How to Protect Your Vehicle from Sun and Heat This Summer

2022 Ford Expedition | Spirit Lake, IA

Summers can get plenty hot in Iowa, so now is the time to start thinking about how you’ll protect your vehicle from intense sun and heat. To get you started, here are a few simple heat-fighting tips from our team here at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake.

Care for the Exterior

The more the sun beats down on your car, the more the paint is at risk of fading and cracking. However, regular washes can banish damaging dust and dirt, while a good wax job will help protect the finish.

Protect the Interior

Too much sun exposure can fade, crack, and dry out your car’s seats, dash, and other interior surfaces. When you park, try to find a shady spot to limit the sun’s rays. You may also want to get a folding windshield visor and covers for the seats. It’s a good idea to wipe down surfaces frequently to remove dust particles, too.

Keep up with Maintenance

Heat can have negative effects under the hood as well. To prevent serious problems, be sure to keep your fluids topped up, have your battery and charging system inspected, and follow maintenance recommendations for your cooling system and A/C.

Ready to get a head start on the heat? Schedule a service appointment at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake so your vehicle will be prepared for summer’s worst.

Winter Car Care Tips for Drivers in Iowa

Winter Car Care Tips for Drivers in Iowa 
| Spirit Lake, IA

It’s getting colder here in Iowa every day, and December means it’s wintertime once again. As the snow rolls in and temperatures continue to drop, your vehicle must be ready for the change in seasons. To ensure your sedan, truck, or SUV can withstand the chill, here are some important winter car care tips from the service experts at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake.

Get an oil change

Regardless of which season it is, changing the engine oil two or three times every year is crucial for your vehicle’s performance. Clean engine oil will help the motor run smoothly even when the temperatures are sub-freezing.

Maintain the headlights and wipers

Visibility can be bad in Iowa during winter, especially when a thick snowstorm rolls through. You’re going to rely more heavily on your car’s lights and wipers to see this season than during other times in the year. So, make sure all the lamps are shining brightly and the wipers aren’t deteriorating or leaving streaks.

Check the battery

Your car’s battery can lose its charge during winter due to the cold temperatures — especially if you park it outside instead of in a garage. You don’t want to be stranded near Spirit Lake with a car that won’t start. Invest in a battery warmer to keep it from losing its charge. If the battery is four years old or more, it may be wise to buy a new battery before the old one fails you.

If your car isn’t ready for winter yet, make sure you schedule an appointment with Motor Inn of Spirit Lake right away. Our service experts will make sure your vehicle is ready for the coldest months of the year.

Tips for Saving Fuel and Getting Better Gas Mileage

Tips for Saving Fuel and Getting Better Gas Mileage | Spirit Lake, IA

It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving an old truck that you’ve had for 10 years or a brand-new crossover — you can take steps to get more bang for your buck at the pump. If you follow a few key steps for getting better gas mileage, you can save money and time in the long run.

Don’t rush

If you’re the type who punches the pedal when the light turns green, you may as well be throwing money out the window. Harsh acceleration and sudden braking are major causes of inefficiency, and some of the easiest habits to correct. Accelerate and come to a stop gradually — your wallet will thank you.

Stay under the speed limit

Following the posted speed limit isn’t just safe and legal — it’s also better for your fuel economy. For every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, you’re basically paying an extra 26 cents a gallon. Think about how much that shakes out to over the course of a year and how else you could be using that money.

Don’t sit idly by

Older vehicles may not have automatic stop/start technology, but you can still get into the habit of manually turning off the engine when idling. When you sit idly with the engine running, you’re getting fuel economy of 0 mpg. It’s much more efficient to turn the engine off and on again if you’ll be sitting at a standstill for more than a minute.

Another great way to get better gas mileage? Upgrading to a more efficient new vehicle at Motor Inn of Spirit Lake. Check out our selection of efficient hybrid and electric vehicles online and schedule a test drive to learn more.

3 Tips for a Stress Free Family Road Trip

3 Tips for a Stress Free Family Road Trip | Spirit Lake, IA

Hitting the road with the family for a vacation is supposed to be fun, not stressful! These tips will help you focus on the fun and leave the worry behind. It’s time to buckle up for a stress free family road trip!

Enjoy the journey

Traveling with multiple people, especially children, can take much longer than if you were driving solo. Prepare yourself for extra stops and the slower pace that comes with a family road trip.

Focus on nutrition

Road trips and fatty, salty, and sweet snacks are traditional companions. When you are traveling with your family, though, you need to focus on healthy, nutritious options. Too much sugary treats will cause mood swings and irritability, but healthy snacks like fruits and veggies will keep everyone’s energy up without the unhealthy sugar crashes.

Take advantage of rest stops

Since you have thrown out the “schedule,” you can maximize the benefits of a rest stop. Instead of rushing in and out, use the necessary break to enjoy some fresh air either with a little walk, jump rope, or ball toss. The time you spend out of the car, even if it is only for a few minutes of stretching, will help make the time inside the car more enjoyable for everyone.

If you need to upgrade your family’s ride, visit Motor Inn of Spirit Lake and check out our incredible inventory of family-friendly vehicles. Or, schedule a maintenance check with our service department to get your current vehicle road-trip ready.

Important Features for One-Car Families

Important Features for One-Car Families | Spirit Lake, IA

If you are in the market for a family-friendly car that can please all the drivers in your household, then you need to focus on a few key features. At Motor Inn of Spirit Lake, we have plenty of incredible options to satisfy the needs of one-car families.

Comfort settings

When you share a vehicle with another driver or drivers, you will appreciate the convenience of memory settings for the driver’s seat. This feature helps eliminate time wasted fussing with your seat when you are headed out to work or out on an errand.

Safety systems for young drivers

Anytime you hand over your keys to your teen driver is a nerve-wracking experience. Help eliminate some of the stress with a vehicle that has teen driver controls. This system can monitor your teen’s driving habits so you can learn what skills he needs strengthen.

Modern technologies

Staying connected on the road or entertained via smartphone, tablet, or computer is important to everyone in your family. Make sure they can all sync, connect, or charge their devices in a vehicle that boasts an ample amount of USB ports.

Temperature controls

Even if you are family, most likely you don’t agree on a lot, especially what temperature the cabin should be. A vehicle that boasts multiple zones for climate control can go a long way in helping your crew stay comfortable on every journey.

Visit Motor Inn of Spirit Lake to get a closer look at our inventory of family-friendly vehicles.

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