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Must-haves for your summer road trip

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Summer is the perfect time to jump in your car and hit the open road. But even for the most spontaneous of road trips, it’s essential that your car is properly stocked for the journey. Here are some essential things you’ll need to bring along.

Food and water
Put some sandwiches, veggies, fruit and other snacks in a cooler, along with plenty of water. This will spare you from shelling out for food during the drive. Plus, such provisions may prove indispensable if your car breaks down or you get stuck in traffic.

Sunscreen

If you’re cruising in the sun for hours, you risk getting a sunburn. Put some sunscreen on before heading out and bring the bottle with you in the car in case you need to reapply.

A map
Your phone and GPS aren’t infallible. Plus, these devices might lose their signal or die unexpectedly. Having a real map on hand is a good idea.

A flashlight
If you end up on the side of the road with car problems at night, a flashlight may just save the day. It can also come in handy in a number of other circumstances such as unpacking the car at night or taking a roadside wee in the dark.

A first aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit is a must. Essential items include Band-Aids, tweezers, hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, gauze, scissors, adhesive tape and a saline solution (for eye washing and cleaning wounds).

Finally, don’t forget to bring items to keep you and your passengers entertained. Think about bringing along music, audiobooks, games and media players. You want to ensure that you and your companions have a fun and memorable trip.

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Automotive

The check engine light: when to be worried

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Even if you take good care of your car, eventually its components will wear out. Thankfully, the check engine light will let you know if there’s a problem. If this light illuminates on your dashboard, it may indicate a minor issue or be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s what you should do if the check engine light comes on.

If the light is on
If you’re cruising along and the check engine light suddenly comes on, you can keep going till you arrive at your destination. Once you park your vehicle, inspect the cap on your gas tank. A common cause of the check engine light illuminating is a loose cap.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to make an appointment with a mechanic and get your car inspected. The check engine light illuminating sometimes indicates that one or more of your engine’s components needs to be replaced.

If the light is blinking
A blinking light indicates a problem that needs to be fixed immediately and that could damage your car if you keep driving. Stop as soon as you can find a safe spot to pull over and call a towing service to get your car to a garage. A mechanic can identify the problem and make the necessary repairs to ensure your safety and the proper functioning of the vehicle. Note that in some cars a red light versus a yellow or orange one will indicate a problem that requires immediate attention.

If the check engine light is on, be sure to bring your car to a mechanic for an inspection. Small problems can snowball into big ones when you don’t take the appropriate measures.

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Automotive

What every driver should know about brake maintenance

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When was the last time you had your brakes inspected? Here’s what you need to know about brake maintenance and how to tell if you should get yours checked by a professional.

Brake inspection schedule
There’s no hard and fast rule regarding how often you should get your brakes checked. In fact, scheduled maintenance for your brakes is largely influenced by your driving habits.

Aggressive drivers, especially those who make repeated abrupt stops, tend to put more strain on their brakes than those who handle their cars more gently. Similarly, driving around the city is more demanding than driving on the highway.

The bottom line is that the more you use your brakes, the more often you should get them inspected.

To be on the safe side, have someone check your brakes at least twice a year or every 12,000 miles, whichever one comes first. Regular inspections are the best way to stay safe on the road.

Red flags to watch out for
If your brakes are faulty, there are a number of possible indicators that this is the case. In a scenario in which the discs or pads are worn out, warped or not installed properly, or in which the brake fluid has oxidized, you’ll likely notice one or more of the following signs:

• The braking distance has increased
• The brake pedal has either a loose or stiff feel
• The brake pedal vibrates when you engage it
• The brakes are noisy
• The car drifts when the brake’s engaged
• The brake warning light is on

If you notice even just one these signs, immediately make an appointment with a mechanic. When it comes to your brakes, veering on the side of caution is always best.

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Automotive

5 things to check on your car before your next road trip

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Are you planning to go on a road trip this summer? If so, it’s important to ensure that your car is in peak condition before you head out. Here are five things to check.

1. Lights. Before you hit the road, make sure all your lights work properly. Inspect your headlights, high beams, brake lights and hazards. Repair or replace them as needed.

2. Wipers. You can count on your windshield getting grimy while you’re on the highway. Plus, you never know when a rainstorm is going to strike. Test your wipers before heading out and make sure you have plenty of wiper fluid.

3. Tires. Check the air pressure in your tires. You should also inspect their overall condition and look out for any signs of damage or deterioration. Be sure to do the same for your spare.

4. Fluids. Make sure you have enough oil, coolant and brake fluid before you leave. Otherwise, you risk having your car break down en route.

5. Brakes. Ensure that your brake pads are in good condition. If they’re worn, it isn’t safe to operate your car. While you’re at it, be sure to also check that your handbrake is working well.

If you’re planning on making a multi-day trip, it’s best to take your car in for a tune-up before you leave. A mechanic will help you make certain that your car is in top shape and primed for the journey ahead.

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Meet Tony Partlow of Tony’s Tires

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Tony Partlow waves as we leave Tony's Tires. Photo and Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Tony’s Tires is a locally owned tire installation and repair shop located in Front Royal, Virginia. Services offered include New Tire Sales and Installation, Tire repairs (when safe to do so), vehicle repairs related to tires and tire wear, TPMS installation and Computerized Wheel Balancing using state of the art Hunter Road Force Touch equipment.

They offer all major tire brands, including Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, Continental, Falken, Hankook, Yokohoma and many more. Their distributors enable them to get virtually any tire needed within just 24 hours. They also offer a selection of wheels from various manufacturers including Advanti, Konig, Modular Society, Mickey Thompson and more.

Tony’s Tires is located at 11 E. 7th Street in Front Royal, Virginia. Their telephone number is 540-551-0922. http://www.tonystiresfrontroyal.com/

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Automotive

2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited

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This 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited, loaded leather, sunroof, heated seats, news tires, warranty.

In-house financing available with approved income and $1500 down payment.

Contact Jamie at Elite Auto Sales 540-631-7230, or stop by the lot at 1372 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA.

Click here to visit their website.

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Automotive

2010 Toyota RAV4 4×4 Limited

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This 2010 Toyota RAV4 4×4 Limited model has leather, sunroof, backup camera and our warranty.

  • Superb power and fuel economy from V6
  • Huge cargo space with flat load floor
  • Roomy second-row seating
  • Balanced ride and handling
  • Solid build quality
  • Strong crash test scores

In-house financing available with approved income and $2000 down

Contact Jamie at Elite Auto Sales 540-631-7230, or stop by the lot at 1372 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA.

Click here to visit their website.

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Upcoming Events

Jul
22
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Jul 22 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
Jul
23
Tue
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Jul 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. Tuesdays: 1:30pm – 4:00pm, July 9th – 30th. Classes will be held in our upstairs studio at 205[...]
Jul
26
Fri
6:30 pm Pour Me Another Fluid Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Pour Me Another Fluid Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Jul 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Pour Me Another Fluid Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Two classes in July – the 18th and 26th at 6:30pm. Pre-Registration is a must! Pour Me Another is an actual class. You will learn the ins and outs of paint pouring and go home[...]
Jul
27
Sat
10:00 am Build a Whimsical Clay House @ Explore Art & Clay
Build a Whimsical Clay House @ Explore Art & Clay
Jul 27 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Build a Whimsical Clay House @ Explore Art & Clay
In this clay workshop you will make a whimsical house, using several decorating techniques to achieve textures, that you can later highlight with color. Perfect for beginners and potters alike. Choose to make it a[...]
3:00 pm Teacher Classroom Door Hanger @ Strokes of Creativity
Teacher Classroom Door Hanger @ Strokes of Creativity
Jul 27 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Teacher Classroom Door Hanger @ Strokes of Creativity
Welcome in the new school year with a Personalized Classroom Door Hanger! Make your choice of a pencil, bus, apple or cloud sign. Must preregister with deposit of $10 and the choice of shape by[...]
Jul
28
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12:00 pm Crop With Us @ Strokes of Creativity
Crop With Us @ Strokes of Creativity
Jul 28 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Crop With Us @ Strokes of Creativity
Come Crop With Us Sunday, July 28, 12 noon to 5:00 pm. Receive a gift for pre-registering and attending. $15 No refunds. Feel free to bring your own snacks or drinks!
Jul
29
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Jul 29 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
10:00 am Let’s Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Let’s Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Jul 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Let's Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Monday July 29th – Wednesday July 31st – Friday August 2nd 10:00 AM -12:30 PM Ages: 6-9 $100 per student: Includes an art supply kit and snack & drink Day One: Lines, lines, they go[...]
Jul
30
Tue
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Jul 30 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing 1 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. Tuesdays: 1:30pm – 4:00pm, July 9th – 30th. Classes will be held in our upstairs studio at 205[...]
Jul
31
Wed
10:00 am Let’s Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Let’s Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Jul 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Let's Explore Art @ Strokes of Creativity
Monday July 29th – Wednesday July 31st – Friday August 2nd 10:00 AM -12:30 PM Ages: 6-9 $100 per student: Includes an art supply kit and snack & drink Day One: Lines, lines, they go[...]