Proper Pet Safety for Summer Months

Dog Riding in a CarThe weather is starting to heat up around our Orland Park Honda dealership and lots of people are having adventures. Whenever you make a stop at a light, it’s not uncommon to see a dog sticking their head out the window with their tongue flapping. While your animal may love getting some sun and catching a breeze, it’s quite dangerous for your dog or any other pet to travel unrestrained. In the event of a collision, there’s nothing to keep an animal from going airborne. Even if you’re a great driver, you can never count on others out on the road.

Cats and Other Animals

For cats or pretty much any animal that’s not a dog—I’m looking at all you sloth and capybara owners out there—you’ll want to get a crate. Preferably you can get one that’s built for car transportation that can be strapped in to the seat or attaches to the seatbelt. Never put a crate or loose animal in the back of a Honda Ridgeline or any other type of pickup.

Dog Restraints

Dogs have it a little bit easier. Similar to the restraints many dogs wear in lieu of collars, there are pet restraints built for car travel that allow your pet to use the protection of your car’s seatbelt. The restraint attaches to the seatbelt, giving the animal a little bit of room to be free, but protecting it from an accident.

Roll Up the Windows

Your pet may love sticking their head out the window, but, even restrained, it’s still a bad idea. The dog’s head could get struck by another car or a side mirror. Breathing in a lot of cold air isn’t great for their lungs and road dust and debris can get in their eyes too. Pets have also choked themselves before by accidentally stepping on the window control switch.

Don’t Leave Pets Alone in Cars

Perhaps most important is to never leave a dog, cat, or other animal in your car during the summer months. Even if you’ve had the air on, your car is quickly going to become a sweatbox. Take your animal with you if you have to make a stop or have someone stay with the animal.

Kelley Blue Book’s Top 10 Family Vehicles Include Three Honda Models

Family collecting new carAt Community Honda of Orland Park, we’re proud to extol the virtues of Honda vehicles throughout the Frankfort area and beyond, and we’ve got the automaker’s full lineup available at our dealership. You don’t need to take our word for it, though — recently, three Honda models appeared on Kelley Blue Book’s list of Top 10 Family Vehicles. So which one is right for you?

The three Honda models on the list include:

  • 2013 Accord – The Accord is fully redesigned for 2013, and is one of the top family sedans out there. Exceptional fuel economy, strong performance, and a refined ride define the Accord. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Pandora functionality, and more.
  • 2013 CR-V – The CR-V was redesigned for the 2012 model year, so the 2013 edition just refines this crossover’s winning formula. Strong fuel economy, ample interior space, and a great slate of features are this model’s hallmarks. It’s available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. With the rear seats up, you’ll have 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space; folding down the rear seats gives you 70.9 cubic feet to work with.
  • 2013 Odyssey – The Odyssey has long been one of the top family minivans on the market, offering a versatile interior, surprisingly agile handling, and more. Being a minivan, the interior is the star of the show, and the Odyssey delivers with enough space for eight passengers across three rows of seating. Removing the second row seats gives you access to a cavernous 148 cubic feet of cargo space, making this vehicle capable as both a people- and stuff-mover.

While drivers’ tastes differs, Kelley blue book’s Top 10 list includes only vehicles that perform highly in areas of comfort, value, and safety, among other criteria.

At Community Honda of Orland Park, we’re pleased that these vehicles have earned the recognition they deserve from Kelley Blue Book, and we’re delighted to offer them all at our dealership. We also have the rest of the Honda lineup, of course. To see it all for yourself, visit us at 8340 W 159th St in Orland Park, IL. We hope to see you soon!

A Few Great Road Trip Apps for Kids

Driving With KidsIf you’re heading out on a long summer road trip this summer and you’re wondering how to keep your kids entertained, happy, quiet, and maybe even teach them a thing or two, you might want to try an app for your smartphone. It seems like an unlikely choice, but there are some excellent apps out there that will serve your purposes. Here are just a few of our favorite apps that will keep both you and your kids happy on long summer road trips:

  • Storylines – This app is a great take on an old game. The first player writes a saying or any sentence and passes it on to the next player. That player illustrates the sentence. The next player needs to write a caption for the picture the second player drew. This goes on for a few rounds, and at the end of the game you get an original story that no one expected! This is fun for kids (and parents) of all ages.
  • Stack the States – While you’re driving across the country, you and your kids may as well brush up on your geography! With Stack the States, kids can learn to identify states and state locations, as well as information like state capitals, mottos, flags, and much more.
  • License Plate Travel Game – This is a modern take on another classic travel game. It also makes it even more fun by making it into a competition, complete with scores. You and your kids can compete to spot all the different license plates on the road; spotting a license plate from a new state earns you two points, while catching an already-spotted license plate gives you one.
  • Road Trip Bingo – Good for young kids, this game brings another classic travel activity to tablet computers and smartphones. Bingo squares are labeled with things that you might see on the road, such as signs, cars, and common objects. First to bingo wins — you might have to come up with the prizes yourself, though!
  • Cool Mad Libs – Mad Libs are fun wherever you go, and this is a neat interactive packaging of that classic word game. It’s a great an interactive family activity that lets everyone contribute to making a fun and unexpected story.

At Community Honda of Orland Park, we’re happy to provide tips to help you make the most of your road trip. Before you strike out into the country, though, make sure you stop by our service center to make sure your vehicle’s maintenance is up to date!

Some Tips for Summer Driving

Brake LightsSummer is right around the corner, and that means that you and just about everyone else in the world will be out on the roads. There are simply more drivers on the road, and while the weather is usually good, there are a lot of hazards particular to summer driving. Here are a few tips from us here at Community Honda of Orland Park to help you have a safe and fun summer on the road.

  • Check under the hood BEFORE you go. If you’re loading up the kids, hooking up the trailer, and getting ready for a long haul, then it’s even more important to have your car checked out by a mechanic before you go. If you’re getting close to needing regular maintenance, have it done before you hit the road to avoid a breakdown and the associated waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck.
  • Go prepared. Make sure you’ve got the supplies to change a flat in the trunk. Also make sure that you’ve got some other supplies like water, some non-perishable food, paper maps, some basic tools, and a roll of duct tape. You never know when all that stuff might come in handy. You should also include a few quarts of oil, some transmission fluid, and some extra coolant, just in case.
  • Plan. If you plan well, you might be able to avoid problems like getting stuck in traffic and construction-related delays. Remember to take a look at your map and make sure you’ve got enough gas if you’re going to be driving across vast tracts of unpopulated space — there’s not a gas station every twenty miles everywhere.
  • Be extra careful in urban or suburban areas. Cars aren’t the only thing out on the roads in the summer — watch out for kids running through the street, cyclists, and other people or even pets, who might be a little over-exuberant due to the nice weather.
  • Relax and drive the speed limit. Driving aggressively is not only more dangerous — it’s also less efficient and harder on your car. If you drive the speed limit, you’ll be saving money by burning less fuel and you’ll be going easier on your engine.

Here’s to a safe summer from your friends at Community Honda of Orland Park. We’ll be happy to help you get your car ready for a road trip; and if it’s time to find your next vehicle, you can visit our dealership to check out the latest offerings from Honda, along with pre-owned vehicles from a variety of automakers.

Community Honda of Orland Park has Been Honored by Edmunds as a Five Star Premier Dealer

Community Honda

Earlier this year, Edmunds awarded Community Honda of Orland Park one of the most prestigious honors an automotive dealer can receive: their coveted 5 Star Premier Dealer ranking. Only 95 dealerships in the entire country earned this honor. The awards were handed out in February at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Expo in Orlando, FL.

 

Only dealers that have received an average rating of five stars on Edmunds.com with a minimum of 20 reviews over the past two years can be considered for the honor. Edmunds is a premier source for automotive information, both about cars and dealerships. It’s a place that both dealers and car buyers alike turn to for information and reliable pricing of new and used cars.

 

Edmund’s president, Seth Berkowitz, said, “Edmunds.com believes that customer service should be the number one priority for any dealership that wants to be successful. These 95 dealerships present a model for customer satisfaction, and we congratulate each one of them for creating an exceptional car buying experience.”

 

That’s how we feel here at Community Honda of Orland Park. We’re proud to be recognized for what we do well, but we couldn’t have done it without the most important part of our business: our customers! Our customers are what got us to this point, and the reason that Edmunds gave us the award. You can even see our perfect five-star sales rating on Edmunds and some of the nice things that people have to say about us.

 

If you’re one of our customers, we encourage you to leave us some feedback on a site like Edmunds, on our Google Plus Page, or in person. Even though we’ve been recognized by Edmunds, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to keep trying to improve.

 

If you’re not one of our customers, come visit us at 8340 W 159th St in Orland Park, IL to see what Edmunds is talking about. We’d love to show you what service is like from a Five Star Premier Dealer, so the next time you’re in the market for a new or used car near Frankfort, come see us!

Customer Loyalty Rewards at Community Honda of Orland Park

Community HondaAt Community Honda of Orland Park, we’re known for offering a wide array of vehicles for our customers to choose from — ranging from the latest Honda models to pre-owned vehicles from a variety of automakers. Fortunately, our job doesn’t stop after you drive your new or used vehicle off of our lot — our service team is here to help your vehicle continue to run in great condition, and our new Customer Loyalty Rewards program is our way of giving back to the customers who continually entrust their vehicles to us.

 

The Benefits of Enrolling

Perhaps the most appealing part of our Customer Loyalty Rewards is that the fact that joining this program requires nothing in the way of enrollment or fees — you automatically gain the benefits just by being our customer! It works like this: a percentage of the money you spend at our service department will begin to accrue, and you’ll periodically receive a gift certificate for the accrued amount.

 

You can use your gift certificate to purchase any service or parts at our dealership, just like you’d use cash. Our new Customer Loyalty Rewards program provides a number of other benefits, too, including complimentary car washes and loaner vehicles. These benefits come with no extra hassle, and we make it easy for you to make the most of them.

 

Visit Community Honda Today

You can visit our service department for a variety of services, ranging from routine maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups to major repairs to your vehicle’s engine — almost no job is too big or small. We’ve got a team of ASE-certified and factory-trained technicians who will use genuine Honda parts to service your Honda vehicle. While an appointment isn’t necessary for all services, you can ensure that you’ll get in and out faster by scheduling an appointment online.

 

This Customer Loyalty Rewards program is just one of the many ways that we express our appreciation for our customers. To see what we can do for you, visit our dealership at 8340 W 159th St in Orland Park, IL. We look forward to helping you make the most of your vehicle!

Will 3D Printers Revolutionize the Auto Part Industry?

Auto Parts“The part’s not in, but we’ll order it for you?”

 

How many times have you heard that before? Your vehicle is in at the shop, everyone knows what needs to be done and how to do it — it may even be a simple, 5-minute job — but you can’t get back behind the wheel because the part needs to arrive from the manufacturer. It happens more often than anyone would like, but that could be changing soon.

 

Much in the same way that people upload patterns for craft projects, able to be printed onto paper at home, 3D printing looks like it could revolutionize the way many people do business and live their lives, and that includes in the auto industry.

 

Print a Part When You Need It

While different automakers have different designs for their parts, it wouldn’t surprise us if those at the forefront of innovation — as Honda has been for some time — would start pushing for 3D printers to be installed at their service centers. Then, all that you would need is to look up the schematic for the piece you needed, press “print,” and wait until it’s done.

 

Now, the materials you’ll be using in an engine might need to be of sturdier stuff than home 3D printers are capable of, so this may be a bit in the realm of sci-fi for now, but it would be very easy to create a temporary fix piece that lets you keep driving your car while the stock part is sent to the dealership.

 

It could even be the kind of thing that DIY mechanics could handle at home, with the technologically-inclined designing 3D printer-friendly designs for generic, all-purpose parts.

 

When it comes to certain accents, like roof rail pieces, gas caps, and other essential auto parts, there is little reason those couldn’t be made using current printers. It’s just an issue of pushing the envelope — and if there’s anyone that’s doing that in the auto industry, it’s Honda.

 

With their development of smartphone apps to ease traffic congestion and save fuel economy, their equipping of new vehicles with many modern amenities, and their push for fuel-cell cars in the form of the FCX Clarity, we think its just a matter of time.

The 2014 Honda Odyssey gets a Vacuum

Honda Odyssey Built-In Vacuum CleanerGrowing up, my family’s minivan was a trooper. It took the brunt of spills, stains, tears, and even burns from those who thought it would be funny to pull out a lighter. A solid hour of vacuuming was a weekly chore that my mom delegated down the ranks to the children.

 

Road trips were a completely different matter, though. Away from base, we didn’t have the ability to vacuum the vehicle. While there were ways around this, there would inevitably be a longer line at the gas station to use the pay-vacuum than either the bathroom or gas pumps combined. Not wanting to waste time, we would push on, letting the flotsam of spilled cheerios, popcorn, and broken crayon bits pile up even higher.

 

I do distinctly remember my mom half-heartedly joking that she wished she had a vacuum on board during our trips. Jump forward twenty years and Honda is making it a reality. The HondaVAC system will be an available on 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite Trims, allowing families to vacuum up on the go. Located near the trunk, the HondaVAC system can be easily accessed behind a panel and then discretely stored when not in use. A variety of different attachments make it ideal for tackling most car messes.

 

Interestingly enough, the idea for the HondaVAC didn’t come from Honda’s research teams, but rather from the 10-year old son of one of its engineers. The anonymous boy candidly told his dad during a road trip that they really needed a vacuum cleaner in their minivan. Struck by the simple genius of this idea, the dad returned to Honda’s engineering offices in Raymond, Ohio, and shared the idea with colleagues. It took off, with research teams probing simple questions like “How will it be wired in to the van?” and “Where will it be located?” The result is something that is remarkably useful and practical.

 

While the HondaVAC is a very real thing, Honda incorporated the system into their 2013 April Fools Day treat. In an official-sounding press release and accompanying video, Honda introduced the HondaHAIR add-on for the HondaVAC system, a hair-cutting attachment.

 

Here’s what Honda had to say about this piece of “innovative” technology:

 

“The HondaHAIR offers affordability and convenience and transforms the cargo space into a virtual salon on wheels — eliminating the need to trek to the stylist or barber.”

 

You can check out the HondaHAIR video on YouTube. The realistic production values and general tone of the film make the joke all the funnier.

 

Watch for the 2014 Odyssey and HondaVAC system later this year at Community Honda!

Hybrids, and EVs, and Fuel Cells, Oh My!

2013 Honda Insight

Sometimes, it’s tough to get it all straight when there are so many different kinds of technology coming out all the time. Lucky for you, at Community Honda of Orland Park, we’re experts because Honda has a horse in every race. What we mean is that Honda makes a wide range of low-emission, high-efficiency vehicles. In fact, they’re currently offering a fuel cell vehicle, a natural gas vehicle, an electric vehicle, and a variety of hybrids. Here’s how to keep it all straight:

  • Hybrids – The Honda Insight has been on sale for more than a decade, and now the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In hybrid is redefining how we think of Hybrid vehicles. These cars use batteries and gas to power electric motors and engines respectively. Both technologies work together to power the vehicle as efficiently as possible.
  • Electric vehicles – An electric vehicle doesn’t have anything to do with gas — it works purely on electric energy stored in a battery. Electric vehicles produce no emissions, and deliver instant torque to the wheels with high-speed electric motors. The new Honda Fit EV uses a 92-kW motor powered by a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery.
  • Natural gas – Honda currently produces a Civic Natural Gas, which effectively uses compressed gas in an internal combustion engine. This is cleaner than gas, and it’s efficient, too.
  • Fuel cells – The Honda FCX Clarity is one of the only fuel cell vehicles on the road in the United States. Fuel cell vehicles use compressed hydrogen to create electric power. Amazingly, this process produces just one waste product: water. That’s right — fuel cell vehicles are effectively zero-emissions. Unfortunately, the infrastructure for hydrogen fueling stations isn’t widespread and the technology is still developing. That’s why the FCX Clarity is only currently available for lease in California and New York as part of a large-scale test program.

Get behind the wheel of one of the efficient and innovative Honda vehicles currently available at Community Honda of Orland Park. We’d love to show you how much you can save by switching to an alternative-fuel technology.

Honda App Avoids Traffic Jams, Saves Fuel

Cell Phone Windshield Car MountDoes that sound like a piece of science fiction to you, a smartphone app that can both help you avoid a traffic jam and save you on your fuel costs? Well, it did to me, too, but Honda just recently announced its development and testing on a highway in Jakarta at the recent Nvidia GPU technology conference. So, how does it work?

It’s not a miracle machine that controls your vehicle or anything silly like that – though your phone will be able to sync with your 2013 Honda thanks to the included Bluetooth and Honda’s innovative i-MID system – rather, it is able to monitor your vehicle’s acceleration, deceleration, and compare to GPS stats for the area to help accomplish both of these achievements.

The first, avoiding one of the biggest frustrations of city drivers, the dreaded traffic jam, is done by carefully watching how vehicles are accelerating and decelerating and accommodating that. Basically, it tries to train drivers not to get into the stop-and-go traffic mode that often causes the frustrations that come with traffic jams.

You might be wondering how they knew to do this, as it would require data on other cars. The stretch of highway that was being tested had a series of vehicles connecting to a universal cloud drive to relate info to each other, but don’t worry, the fuel-saving technology will work with or without the cloud connectivity.

The fact is that many drivers have heavier feet than they believe, and that means you’re accelerating faster and braking more quickly than is ideal. Honda’s app will tell you when you should be slowly accelerating or decelerating, saving you as much as 20% in fuel costs.

Installing these types of applications on a vehicle might have a bunch of red tape to go through, but since you’re looking at a smartphone app, one that is just advising you on better driving tips, you could see this money-saving innovation in the app store soon.

For now, though, try to keep your feet lighter on the pedals; it’ll save you in the long run.