Road Trip Games For Kids

Road trips are big adventures for kids, and they can create unforgettable memories. To make a road trip remain pleasurable for the duration of the trip, here are some road trip games for kids that will keep them entertained and occupied while you travel:

“I Spy” is a road trip game that has withstood the test of time. “I spy with my little eye, something red.” This easy-to-learn game is perfect for preschoolers, and can keep them entertained for unbelievably long periods of time. The directions are simple: One person spies something and recites the line, ending in a clue. Everyone else takes turns trying to guess the mystery item.

“Road Trip Bingo” is a fun road trip game that requires a little planning ahead of time, but can be a terrific scavenger hunt. All you need are clipboards, bingo cards, and a bag of pennies. The bingo cards will list various things that may be seen on the road trip. As the gamers see the things listed on their bingo cards, they cover each item with a penny until the winner covers all the squares and shouts out “Bingo”.

“License Plate Game” is an easy game where the goal is to spot license plates from all 50 states. To play, write down all the states you see during the road trip. Keep track of Canadian, European, and Mexican license plates, too.

“Tic Tac Toe” is a classic road trip game. All you need are two players, a pencil, and a pad of paper to play this popular standby. Player One places an X on the grid, Player Two plots an O. They continue to take turns until one player has three across.

“Hangman” is another game that’s perfect for kids. The first player thinks of a person, place, movie or book title—it could be anything, really. Instead of writing out the saying, she leaves an underscore for each letter in each word. The second player guesses one letter at a time. If the mystery saying contains the letter, it is written in the correct place. If not, the first player draws a head on the hangman scaffold. When enough incorrect letters have been guessed, the dead body is complete and the second player loses. If the guesser solves the puzzle before the body is complete, he wins.

“The Alphabet Game” is a fun game for kids that can read road signs. Starting with “A”, look for road signs that begin with the letter until you get to “Z”. This game works best when played on long road trips.

If you are planning a road trip with the kids, Robert’s Auto Repair is available to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and safe. To schedule your pre-road trip safety inspection, contact Robert’s Auto Repair at (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 and Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

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Traveling With Pets In The Car

Sometimes it’s tough to leave your furry friends at home while you head out for a road trip. After all, our pets are part of our family and we enjoy their company when we travel. Here are some ideas for safe and comfortable travel with your pets.

Dogs:

Depending on your dog, it may be best to travel with a crate, especially if they like to run around the car. Crating will keep your dog safe. In addition, the driver will not have as many distractions when a dog is crated. Keep a small bowl of water inside the crate so your dog can stay hydrated.

Some dogs are calmer and will be happy to lie down in the back seat. To keep your car cleaner, place a dog blanket in the back seat area to reduce the amount of dirt and dog hair getting into your seats. If you place a small bowl of water on the blanket, it will catch any spilled water and keep your seats dry.

Cats:

Most cats prefer to be crated while in the car. Like dogs, crating keeps your cat safe and reduces the number of distractions for the driver. Make sure to place a small bowl of water inside the crate so your feline can take a drink when needed.

Birds and Exotics:

Place your birds or exotic pets in a cage that can easily be restrained so it does not get jostled around. Make sure to have water available to your pets, as well as some food and toys.

All Four Legged Pets:

Put together a travel kit for your pets, which include the following:

  • Leash

  • Food

  • Water

  • Blanket

  • Crate (optional)

  • Chew toys

  • Brush

  • Nail clippers

  • Small first aid kit

Give your four legged friends frequent food, water, and potty breaks. Major freeways often have rest areas that also include pet bathroom areas. Stretching the legs is a good way to burn off excess energy, but make sure your pet is on a leash and cannot escape.

Always park your vehicle in the shade to help your pet stay cool. If it is not raining, it is a good idea to crack the windows for fresh air. Remember that your vehicle can get as hot as an oven on hot days, so never leave your pet in a hot car for over 2 minutes. Always have drinking water available in an open bowl when your pet is in a parked car.

If you are planning a road trip with your pets, Robert’s Auto Repair is available to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and safe. To schedule your pre-road trip safety inspection, contact Robert’s Auto Repair at (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 and Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

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How To Drive A Manual Transmission Effectively

There are many YouTube videos showing beginners how to drive a manual transmission. On the other end, you can take driving courses at the Skip Barber Driving School at Laguna Seca Raceway to drive a manual transmission like a pro. To help you drive a manual transmission in a way that is easy on your vehicle and gets you the best gas mileage, here are some tips for driving a stick.

1.  If you are new to standard transmissions and need to learn how to drive the car, here is a helpful video:

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2.  Now that you know how to drive your standard transmission vehicle, begin driving as you normally would in an automatic. Avoid tailgating the vehicle in front of you so you have plenty of time to stop.

3.  Shift a few hundred RPMs earlier than normal to save gas. By shifting early, you don’t wind the engine up so much.

4.  When you are at cruising speed, somewhere around 55 miles per hour, shift to the highest gear to achieve a higher top speed. When your engine is in a higher gear at lower RPMs, your vehicle will use gas more efficiently.

5.  Drive a little faster while going up hills so your vehicle can stay in the highest gear longer.

6.  If you really want to master the art of driving a stick, enroll in the Skip Barber Driving School. They teach everything from teen driving safety to high performance driving skills. For more information, visit their website at http://skipbarber.com/driving-programs/.

Whether you drive a manual or automatic transmission vehicle, we invite you to Robert’s Auto Repair for regular service and auto body repair. Contact Robert’s Auto Repair today at (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 & Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

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Driving In Ice? Here’s How To Stay Safe

For those of us who live year round on the Monterey Peninsula, snow and ice are not driving hazards we have to deal with on a regular basis. Especially this January, where it has been amazingly warm and sunny.

However, for those of us who love to visit ski country, driving safely on snow and ice helps us get back safely to our coastal climate. Here are some helpful tips on how to drive safely through ice and snow:

1.  Make sure your car has been serviced and is operating well before your ski trip. Breaking down on the side of a snow covered road is NOT fun.

2.  Buy snow tires or add chains to your existing tires.

3.  Practice driving on snow and ice before your road trip. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with driving on icy roads, practice in a parking lot before you tackle the highways and byways.

4.  Weigh your car down with sandbags directly over the rear axle if you have a rear wheel drive vehicle. These sandbags will serve as ballast and help prevent spinouts.

5.  Double the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you while driving. This extra space should give you the distance you need to stop on a snowy or icy road.

6.  Reduce your speed and lift your food off the gas pedal for a bit if you feel your vehicle start to slip and slide. Traction improves when you ease up on the gas.

7.  Drive slowly and carefully. DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING IN ICE AND SNOW! Try not to multitask either, while driving.

8.  To stop your vehicle, plan in advance and press the brake pedal slowly. Sudden braking could result in a spinout.

9.  If your vehicle begins to skid, let up on the gas pedal and gently turn your wheels in the direction you want the vehicle to go. If you turn too hard, you could result in a flipped vehicle, so be very careful when correcting your vehicle out of a skid.

10.  If your vehicle won’t turn or turns out too wide, ease up on the gas pedal and that should help regain traction with the road.

11.  Ease up on the throttle if your vehicle begins to hydroplane. You can gently push on the gas pedal again when you feel the tires reconnect with the road.

12.  Do not accelerate through turns on icy or snowy roads. If you’re turning, don’t speed up, but feather the brakes instead.

13.  Avoid steep hills when possible, either going uphill or downhill. Never slow down while attempting an incline or while you are on a hill.

14.  To improve your visibility, keep your windows defogged and free of moist, hot air.

Before you take your next ski trip, contact Robert’s Auto Repair for a safety inspection by calling (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 & Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

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Top 5 Reasons To Change Your Tires

Some people forget to change their tires. Others are better about getting regular tire service. Here are the top five reasons to change your tires:

  1. Your tread is less than 1/16 inch or 1.6 millimeters thick. Your tires should always have more than a depth of 1/16 inch tread, ideally at a thickness of 1 inch of tread depth.

  1. If your tread wear indicator bars are exposed, your tires need to be replaced. Tread wear indicators are parallel bars that run perpendicular to the direction of the tread.

  1. Replace your tires if they have cracked and weathered side walls. Cracked and weathered side walls are bad news, showing that the strength of the tire is breaking down.

  1. Bulges and blisters on the tires are really bad news, for they indicate a potential blow out. Blow outs are a cause of some major accidents, so never let your tires get to the point of having bulges and blisters.

  1. If your tires have too much vibration, it is yet another sign that something isn’t quite right with your tires. At the very least, have your tires checked to see if a simple alignment or balance service can reduce the vibration.

If you think your vehicle needs a new set of tires, a tire rotation, or wheel alignment, contact Robert’s Auto Repair at (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 & Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

 

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What Is Our Brake Repair Workflow Process?

Robert’s Auto Repair has developed a solid reputation along the Monterey Peninsula for premier workmanship and service. We go the extra mile in everything we do to make certain our clients receive 100% satisfaction. To help illustrate why we do what we do and how we do it, we thought it would be educational to show a behind the scenes viewpoint of how we do our workflow process on a simple task such as brake service and repair.

The brakes on your vehicle are its most important safety feature, and brakes are not something that can be neglected, at all! Due to the braking system’s constant use, brakes may require maintenance after several thousand miles or when your vehicle appears to take longer than it should to come to a complete stop. To better understand our workflow process, here is a typical checklist we run through to provide the best brake system maintenance and brake repair:

First, we test to see if the brakes work okay.

Next, we determine how the brake system is doing based on the following questions:

Does the brake pedal seem:

  • To work just fine?

  • Too high?

  • To pulse or chatter?

  • Hard?

  • To return to slowly?

  • Spongy?

  • Soft?

  • To work better when pumped?

  • Too low?

Thirdly, we take the vehicle for a test drive and ask the following questions:

Does the vehicle:

  • Stop straight?

  • Pull left only when braking?

  • Pull right only when braking?

  • Always pull in one direction when braking?

Fourthly, we check to see if the brakes:

  • Grab?

  • Make noise?

  • Seem to be dragging?

  • Lock at times?

Our fifth step monitors the emergency brake to see if it is working properly.

Our sixth step is to check the brake fluid. We will either replace it if it has not been flushed within 6 months, or we will top it off if the brake fluid has been in the car less than 6 months.

Seventh, we will make certain the brakes have been adjusted to factory specifications.

Our eighth step is to check your dashboard lights and see if your brake light has been activated. Once we have repaired your brakes, we will reset the light so it turns off.

Our ninth and final step is to make a notation in our records of when the brakes were serviced and repaired so we will know what to look for next time you bring your vehicle in for service.

We make sure to take all the measures necessary with our brake repair workflow, as well as any of our procedural workflows for any vehicle. After all, our attention to detail is what helps keep Robert’s Auto Repair the premiere auto body and auto repair facility in Monterey County.

To schedule your next brake service and repair, contact Robert’s Auto Repair at (831) 373-1534. We are conveniently located near Highway 1 and Del Monte Blvd. at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940. We look forward to serving you soon!

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Your Vehicle’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

Editorial Note:  We can’t help but run this note from your vehicle every year. It’s one of our annual traditions. Happy New Year from the entire Robert’s Auto Repair team!

I, my human’s vehicle, do solemnly swear to make the following New Year’s Resolutions for 2014.

  1. I resolve to carry my humans and their precious cargo safely wherever they drive me.

  2. I resolve to stop as quickly as possible when faced with an emergency situation.

  3. I resolve to respond quickly when my gas pedal is pushed, my steering wheel is turned, my brakes are applied, and when my human is running late.

  4. I resolve to provide warmth when it’s cold, air conditioning when it’s hot, and shelter from the rain, wind, sleet, snow, and hail.

  5. I resolve to never hydroplane, slide, or lose control of myself on the road.

  6. I resolve to use gasoline efficiently, helping my human’s money stretch as far as possible.

  7. I resolve to avoid all accidents, scratches, pot holes, and any damage that would harm me or make my insurance go up.

  8. I resolve to always serve my humans reliably, safely, comfortably, and be ready to go anytime they need me.

  9. I resolve to do everything I can to prevent my humans from locking their keys inside me.

I, my human’s vehicle, will be fully equipped to meet all of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions if my humans remember that I am part of the family and that I need regular maintenance if I am able to keep my promises.

I, my human’s vehicle, will be delighted to uphold my promises if they take me in for a check-up, repair, some detailing work, some tire work, and/or some body work at Robert’s Auto Repair, located at 234 Ramona Avenue in Monterey, California 93940.

Signed,

Your Beloved Vehicle

 

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Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas

The family of Robert’s Auto Repair wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day, but will otherwise be open to serve you.

We want to thank all of you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patronage of our auto body, mechanical, detail, and tire service facility. May you all be safe and healthy over the holidays. We look forward to serving you the next time your vehicle needs any type of auto repair.

With love and respect,

The Robert’s Auto Repair Team

 

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Decorating Your Vehicle For The Holidays

Okay, we have to confess that we crack a big smile every time we see vehicles around Monterey all decked out for the holidays. Here are some of our favorite photos:

Also seen on Thanksgiving Day, Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

“Cardolph” the red-nosed 4-door

SUV all decked out in lights

Not everyone goes to the extreme of decorating their vehicles, but we wanted to celebrate those that do.  Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

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5 Winter Car Care Tips

Admittedly, here in Monterey County, we have mild winters. We don’t have snow, we don’t have much more than storms coming in off the Pacific Ocean and the accompanying gusts of wind. However, we DO often travel during the wintertime to colder climates, and that is why you should prepare your vehicle for Winter.

Here are 5 basic Winter car care tips that should keep you and your vehicle safe during the worst Winter weather:

  1. Take your car in for a tune-up so it is performing optimally and efficiently.

  2. Check your tires. Replace them if the tread is worn down.

  3. Check your fluid levels and keep them topped off.

  4. Make a winter emergency kit for your vehicle, which includes a blanket, snow tires, water, food, and a first aid kit.

  5. Check your air filters. Replace them if they are dirty with too much dust, pollen, and leaves.

If you are ready to prepare your vehicle for Winter, we are ready to help you. Robert’s Auto Repair is conveniently located at 234 Ramona, Monterey, CA 93940, right off of Del Monte Blvd. at Highway 1.

  • To schedule an appointment with our auto body or detailing shop, please call today at 831-373-1535.

  • To schedule an appointment with our mechanical repair or tire shop, call 831-373–1534.

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