter 1[...]
10:00 am Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Birds of the Woods and Fields @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail Join Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalist Margaret Wester and explore the habitat of birds and the woodland wonders utilized for their survival. Discover the diverse stories of the Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Wood[...]
11:00 am National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 21 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Kids to Parks Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Children’s Discovery Area This National Kids to Parks Day, join us for fun-filled activities and music at our interactive discovery stations. Kids, pick up a scavenger hunt brochure and hike on the Track Trail or[...]
May
22
Sun
2:00 pm Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Common Scents: Historic Perfume ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 2:00 pm – May 23 @ 4:00 pm
Common Scents: Historic Perfume Making Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Have you ever wondered how to harvest the fragrance of a flower or capture the irresistible aroma of sandalwood? Then this hands-on workshop is for you! Join us and learn how people in[...]
5:00 pm Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
Let’s Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
May 22 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Let's Come Together @ DoubleTree by Hilton
A Night of Prayer and Worship, All are Welcome Prayers led by Pastor John Miller of Abundant Life Church and other Local Pastors DoubleTree by Hilton 111 Hospitality Dr. Front Royal, VA Sunday, May 22[...]
May
25
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 25 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
May
28
Sat
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]