Three Unforgettable Indiana Road Trips

Indiana is proud to call itself the “Crossroads of America,” and it makes perfect sense. This state is home to some quintessential drives, meaning that there are tons of Indiana road trips just waiting to be taken. Whether you’re starting up north near Tom Naquin Hub or down south, you won’t be disappointed with any of these Hoosier State journeys.

Whether you’re starting up north near Tom Naquin Hub or down south, you won’t be disappointed with any of these Hoosier State journeys. Read more on the Tom Naquin Auto blog!
Where will you drive to this summer?

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory

If you like plants and flowers, you’ll love a visit to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in Fort Wayne. This conservatory has multiple themed gardens, from Tropical to Desert, showcasing beautiful, colorful plants from varying climates.

Marengo Cave

Just outside of Hoosier National Forest, you can find a national landmark called Marengo Cave. This underground getaway stretches for five miles and showcases the curious wonders of the depths of nature. After your cave tour, kids can partake in the Crawl maze or everyone can head out for a canoeing trip at Cave Country Canoes.

Indiana Dunes

If you’re driving through southern Indiana, it may be hard to believe that just a few hours north you can find some of the most welcoming, sandy corners of the country. Indiana Dunes is a great place to take in the warm spring nature by hiking or swimming, and the area is also full of delicious restaurants so you can fill up on a good meal after your extended journey.

Easy Car Maintenance Tips

Did you know that the average American spends over 17,000 minutes a year in their car? At that rate, your vehicle is practically like a second home, so it’s only natural that you should take care of it as best as you can. These car maintenance tips will help you keep your vehicle looking and performing at its best. And when it’s time for the more serious maintenance, simply bring your car to Tom Naquin Hub and let our service department get your car in great shape.

Allow us to offer you car maintenance tips will help you keep your vehicle looking and performing at its best.
For any urgent service needs, see the folks at Tom Naquin Automotive!

Tire pressure

Your tire pressure will fluctuate with time, especially if you live in an area with frequent temperature changes. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your tire pressure every other week to make sure each one is at its recommended PSI. This habit ensures that your tires wear evenly, last longer, and get you the best mileage.

Wiper blades

Nothing says spring driving like a trek through a rain shower. Make sure you have the best visibility possible by replacing your wiper blades. If you’ve noticed any wear, squeaking sounds, or streaks left behind on your windshield, replace the blades as soon as you can.

Exterior care

The winter season is usually rough on vehicles. The road salt and other debris left behind can cake onto a vehicle’s exterior and cause corrosion or rusting if it’s not washed off promptly. Give your car a good rinse and then apply a protective wax to keep the paint job pristine. This will protect your vehicle from exterior damage and will make it shine so you can feel a sense of pride every time you head out on the road.

Celebrating Earth Days: Going Green

Earth Day was officially established in 1970, and it occurs every year on April 22nd. It is celebrated in more than 193 countries – making it one of the most popular holidays – and many are sure to do a little something extra to give back to Mother Nature. Read on to learn more about celebrating Earth Day.

According to inhabitat, one of the best things you can do to help the environment is carpool or drive during non-busy hours. Ride sharing is a great way to reduce the number of cars on the road, which eliminates the possibility of gridlock and therefore lowers emissions. Driving during non-peak times to avoid rush hour is also a way to avoid getting stuck in traffic, which is also a major source of pollution.

Next, take some time to recycle e-waste. This refers to old cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices that may be cluttering up your closet or garage. Many electronics have small amounts of precious metals and other rare materials that can easily be recycled for future parts. Work with neighbors and friends to collect as much e-waste as possible, and locate your nearest depository and recycling facility.

Finally, plant a garden this spring! Gardens are a great way to get fresh produce and they also reduce the demand on agriculture and transportation. You don’t have to have acres to make a difference, just start with herbs and easy-to-grow vegetables. You may even save some money by growing the basics in your back yard or on your windowsill. At Tom Naquin, we can’t wait to celebrate Earth Day!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car

Now that the snow is finally starting to melt away, it’s time for traditional spring cleaning. What better time to clean than when nature itself is creating its own fresh start? This year, make spring cleaning about more than just your household. Follow these spring cleaning tips for your car to give your vehicle a like-new makeover.

Get Into the Tiny Spaces

Anything worth doing is worth doing right, which is why you shouldn’t neglect the nooks and crannies; all you need to reach them are the right tools. Use a foam paint brush from a craft store to dust between vents, and then wrap a rag around a screw driver to scrub and scrape away dirt in tiny spaces.

Gain a New Perspective

Your windshield probably doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves, especially since it’s responsible for your clear, safe vision when driving. Give it a wipe down with some glass cleaner, and then top that off with Rain-X. Replace your blades, or if they don’t need it quite yet, wipe them down with rubbing alcohol for streak-free wipers.

Pressure Wash

Road salt from winter can cake onto your car and cause corrosion or rust. Visit a car wash with a pressure washer and spray the underbody of your car well. This step will help your car look great while moving into spring.

 

If you need any help with your spring cleaning or have any questions about maintaining your vehicle, feel free to contact us at Tom Naquin Hub!

Spring Car Care: Tips and Tools

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house. You can take care of your vehicle this spring, removing winter sludge and adding a new shine for the sunnier days. Below are some of the top spring car care tips to keep in mind.

According to Autotrader, you should start with a wash and wax. Be sure to rinse off any dust or particles before washing with a sponge, as grit can scratch paint. You should also clean the undercarriage, as most of the salt and grime from winter months can accumulate there and do damage by causing rust.

Next, clean the inside. Start by getting rid of any trash that’s accumulated over the winter months so you can vacuum more easily, cleaning dirty mats outside of the car. If possible, use a pressure washer to get the mats as clean as possible. Many also scrub the carpet and upholstery using automotive cleaner.

For the final details, wash the windows using a vinegar and water solution or a basic ammonia-based solution you might use around the house. A clean windshield makes it more difficult for fog to accumulate, which will improve visibility. Many detailers also use clean newspaper to wipe off smudges as well.

These are just some of the many tips to keep in mind. You may also want to get new tires, an oil change, and new wipers. For any spring maintenance needs, stop by Tom Naquin today.

Difference between Diesel and Gas

If you’re looking to buy a truck for the first time, you’re probably wondering about the difference between diesel and gas. In the beginning, both of these fuels come from the same place; each is derived from crude oil. This unrefined oil is taken to a refinery where it’s divided into two parts: heavy and light.

The heavier oil becomes diesel fuel. Diesel fuel is dense and also less flammable; it has to be compressed at a higher pressure and temperature in order to combust. When it does combust, it does so without a spark. This means that diesel transmissions don’t need spark plugs, which makes for one less thing to worry about in diesel maintenance. The higher density also means more energy and better gas mileage as well as more power.

The lighter components of the aforementioned crude oil become gasoline. Gas is much more flammable than diesel, meaning it’s easier to start, where sometimes diesel engines have trouble starting in cold weather. Gasoline trucks have traditionally offered a little less in the way of fuel economy. But thanks to developing technology like EcoBoost engines, modern trucks can compete with diesel in that regard. We have many of both options at Tom Naquin Hub and we’re happy to help you find which will be the best for you.

How to Fix a Scratch on Your Car

Mistakes happen. That’s why you can expect to find yourself in a situation at some point in your life where you have a scratch on your car. While it may not even be your fault, you will be left paying for the damage. If you learn how to fix it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money. Here’s how to fix a scratch on your car.

 

Establish Depth. How deep is the scratch on your car? There are four levels on the surface of your car: clear coat, color, primer, and steel. If you’re scratch is on the clear coat or color, it will be easy to fix at home.

Wash the Area. If your car is dirty while you’re fixing the scratch, the dirt on your car could lead to more scratches.

Sand the Area. Lightly sand the area with 2000-grit sandpaper. Wipe the surface when finished.

Rubbing Compound. Apply rubbing compound to the area with a buffer pad.

Polish. Use a buffer to polish the area.

Wash and Wax. Wash the area once again, and then wax it to seal the paint.

 

If you follow these simple steps, you can fix simple scratches at home with ease and save yourself some money.

Safe Driving Tips for the New Year

Now that 2016 is over, everyone is setting goals for themselves for 2017. While weight loss and making more money are usually toward the top of the list, consider a less common resolution: safe driving. Here are a few simple tips to help keep you safe in the New Year.

Avoid Speeding

While it may seem like driving over the speed limit gets you to your destination faster, the difference in time isn’t worth the increased risk of an accident. Arriving to your destination five minutes early isn’t worth yours or someone else’s life.

Put Down the Phone

There is no text as important as keeping yourself and those around you safe. If you really can’t stay off of your phone, look into picking up a car that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This technology allows you to control your phone with your voice and through the infotainment system.

Drive Sober

While this should go without saying, driving under the influence remains one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. If you’ve had too much, call an Uber. If you’re friend has had too much, help them get home safely.

By following these simple safe driving tips, you will increase your odds of remaining free of accidents in the New Year.

Kid-Friendly Local Attractions near Elkhart

Elkhart, Indiana is packed with kid-friendly local attractions where you can take the whole family for a day full of wholesome fun. Whether you’re sampling local businesses or exploring unusual museums, there’s something for everyone.

 

Studebaker National Museum: If you have a little one that likes automobiles, head on over to Studebaker’s Super Service Center exhibit, which lets kids get hands-on experience working under the hood.

 

Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum: A variety of unique experiences, such as a Japanese tea room and a pioneer village, await you at this children’s museum in South Bend.

 

Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center: More than just your average bowling alley, this entertainment center features bumper cars, go-karts, black light mini-golf, and more.

 

Riverwalk Culture Trail: Head to Downtown Elkhart’s Gateway Mile to experience this self-guided tour that takes you past local parks, historical buildings, and cool restaurants and pubs.

 

Wellfield Botanic Gardens: You can combine this attraction and the Riverwalk into the same day, considering the gardens are only a few minutes away! Experience beautiful themed gardens and water displays as you walk around.

 

Elkhart and surrounding areas have plenty more kid-friendly local attractions where that came from, so why not explore your city and look for your own ideas, too? It can be a fun family tradition to experience something new every weekend!

A Guide to Changing Your Own Oil

If you would prefer to change your own oil and leave the more serious vehicle issues to the professionals, we completely understand. Not everyone has the time to make appointments and get out of work to take their vehicle to the dealership. This is why we’ve put together this simple guide for changing your own oil.

 

What you need:

Oil and a funnel

Oil filter

Some kind of pan or container than can hold the old oil

Gloves

Rags

A wrench set

Safety glasses

 

Before you can begin draining the old oil out of your car, get under the hood and remove the oil filler cap. This will help the oil drain easier by not creating a vacuum. Now, position the drain pan underneath the oil drain and unscrew the cap, allowing the oil to flow out.

 

Once the oil has drained properly, you can replace the drain plug to prevent any new oil from spilling out after you’ve filled it. Replace the oil filter first, then use the funnel to pour the necessary amount of oil into the oil filler cap. Then, of course, screw the oil filler cap back on, and you’re good to go.

 

Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, changing your own oil should take no more 30 minutes, though you should give yourself at least an hour in case of mistakes and needing to double-check your progress to make sure you’re doing it correctly.