Supplement to the Powell Tribune Thursday, November 10, 2011
A GUIDE TO CAR CARE & WINTER ADVENTURE!
Purchasing a 1955 Nash/Hudson Metropolitan was a dream come true for Rowene Weems of Powell. The Metropolitan was both sporty and was also considered an economy car. Tribune photos by Gib Mathers
Local loves her
antique economy car
‘I always said I’m going to get one of those ... I’ve always been in love with them.’ Rowene Weems ~ 1955 Nash/Hudson Metropolitan car owner By GIB MATHERS Tribune Staff Writer
ne local lady is the proud owner of a set of wheels that was a compact car before compact cars were cool. Buying a 1955 Nash/Hudson Metropolitan economy car was a dream come true for Rowene Weems of Powell. It’s bigger than the littlest compact, but only because its hood is a little longer. She was always in love with the petite compacts and recalled seeing a couple Metropolitans bopping around Powell back in the 1980s. “And I always said I’m going to get one of those,” Weems said. As a birthday present to herself, Weems bought the car from Dan Logan a few years ago. Except it was missing one key car component. “Basically, I was buying a piece of art, because it didn’t have an engine,” Weems said. A nice little Nissan engine was eased beneath the hood, and the three-speed manual transmission shifter on the steering column was substituted with an automatic gear stick on the floor. Other than the motor swap and trannie alteration within, “Polly,” as the Nash is named by Weems, is the same as the day she rolled off the assembly line. She heads south on Bent Street, crosses the tracks and heads for Willwood. The two-door compact car, looking sort of sporty in a mini way, is light turquoise in color with a milk white roof. It is the original color and the clean as a whistle body has not been marred by rust. “I’ve always been in love with them,” Weems said. Weems steers her little Nash west on a county road. Fields whisk past and cottonwood trees gleam green and gold like a measured kaleidoscope across the windshield. Polly purrs along, not fast, but not slow either. The Nash mostly runs around town. A trip to Red Lodge, Mont., is the farthest she has driven Polly, Weems said. “With my new motor, it probably gets 30 (miles per gallon),” Weems said. “I can practically go one tank a summer.” The odometer reads 9,035. But it got stuck once. However, Logan assured Weems it wasn’t much over the nine-K mark when she purchased Polly, she said. “I know I haven’t driven over 300 miles in three years,” Weems said. A gauge ascertains water pressure. Another indicates mph like a mantel clock embedded in the dashboard. One dial controls the heat and a silver-knobbed See Nash, Page 2
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Towing available Rowene Weems of Powell always loved the Nash/Hudson Metropolitan and bought one a few years ago. “And I always said I’m going to get one of those,” she said.
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page 2 • powell tribune tHURSday, NovembeR 10, 2011
SHiFt into winter GeAr
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Top Quality Collision & Refinishing Frame Straightening Windshield & Glass Campbell’s Windshield & Glass Replacement Rowene Weems prepares to check the oil on her Metropolitan. Everything is stock with the exception of the Nissan engine. tribune photo by gibReplacement mathers Campbell’s Repair &Repair Collision & Collision Custom Exhaust Get your vehicles in now Complete Lane 1111 1/2 1/2 Lifetime Guaranteed 949949 Lane for winter check ups! Mufflers Air Conditioning Service Powell, Wyoming 82435 Complete 307-754-8255 307.754.8255 Air Conditioning Mechanical Foreign & Domestic Tires, Batteries Service & Repair Complete Brake 307.202.0100 $20.99 Tires, Batteries Service Expert Welding Continued from Page 1 NashService OIL CHANGE SPECIAL! the rear window and a back I never really understood the sold as a Hudson when Complete Brake Service QualityOIL Work Without the Wait 1954 as DIESEL compartment where the trunk influence he had on me until and Hudson merged in$45.00 CHANGE SPECIAL! Top Quality Collision & Refinishing
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nash: ‘I used to say they’re so ugly they’re cute’ cigarette lighter completes the uncomplicated ensemble. The unpretentious dash is refreshing compared to modern automobiles resembling an aircraft instrument panel requiring an evening with the owner’s manual to master. There is no back seat. Instead, there is a space below
would be. Outside, the spare tire, looking cute as a bug, is mounted where the trunk latch would be. As the director/curator of the Homesteader Museum, Weems has a thing for antiques. Her historian stepfather, Frank “Posh” Posholtorf, drove a 1960s vintage T-Bird. “I guess
I started working at the museum,” Weems said. “I just love vintage things.” Nash/Hudson Metropolitan, or “Polly,” is actually two cars. The car was originally manufactured in England. “But they became more popular here,” Weems said. The Metropolitan was also
the American Motors Corporation. On front, mounted in the grill it says Hudson. However, in back, the hardware holding the spare tire in place proudly says Nash. Weems calls her little car unique. “I used to say they’re so ugly they’re cute,” she said.
Car care? Drive it, get it fixed
hey said to write a column about car care. They may as well have presented me with a self-destructing audio recording and informed me that, if caught, the ministry would disavow any knowledge of my actions. Because the truth of the matter is, I know next to nothing about cars, much less how to care about them. Quite the contrary, I’m like a toddler with a toy. I own a passenger car while constantly staring at a topographical map of Wyoming and wondering which of those dotted lines implying unpaved, unimproved roads I might be able to navigate. My poor vehicle has been bounced, scraped, and gently coaxed to places in this state most sane folks would never consider. It isn’t a question of if I’ll find myself walking miles of deserted dirt back to civilization to find help. It’s only a question of where and when it happens. I’m really not sure which limb I missed while climbing up the tree of human male evolution, but clearly something was overlooked somewhere along the line. Some kids help their fathers change the oil or change out the spark plugs. My dad drove the car to the mechanic, where it was magically healed of any ills within a day or two while the family ate macaroni and cheese with greater frequency for dinner the next two weeks. The fact that my parents came
wouldn’t be bringing it in. from the “teenagers don’t need Look, it’s the 21st century. cars if they have friends who Colleges all over this counalready own cars” school of try are offering Football 101 thought probably didn’t help in courses to provide weekend my acquisition of automotive gridiron widows the knowlknowledge. edge necessary to wander into It’s not that I’m completely beyond hope. I have successful- the man cave and re-open the lines of communicaly managed to check tion. If we can take my oil. I’ve even sura couple hours to vived the repeated explain what “16 thrill of changing a belly option, halftire at the roadside. I back pass, tight end may have even jump post” means, how started another about showing a vehicle once upon a little love to those of time without causing us who were raised the battery in either believing that the to explode. garage was nothing That, however, is more than a place to the entirety of my rAnDAl store the stuff that car care resume, HorobiK wouldn’t fit in the and it is more than the sports guy attic? outweighed by my list of vehicular Because, truth be shortcomings. told, I really don’t For the longest time, I’ve want to be that guy. I don’t like attempted to hide my enginebeing the person that pre-mix related ignorance. It was a antifreeze was made for bemark of shame on an otherwise cause it never dawned on me technologically savvy life that I that a product might be marmasked whenever I found myketed that wasn’t ready to use self having to take a vehicle into straight out of the jug. I don’t the shop. want to be the sort of guy that If it’s under the hood and can discovers the hard way that knock, ping, shimmy, shudder, transmission fluid is not oneshake, clank, clatter or hiss, size-fits-all or who, upon receivchances are I’ve served as an ing a mechanic’s report about impressionist for it at some a loose sway bar, has to stare point of my life. That’s all my in glassy-eyed fashion as if he’s poor auto mechanic ever gets just been spoken to in Swahili. when he asks what’s wrong But I am. That guy. And they with my car. want me to write about car Incidentally, I hate that ques- care. tion. Clearly, if I knew what was This column will self destruct wrong with it, chances are I in five seconds.
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Gas saving tips Here are some tips to increase gas mileage, according to AAA and the U.S. Department of Energy. • Be gentle on the gas and brake pedals. Aggressive driving can lower a car’s fuel economy by up to 33 percent. • Drive the speed limit. Each 5 mph driven more than 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas. • Properly inflate tires. Having the correct tire pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 3 percent. • Plan errands in advance. Try to combine multiple tasks into one trip. • Keep luggage off the roof. A loaded roof rack affects the vehicle aerodynamics and creates extra drag that reduces fuel economy. • Keep up-to-date on vehicle maintenance. Be sure to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maineportschedule, veryand runk tenance do not ignore vehicle warning lights that indicate something is wrong. Warning lights can signal problems that will greatly decrease a car’s fuel efficiency.
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thursday, november 10, 2011 powell tribune • page 3
Shift into winter gear
Winter’s coming stay safe on the road
winter driving seasons out of one set of tires. All-season treads are popular here are a lot of things driv- for cars and pickup drivers usuers can do to keep their cars ally want all-terrain tires, Ebright running through the winter. said. Drivers can find out more For Sam Holm, it boils down to about what tires are available at one goal. “You can get to your destina- local tire shops. Ebright said the tion,” said Holm, assistant man- right choice can vary widely from ager at Plains Tire in Powell. vehicle to vehicle. “It’s more expensive to put “But can you get home?” “The bottom line is, make sure on winter tires, but it is to the advantage of the driver,” Holm you’re safe.” That safety starts with your said. When bad weather brings driving restrictires. Tires should tions like “chains be rotated every required,” people 5,000 miles, Holm ‘If this winter is with winter tires said, and the ap(they have an ID proach of winter is like last winter, stamp) may be a good cue that your it’s going to last allowed to drive tires need checking. some highways Tire technology con- for six months.’ closed to other tinues to evolve, and Sam Holm vehicles, he said. there might be a betAssistant manager “They take it ter choice for your pretty seriously,” car and the type of Holm said, when driving you do. “We do a lot of tire swaps for driving restrictions are put in people” as winter approaches, place on mountain routes like Holm said. Some drivers still like South Pass. “That’s a big safety to switch to studded snow tires, violation.” But vehicle safety isn’t limand others switch to all-season treads. Still, a better fit might be ited to long road trips that take winter tires, which are totally dif- you over South Pass or other ferent than summer tires, Holm mountain roads. It applies just as said. The rubber compound is strongly to people who commute different, softer, more responsive to Cody every day, Holm said. “It can be treacherous,” with to snowy, icy surfaces and with more siping, the little grooves on wind, blowing snow, heavy traffic and icy roads. People can start the edges that help tires grip. At Rimrock Tire, some custom- out in the morning and arrive OK, ers are still looking for studded but conditions can deteriorate and with darkness coming on, tires, said manager Dan Ebright. “That’s the older crowd,” he drivers can get into trouble on the said. “That’s all they’ve done all way home. “You need to really look at their lives is put studded tires what you’re doing,” Holm said. on.” Tom Proulx, service manager “The last thing you want to do at Interstate Tire Service, rec- is slide off the road on your way ommends studded tires. Drivers home from work.” Studded tires can be hard on can put them on in the late fall, replace them with regular tires in road surfaces, Ebright said, but the spring and use the same stud- drivers still want them for trips ded tires the next winter. Proulx over the mountain or to Billings. said most of his customers get two Wyoming has no law to restrict
By JUDy KILLEN Tribune Staff Writer
studded tire use, although other states do. Proulx said more Interstate Tire customers are buying chains this year. “This fall is the most we’ve sold tire chains,” Proulx said. After last winter, more people are worried about getting ready for the upcoming one, he said. “People are getting ready,” Proulx said. “It’s going to start with the first snow.” Holm said good vehicle goes beyond the tires. Check all your fluids, especially the coolant, and make sure you have a good thermostat to keep your engine running efficiently. That makes your heater work better, too, he said. “The more efficient your car is, the better it starts, the better the heater works,” Holm said. A thermostat costs $10-$20 and many people can replace it themselves, Holm said — or it’s only 30 minutes to an hour of labor. He sees that as a good investment. “If this winter is like last winter, it’s going to last for six months,” he said. Flushing the fluids this time of year ensures fresh antifreeze, oil and other components to keep your car running well. “If it snows all day, the last thing you want to do is be stuck 20 miles from your house if you don’t have to,” Holm said.
Drivers may want to switch to winter tires for better handling on slick roads.
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eye on tires helps drivers with winter safety (NewsUSA) – With winter upon us, tire safety in cold weather is something every car owner should be familiar with. Most drivers concentrate on tire safety in hot weather to avoid blowouts, but the same precautions should be exercised in the winter. One of the most effective ways to be safe on the road is to use a winter tire specially designed for cold weather. Common all-season tires contain a tread compound that gradually hardens when temperatures dip below 45 degrees, resulting in a decrease in traction. These tires also tend to collect winter road debris, like snow and ice, which can impact a vehicle’s performance on wintry roads. Mark Ballard, spokesman for Discount Tire Company, America’s largest independent tire and wheel retailer, advises motorists to replace all four tires with winter tires if they can expect to encounter snow and ice during the winter months. “It’s best to use winter tires, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions where temperatures are below 45 degrees on a consistent basis,” he explains. “Relying on an all-season tire to do the work of a winter tire can be dangerous to you and other motorists.”
In recent years, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (www.rma.org) developed new standards for winter traction, which led to technological advancements in the manufacture of winter tires. For example, a newer tread compound featuring a higher sillica content retains tire flexibility even in freezing temperatures, allowing the tread to maintain its grip with the highway. Also, tread block design has been greatly improved with the addition of thousands of “sipes,” small cuts in the tread block that provide extra biting edges for more traction. “Every aspect of today’s winter tire has been engineered to provide better traction and greater ability to quickly expel water, slush and snow, provide a quieter ride and allow for longer tread life,” says Ballard. Winter tires tend to be slightly more expensive than all-season ones. But like all tires, winter tires perform optimally when properly inflated. Remember that a significant drop in temperature can lower air pressure. Typically, a 10-degree drop will cause tires to lose a pound of pressure. To learn more about winter tire safety, visit www.tires.com.
AAA encourages safety Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is Dec. 6-10, and AAA emphasizes the importance of open and constructive communication to help keep senior drivers safe and mobile, said a AAA news release. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five people will be at least 65 years old by 2030, with nearly 10 million people 85 years old or older. An estimated 90 percent of this demographic will be licensed to drive. Many families are uncomfortable when having to address an older adult’s ability to drive. “The fastest growing segment of the country’s population is people who are age 65 and older,” said Denice Harris, AAA spokeswoman. “The issue of senior driver safety and mobility touches millions of families. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity for families to start a conversation about safe mobility and address any real and perceived challenges associated with driving and aging.”
Conversations about safe driving can evoke strong emotional reactions from some older drivers, as concerns about personal independence and managing other day-to-day activities may come into question. AAA encourages seniors and their families to approach these sensitive conversations as opportunities for constructive communication and problem solving. AAA also offers the following resources for older drivers: • AAA Roadwise Review is a computer-based tool designed to assess a driver’s functional abilities important to safe driving. • CarFit and AAA’s Smart Features for Mature Drivers help to enhance seniors’ comfort and safety while driving. • Safe Driving for Mature Operators classroom and online courses provide driver training to help address the changes caused by aging and how a driver may compensate. For more information on Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.
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PAGE 4 • POWELL TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011
SHIFT INTO WINTER GEAR
RED HOT A 1950 Chevy pickup with a “Viper red” paint coat drew onlookers at the Wings ‘N’ Wheels celebration at the Powell Municipal Airport in August. Tribune photo by Gib Mathers
Missouri man tracks down stolen classic car SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Missouri man and his classic car have been reunited 16 years after the vehicle was stolen. Edward Neeley, of Jefferson City, Mo., picked up his red 1969 Chevy Camaro in Salt Lake City after tracking it down in Utah recently. The Deseret News of Salt Lake City reports Neeley contacted Utah authorities after he saw the Camaro listed for sale online. Investigators say the Utah seller had bought the car four years ago on eBay and also is a victim. The Syracuse man was unaware its vehicle identification number had been switched. After an investigation, the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division returned the car to Neeley, who was determined to be the rightful owner. Neeley had the car shipped back home.
Five common car problems and their costs New electronic DETROIT (AP) — Drivers get nervous whenever the “check engine” light illuminates on their dashboard. It can signal anything from a missing $3 gas cap to repairs costing thousands of dollars. But think of the light as a way to stay on top of problems and extend the life of a car. Often, it’s warning about problems that can be avoided by keeping up with regular maintenance, says CarMD, a maker of vehicle diagnostic equipment. While maintenance is expensive, it’s crucial as people hang on to their cars longer. According to R.L. Polk, an automotive data firm, the average vehicle on the road is now 10.6 years old, up from 8.8 years a decade ago. Here are the five most common reasons your “check engine” light might come on, and what you can expect to pay for the repair,
including labor, according to CarMD: 1. FAULTY OXYGEN SENSOR: The sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust and tells the car’s computer how much fuel is in the tank. If a faulty one is not repaired, the car’s gas mileage could drop, since the sensor is sending incorrect information to the car. It costs less than $200 to repair. 2. LOOSE OR MISSING GAS CAP: Technicians will often tighten the gas cap for free, or replace it for a few dollars. If it’s not replaced, gas will evaporate from the car and decrease its gas mileage. 3. BROKEN CATALYTIC CONVERTER: This one isn’t good news, since it can cost up to $2,000 to replace. The catalytic con-
verter uses a catalyst - most often a precious metal such as platinum — to convert harmful gases left over from combustion to less harmful emissions. CarMD says catalytic converters generally won’t fail unless a related part, such as a spark plug, malfunctions, so it’s wise to keep up with the car’s maintenance schedule. 4. MALFUNCTIONING MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR. This sensor measures the amount of air supplied to the engine, which determines how much fuel should be delivered. When it malfunctions, it can result in a loss of power to the car, surges during acceleration and a decrease in fuel economy. It costs around $375 to fix. 5. MISFIRING SPARK PLUGS: Spark plugs are small but essential, since they make
the car go by igniting the compressed fuel in an internal combustion engine. Misfiring spark plugs can affect engine power and fuel economy and can also damage the catalytic converter. You can replace spark plugs yourself for around $10 or pay $300 for a technician to do it. CarMD says the total average repair cost in the U.S. is $305.56, including $202.28 for parts and $103.27 for labor. The most expensive cars to repair? Hybrids. They remain rare enough that their parts are pricier and fewer technicians are trained to fix them. The report is based on data from 170,000 vehicle repairs made between 1996 and 2010. The data came from vehicle owners and technicians who downloaded information to CarMD.
speed limit signs installed on I-80
CHEYENNE (AP) — New electronic speed limit signs are in place along Interstate 80 between Laramie and Cheyenne. The signs make it possible for the Wyoming Department of Transportation to remotely change the speed limit on the highway to match current road and weather conditions. WYDOT has installed more than three dozen signs along I-80 in southern Wyoming. The signs allow the speed limit to be dropped incrementally to as low as 30 or 35 mph, with the ability to tailor the speed limit changes to road sections as short as two miles in length. Statistics indicate that the signs, combined with other improvements in maintenance strategies, resulted in fewer crashes and road closures.
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thursday, November 10, 2011 pOWEll TRIbuNE • page 5
SHIFT INTO WINTER GEAR
Easy projects can boost your garage value
A proud Darren Thomas stands by his restored 1957 Chevrolet, painted metallic blue. Thomas began working on the car in 1979 at the age of 14 and sold it four years later to buy his next classic car restoration project. Courtesy photo
Classic car memories By ILENE OLSON Tribune News Editor
ot everyone can say their first car was a 1957 Chevy. But Darren Thomas of Powell can. Thomas bought his ’57 Chevy when he was just 14 years old. “I was kind of a car nut at a pretty young age,” he said. “My dad mechanicked in a garage at home, and I was always out helping. I just had a thing for ’57 Chevys since I don’t know how old I was — just a kid, for sure.” His dad helped him find the vehicle in North Dakota in 1979. They brought it back to Powell, and Darren and his father began restoring the car. “I pretty much started with the tires and worked my way all the way to the top,” he said. “Pretty much everything was replaced or rebuilt.” They found parts by combing salvage yards and by buying other ’57 Chevys that served as parts cars. “I’d bring them home and pull off what I needed to put on mine, then I’d sell the parts cars to someone else. Back then, they were still laying around here and there. Now, of course, you don’t find any of them laying around.” A local guy painted it for him, changing the color from its original pink to metallic blue.
Thomas said most all of his free time was spent working on his car — a labor of love. “I never quit working on it,” he said. “I worked on it forever — pretty steady for a couple of years, anyway. I had it until I was a senior, then I sold it to buy my next dream car, a ’69 Camaro.” In addition to the time he spent working on the ’57 Chevy, Darren remembers quite a bit about the time he spent in it. That was the car he first drove his high school sweetheart, Julie — now his wife — on dates in.
Julie Thomas said she remembers that the front suspension in the car squeaked for some reason, so she always knew when Darren was driving into the high school parking lot. There are plenty of other memories, too, Darren Thomas said. “I used to take four or five people to the drive-in in the trunk all the time,” he said, thereby saving them the cost of admission. There were many other adventures that probably aren’t fit to print, he added, chuckling.
“Drag racing, everything you can imagine. You look back now and wonder how you ever made it through,” he said. Thomas said the reason he liked the ’57 Chevy so much probably is the same reason it’s still a classic, and the reason it’s still popular: the car’s unique style. “It’s definitely in the top three, and somebody told me not very long ago that it was No. 1,” he said. Even though Thomas sold the car in 1983, it’s still in the area, he said. Now, though, it’s white.
just get everything off the floor. Shelving units and cabinets, preferably made out of heavyduty plastics can help de-clutter the space. “Most garages are not climate controlled,” Butensky says. “PVC (cabinets and shelves) holds up the best to moisture heat and cold. It can even take a few hits from kids’ bats and toys and even the garage door.” Think you don’t have space? Look up. Butensky says cabinets and shelves can be installed near the celling, freeing precious wall and floor space. Large items that don’t get used a lot like kayaks and sleds can be hung from the ceiling. A fully-equipped one-wall shelving and cabinet system typically starts at $2,500, while a full two-car garage with flooring can run between $10,000 and $12,000, Butensky says. RENOvATE For those whose home just didn’t come with the playroom, art studio or man cave they need, garages can be converted into extra rooms — even small apartments. Butensky says some of her clients have turned their garages into a living or recreational space. Projects ranged from something as simple as painting squares for hopscotch or a shuffleboard court on the floor, to a fancy indoor rink complete with synthetic ice. Just like a kitchen or a bathroom, a garage done cheaply and without the right people involved won’t attract buyers or allow you to recoup your investment if you sell.
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‘Cause you never know what you might run into. This 1957 Chevy was pink and white when Darren Thomas bought it. Here, it is pictured early in the restoration process. Courtesy photo
Volkswagen to keep Passat name on new midsize DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is keeping the Passat name for a new midsize vehicle that will be built at the company’s new U.S. plant in Tennessee. Volkswagen of America Inc. announced plans recently to maintain the Passat nameplate at an event before media previews of the North American International Auto Show. The German automaker plans to reveal the new car to journalists this week. VW said the Passat will
NEW YORK (AP) — For a lot of homeowners, their garage has become their go-to place for stashing everything but their actual cars. But for those looking to sell their home in today’s tough real estate market, or who are just looking to get the most out of the space, a garage facelift may be the way to go. Here are steps you can take to improve your garage: ClEAN IT up There’s no dispute among Realtors and design experts: The worst condition a garage can be in, especially when you’re trying to sell, is messy and disorganized. “There’s nothing people hate to see more than cobwebs or evidence of critters,” says Elizabeth Blakeslee, an associate broker with Coldwell Banker in Washington, D.C. The garage should be kept in the same manner as the rest of the house, she says. Make sure it’s tidy, paint the floor and garage door and keep the roof in as good a condition as the one over the rest of the house. It helps to store items close to where they are needed, says Barbara Butensky, director of marketing for GarageTek, a Syosset, N.Y. company that makes custom garage organization and storage systems. Extra rolls of paper towels and other household items should be kept close to the entrance to the house, while lawn care items might be better kept close to an exit to the yard, she said. It’s amazing how much more you can do with a garage and how much better it looks if you
carry a starting price of around $20,000, allowing it to compete with its rivals in the competitive midsize segment. Current Passat models, which are built in Germany, start at $27,195. The new Passat is a key part of the company’s plan to triple sales in the U.S. by 2018. Jonathan Browning, VW’s North American president and CEO, said that while the company thrived in Europe in past years, the company “became a mar-
ginal player here in one of the world’s most important markets. That is no longer acceptable.” Volkswagen will produce the new Passat at its $1 billion Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. The car is expected to go on sale later this year. The facility, which will employ 2,000 workers, is the company’s first U.S. assembly plant since it closed its New Stanton, Pa., plant in 1988 following disappointing sales. Volkswagen sold about
360,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010, a 3 percent increase over the previous year, and has outlined ambitious plans to sell 1 million vehicles in the U.S. by 2018. VW said a diesel version of the car, the Passat TDI, will get 43 miles per gallon on the highway, with a range of about 800 miles. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., attended the event, which was headlined by the rock band Train.
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page 6 • powell tribune thursday, November 10, 2011
SHiFt into winter GeAr
y o u r
e x c lu S i v e
. . .
Paint Supplier! Goose Neck HitcHes!
1008 South Street • Powell • 754-7181 • Serving Powell for 11 YearS
Regular washing can help protect a vehicle’s finish during the winter, when mud and road chemicals can collect on car paint. tribune photo by Judy Killen
Every car needs a little TLC (NewsUSA) — During the winter months, cold weather gives way to the warm, fuzzy feelings brought on by the presence of that certain special someone. But it’s not just your significant other that deserves attention —your hard-working vehicle needs some extra TLC as well. Tires Plus offers a few tips to keep your vehicle running strong: • Listen to each other. Keep your engine properly tuned. A vehicle that has a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can decrease gas mileage by as much as 40 percent. A single misfiring spark plug can cut fuel economy by up to 4 percent. • Keep your vehicle re-
freshed. Change the engine oil. Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your vehicle, and change it according to your vehicle owner’s manual, which usually says every three months or 3,000 miles. Prolonged driving without an oil change may cause severe engine damage. Regularly check your vehicle’s fluid levels, including transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant. • Keep in constant contact. Maintain your tires. Check inflation pressure monthly, and make sure your tires are properly balanced. Don’t forget to rotate your tires according to the maintenance schedule and have the alignment checked at least once a year.
• Be considerate. Use good driving habits. Accelerating quickly and stopping abruptly can prematurely wear your vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires and brakes. Aggressive driving also wastes gas. • Protect it from the elements. Keep the exterior washed and waxed to preserve the paint finish and protect your vehicle from the environment. Salt, water, sand and even deicing chemicals on the road can cause rust or other damage to a vehicle. Every relationship takes work, even the one you have with your car. Never underestimate how far a little tender loving care toward your vehicle can go.
That’s not a car, that’s a golf cart
family members; that goosemourn for tomorrow’s drivpimpling, grinding buzz when ers, who are increasingly you’ve tried to shift before unlikely to learn the way of sticking in the clutch (if that the road in a real car. isn’t a teaching method on par A real car, for those of you with a canine shock collar, I who don’t know, is one with don’t what is). standard manual transmission. My most formative manual Now before I go further, moment came while stalling a disclaimer: I don’t know at the stop sign on Seventh anything about cars. My and Division streets. With how knowledge of vehicle fixes is many times I killed the enessentially limited to failing gine, I’m surprised digital car clocks I didn’t draw a and starters. Both, crowd of auto rights I’ve learned, can be protesters. I did, repaired with a littlehowever, draw an known trick I call ever-increasing line “banging on it until of vehicles behind it works again.” (It’s with each succesless effective on hot, sive failure to get my moving parts, I’ve 1996 Jeep Cherokee heard.) to drive again. As So with that conmy patient stepdad text, please accept supervised, I grew that I’m not basing CJ bAKer increasingly flusmy transmission stands for tered, embarrassed argument on objecsomething at publicly failing to tive standards like move a fully-funcfuel efficiency, maintenance costs or other real tional automobile more than a lurches-worth. benchmarks a mechanic or Fortunately, folks in Powell actual car expert might run you tend to be a sympathetic bunch through. and I eventually got the Jeep No, I’m talking about the moving again. I also learned an character that’s built while wrestling with your first clutch: extremely important lesson: first and third gears may be those stalls in trafficked inin similar spots on the shifter, tersections; those lurches that but one is a whole lot easier to disorient your long-suffering
start in. Today’s youth, however, are more and more likely to cruise on by with automatic transmissions and less and less likely to learn such lessons. According to data reported by Ward’s Auto Magazine, fully 89 percent of 2010’s passenger cars were automatics. The automatics’ prevalence means the vast majority of tomorrow’s travelers are paying their driving dues on a driving mechanism with all the technical sophistication of a soupedup golf cart. (Not that you can’t learn about driving on a golf cart — that’s where I learned: No. 1 driving in reverse is deceptively tougher than forward and No. 2 even golf carts are hard to push out of ditches.) Car buyers do have the option of getting some kind of hybrid transmission, like a “manumatic,” “automanual” or (seriously) a “flappy-paddle.” Some even let drivers switch from stick shifting to automatic mid-trip. But that hardly seems fair or character-building; back in my day, we had to drive to school with a manual transmission BOTH WAYS. I’ll admit that I, too, am now driving an automatic, but with all the horrific gear-grinds I’ve endured, I say I’ve earned it.
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011 POWELL TRIBUNE • PAGE 7
SHIFT INTO WINTER GEAR
Preparation enhances winter driving safety Some of the basic ways to be prepared include installing winter windshield wiper blades, and checking headlights and tire pressure. When driving on ice, accelerate slowly — pretend that an egg is sitting under your gas pedal. To stop your vehicle on ice, remove your foot slowly from the gas pedal. If your vehicle is equipped with ABS brakes, step on your brakes when slowing. Wyoming Department of Transportation maintenance professionals, who work on our roadways every day of the year, share the following winter driving tips: • Make sure your vehicles are in top operating condition. • Bring safety supplies and be prepared. Carry a sleeping bag, blankets, flashlights, non-perishable food, water, matches and fire starter, cell phone, a good shovel, flares, and even sand or cat litter for traction. • Let someone know when you leave and when you’ll arrive at your destination. • Keep your gas tank full of fuel. • Drivers of some vehicles may want to carry tire chains. • If you’re stranded during the winter on the open road, stay with your vehicle. Your vehicle is your best protection against winter weather and offers your best protection from a blizzard. • For Wyoming road conditions this winter, call 511, or log on to the Internet at wyoroad.info. WYDOT employees are on the roads when the conditions are the worst, and they’re out there between storms, too.
“We want you to drive safely to your destination,” said Cody Beers, WYDOT District 5 public relations specialist in Riverton. WYDOT has numerous bright yellow snow plows, and when working the roads, these plow trucks have amber and blue flashing lights mounted on top of the cab and on the back of the sanders. Snow plows are huge machines, capable of moving tons of snow every minute. Operators of these snow plows are highly trained professionals. These snow plow professionals need cooperation from drivers so they can do their jobs and keep the road safe for drivers. Give them room to operate. “Stay well back from operating snow plows,” Beers said. “They are spreading sand, and anti-icing and de-icing chemicals on the roadway. It’s always a good idea to stay back from snow plows while their operators are doing their jobs.” With limited visibility, snow plow drivers can’t see vehicles behind them if the vehicles are too close to the plows. “Remember, the safest driving surface is behind the plow. If you must pass, don’t pass on the right into the plume of snow being moved,” Beers said. “Be sure on two-lane highways that you have plenty of time to pass. Keep a close watch, these huge plows often stir up their own whiteout conditions while doing their work.” WYDOT snow plows usually operate slower than other traffic. “Always remember our plows are helping to keep you safe,”
Loving my car—or not
Officials with the Wyoming Department of Transportation urge drivers to give snowplows plenty of room to operate on the state’s highways this winter. Courtesy photo/Wyoming Department of Transportation involved in a crash.” WYDOT treats roads with liquid de-icers and anti-icers to keep ice from bonding to our roadways, or to remove the ice if
Beers said. “We’re on your team. A few extra minutes of travel time following a plow are well worth it when compared to the problems associated with being
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it has already formed. While research verifies fewer accidents occur on treated highways, these de-icers and antiicers can spray up on vehicles
from tires and wind. “It’s a good idea to wash off the de-icing and anti-icing chemicals from your vehicle,” Beers said. “Don’t forget to keep your wiper reservoir full of washer fluid in case you experience splash-back.” Beers said winter conditions — snow depth, limited visibility, high winds, and drifted snow — sometimes close roads to travel. “We realize these closures may be frustrating if you’re traveling or late for an appointment. In winter, give yourself extra time to reach your destination without having to drive faster than the conditions allow,” Beers said. “Winter driving requires a light touch and a cautious approach.” Beers said it takes extra time to slow down or stop on slick roads. “Don’t use your cruise control, and drive at appropriate speeds. If you encounter poor visibility, slow down. Always slow down for safety. If you don’t have to go, don’t,” Beers said.
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and when I stopped for gas, dismericans are famous for covered that coolant was leaking their love affair with the from a small crack at the top of automobile. the radiator, a crack that had not To many Americans, owning a been there when I checked out car or its close cousin, a pickup the car before I left. The applicatruck, is synonymous with freetion of solder solved the problem dom, and we would rather go and I was on the road again in without lunch than without a car. Most of us depend on our cars for pretty short order The temporary fix actually lasted for six months, both work and play, but to many but keeping an eye on the temp of us, they fulfill other needs gauge for the rest of the trip took as well. Some of us express our some of the fun out of the trip. personalities through our cars About six months later, the and treat them almost like pets, transmission started leaking, regiving them names and entering quiring new seals, but appeared them in shows. to suffer no other damage, and I’m not exactly an exception when the weather warmed up to this American attachment to in the spring the car displayed a cars. I’ve had long-term relationtendency to heat up suddenly for ships with most of the cars I’ve no apparent reason. It would cool owned, buying them new and down in about five minutes if I driving them for as long as I can, kept driving. Nobody was ever so I will admit that I’ve gotten atable to tell me why it happened tached to a couple of them. As a or find a way to fix it. The situaresult, I’ve tended to drive them tion never really caused me any just a bit longer than I should trouble, but it did raise my anxihave, that is, until they have beety level when it hapcome way too unrelipened, particularly able and a bit unsafe. when I was driving I’ll even admit to through some of those having felt a pang of big empty spaces in regret on a few occathe southwest part of sions when I parted Wyoming. ways with a car that Despite those difhas given me its all, ficulties, which in particularly when retrospect don’t seem I’ve had to haul it out so bad, I had a good to an auto graveyard. time with that car. But a love affair I certainly got my with a car? I don’t DON AMEND money’s worth out think so. Some of my The Amend of it, since during cars have been betcorner the year I owned it, ter than others, of I logged more than course, but in most 40,000 miles with weekend trips cases, even with the good ones, to Laramie, holiday trips home to I’ve had decidedly mixed feelWorland, explorations of southings about them, at least half of which are somewhat the opposite west Wyoming and northern Utah and just plain joyriding. of love. In the end though, I was happy This ambiguous attitude toto trade it in on a nearly new car ward automobiles began when, and felt no regret when I walked shortly after graduating from away from it, or when I saw it college, I bought a 1959 Plymbeing driven by its new owner, a outh Fury which, despite being lead-footed teen. 7 years old, didn’t have many miles on it and was in pretty good That’s the way it’s been with shape. I don’t remember the every car I’ve owned since. I exact price I paid for the car, but don’t have fond memories of it was somewhere between $400 the time a transmission froze and $500, which people other up near Shell in the middle of than the seller told me was not a the night, or the time my wife bad price. got stranded outside of Casper Before I had even completed when the cam shaft went out, the purchase, though, I found one but those memories are more of the ugly realities of car ownthan balanced by the pleasure ership, specifically, the rather of visiting Yellowstone, going negative attitude insurance comto visit grandmas, interacting panies had toward single males with our kids as we drove down under 25 years old who want to different roads, and a thousand drive cars. The annual premium other memories produced by for insuring my new possession road trips. turned out to be a little more than So, even though I’m an Amerihalf the purchase price, and I becan, I can’t say that I love cars. gan wondering if I really needed In some ways car ownership is a car after all. I did, of course, so a gigantic pain in the neck, but I rearranged my budget and paid I do love what they have done for the insurance. for me, and, for the most part, A couple of weeks after my they’ve been worth the money purchase, I aimed the car east they cost. out of Evanston, where I was And every now and then, usuworking at the time, and headed ally while looking at lovingly for Cheyenne, ostensibly to atrestored vintage cars at an auto tend the annual teachers’ conshow, I wonder what finally hapvention held back in those days, pened to that red Plymouth Fury but much more intent on visiting and remember how, despite the my future wife at UW and taking problems I had with it, it served in a Cowboy football game. me pretty well during that year I Shortly before reaching owned it. Rawlins, I noticed that my temMaybe I really did love that perature gauge was climbing, car after all.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING?
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PAGE 8 • POWELL TRIBUNE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2011
SHIFT INTO WINTER GEAR
Saab story SUCH IS LIFE By Tessa Schweigert
2009 ToyoTa HigHlander 2005 dodge durango limiTed A1120A
7 Pass, AWD, Red & Ready! Was $28,995
4x4, Leather, 8 Passenger Was $11,995
2008 2500 eXpreSS van
2004 CHevy avalanCHe 2007 dodge grand Caravan SXT Leather, Red, 4x4 P1116A
6.0, Commercial Bin, Utility Rack Was $15,995
2009 dodge 1500 Crew
2008 ToyoTa rav4
Navigation, leather, sunroof, Hemi Was $29,995
Limited, 20K Miles Was $25,995
2007 CHevroleT TaHoe
2009 SaTurn ouTlook
2008 ToyoTa HigHlander
AWD, Leather, 8 Passenger Was $25,995
V6, Sport, Brilliant Blue Was $26,995
888.WYO.Road • wyoroad.info or 511 on your cell phone
2011 gmC aCadia P1121
2010 Ford F-250
Leather, 17K Miles, Sharp! Was $37,995
V-10, Manual, 1 Owner Nada $32,025
2011 CHevroleT Suburban lT 2010 CHevroleT Suburban A1125
Diamond White, 17K Miles, Sharp! Was $41,095
LT, Maroon, DVD, 9K miles Was $41,695
2010 gmC aCadia SlT2
2008 CHevroleT 2500 lT P1112
Crew, Diesel, 23K, Ready to Tow NADA $38,950
Nav, DVD, Captain’s, Heads Up NADA $36,775
Please visit our entire inventory at www.garvinmotors.com
Prices good through November 10, 2011
1105 W. COULTER • POWELL, WYOMING • 1-8 0 0 -788- 4669 • ( 3 07 ) 754-5743
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Wyoming Road & Travel Information 888.WYO.Road • wyoroad.info or 511 on your cell phone Wyoming Road & Travel Information
LT, White, Factory Warranty Was $31,295
LTZ, 22K, DVD, Nav, Local Trade NADA $35,100
19K Miles, Like New, 4x4, Crew NADA $28,500
2009 CHevroleT TraverSe 2011 CHevroleT TraverSe
left. We never did figure that one out, even after multiple trips to the shop. Each time my coworkers made a crack about Saab stories, I defended its integrity. I loved this car, I maintained it and I was going to stick by it through the end. That loyalty began wavering around June. While in Boise for my sister’s wedding reception, the driver’s side window came off its track. When it’s 100 degrees outside, you’re facing a 600-mile drive home and you have the option of air conditioning, you want that window to roll up. Thankfully, my brother and his soon-to-be father-in-law got the window to an upright position after a couple hours of tinkering. They gave me very clear instructions to not roll it down. I could handle the window issue, no problem. Who needs to roll windows up and down? I hardly ever use drive-throughs anyway. Saab story averted — but only for a couple weeks. Soon after, I was driving downtown one afternoon when my seat suddenly began reclining. On its own. Without any buttons pushed. I frantically scrambled to hit the electronic button to stop the seat, leaning forward so my foot could reach the pedals while the rest of my body moved backward. It’s a slightly terrifying thing to be moving backward without control as you’re behind the wheel. The frequency of the seat’s wayward movement steadily increased. Every few minutes, I had to hit the button to stop it. My mother worried that eventually, the electronic malfunction would incapacitate the seat entirely so that I couldn’t stop it at all. Thoughts of me sailing down the highway at 70 mph, unable to reach the brakes or gas pedal with a declining seat began to haunt her. Me too — plus, it was just plain obnoxious. I thought about taking the car to the shop yet again, to deal with the fifth problem in as many months. I mentioned this to my father, who suggested it may be time for a new car. True to his heritage as a Chevrolet dealer, it only took him about 24 hours to find a 2005 Chevy Malibu within my price range. We talked about it on a Monday evening and the Chevy was purchased by Thursday from American Auto in Powell. By that Wednesday, I penned my last Saab story as I signed off on its sale. And now, for the first time in my life, I’m a Schweigert with a Chevrolet. As for the important details: White. Hatchback. Automatic windows. Gray cloth interior. Two cup holders. Seat that reclines only when you tell it to. Beyond that, please don’t ask for mechanical specifics.
2007 CHevroleT 1500
et me start by saying that I don’t know much about cars. My great-grandfather started Schweigert Chevrolet in South Dakota, my grandfather continued operating the dealership, my father loves to share his wealth of knowledge about various vehicles and my brother grew up appreciating cars at an early age. None of that came through the Schweigert gene for this one. When it concerns cars, I can talk about the following: brand, color, style, automatic windows, interior material and cup holders. I’m only partially joking. So, when it came time for me to buy a car a few years ago, I knew what I wanted. Saab. Blue. Hatchback. Automatic windows (and sunroof). Leather interior. Fancy little cup holder — bonus. I didn’t really consider how difficult it is to get parts for Saabs in Wyoming, nor the fact that few local mechanics specialize in Saabs. All I knew was that I wanted a Saab. While I loved the little Swedish car, it didn’t take long for my clever coworkers to call its mishaps “Saab stories.” And, unfortunately, it had many. A memorable moment early on was when the Saab began beeping for no apparent reason. I had friends visiting from Illinois, and we had planned to head to Red Lodge and then Yellowstone, but every 30 seconds or so, the Saab beeped. Many buttons were pushed. The car was turned off and on multiple times. Still the beeping persisted. I called my parents. I asked coworkers. I took it to a busy mechanic who glanced at it, shook his head and said to come back later. Still beeping away, the Saab was parked for the weekend, and I borrowed my family’s car for the Yellowstone trip. The great thing about Saabs is they have all these fancy features that tell you the temperature, how many miles you can go with the gasoline in the tank or your average miles per gallon. The frustrating thing about Saabs is that they have a lot of buttons and functions that you don’t understand if you don’t read the owner’s manual carefully. Such as: if you accidentally press a couple buttons, you can set an alarm that beeps continuously until you figure out which buttons to hit to stop it. Other Saab stories followed. The windshield cracked in three different places — but that was not the Saab’s fault. It could happen to any car. Then there were other problems. The electronic door locks didn’t work. The brakes needed to be replaced. A wheel bearing failed. The radio didn’t pick up any stations, even local ones. Something made a mysterious noise whenever you turned
LT, Tri Zone AC, Bose NADA $23,975
Here I am pictured with the Saab in Idaho near Yellowstone National Park. During a roadtrip to Boise, Idaho, last spring, the Saab wouldn’t start up again after a gas station stop. One of many little Saab stories. Courtesy photo/Marissa Dickey
4x4 Quad Cab, 41K Miles NADA $22,195
Stow ‘n Go, Power Seat, Captain’s Chairs Was $12,995
2008 dodge 1500
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