Congratulations to Stokes County Humane Society For Winning A $500 Donation Through Our Facebook Contest!

Everyone at Crown Volvo Greensboro wants to congratulate Stokes County Humane Society as the winner of our $500 give-away to a local Pet Adoption and Animal Rescue center! The SCHS works to serve the unwanted animals of Stokes County and assist owners in keeping their beloved pets through assistance and education. Thanks to the eight wonderful local organizations who were nominated and the more than 700 of you who cast a vote. Follow us on Facebook to stay notified of future contests!

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How Brakes Work—and How to Tell When Yours Need Service

Brakes don’t attract much attention—until you need them. If they’re working correctly, your car will screech to a halt in a shorter distance than you would ever have thought possible. If not, you could be in trouble.

A little knowledge about how brakes work can help prevent this kind of emergency, so read on.

Braking is all about friction: the business of pressing a stationary material against a moving surface and converting kinetic energy into heat. This is the principle used by the brakes of a bicycle, and a car isn’t much different.

Unlike a bike, though, the brake material is not pressed directly against the wheel but against a second surface that rotates with the wheel. This second surface can take one of two forms. In older and less expensive vehicles, there’s a brake drum behind each of the rear wheels. Although it’s called a drum, it can be pictured as a top hat, with the wheel mounted on the closed end.

Inside the drum are two curved “shoes” lined with friction material. When the wheel is turning, the shoes are held just off the surface of the drum. But when you press on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid transfers that force to the shoes, pushing them outwards so that the friction material presses against the rotating drum. The harder the pedal is pressed, the more force the shoes apply and the quicker the wheel stops turning.

At one time, all brakes were of this drum design, but today almost every vehicle uses disc brakes at the front wheels. More expensive cars, especially high-performance models, use disc brakes all around. In a disc system, a rotor is mounted behind and turns with the wheel. A caliper holding two pads of friction material–the brake pads—is mounted over the rotor so that when the brakes are applied, the pads pinch the disc. As with the shoes, in normal conditions the pads are held just off the surface. During braking, hydraulic pressure pushes them together, slowing the rotation.

So how do you know when the brakes need servicing? This can usually be judged by how the brake pedal feels under your foot.

A pulsing feel usually suggests a warped rotor that should be replaced at the dealership.

If the pedal feels soft or spongy rather than becoming hard when pushed, it’s likely that air has gotten into the hydraulic system. This reduces the braking power, and the vehicle should be taken to the dealership immediately.

Should the pedal go all the way to the floor with no resistance, stop immediately (foot off the gas, transmission into neutral, turn off the engine if necessary, and pull on the emergency brake), then call for help.

Fortunately, brake failure is very rare. What’s more common is worn-away friction material. One sign of this is increased brake pedal travel, but that can go unnoticed until the friction material is gone completely, resulting in a loud screeching when the brakes are applied and possibly a rather large repair bill. This can be avoided by having pads and shoes inspected regularly at the dealership and replaced as necessary.

People tend not to think about brakes until an emergency arises. Don’t leave it until then to find out if yours are in good shape—ask Crown Volvo about a brake inspection today. Give us a call at (888) 232-9372!

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Volvo Introduces Intersection Support Project to Anticipate & Prevent Crashes

IntersectionRadar and cameras will help avoid critical traffic situations

Vision 2020 is Volvo Cars’ promise that “By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.” That ideal is closer to becoming a reality with the introduction of the “Intersection Support” research project, as seen in this video.

The purpose of this project is to decrease fatal crashes at intersections, which accounted for 21.5 percent of fatal car accidents in the U.S. in 2007. The new technology would use sensors to alert the driver and/or automatically brake for crossing traffic to avoid a collision.

Other technology currently being researched by Volvo includes Autonomous Driving Support (helping the driver to stay in the lane and keep with the “rhythm” of traffic) and Animal Detection (a system that can detect and automatically brake for animals). With projects like these, Vision 2020 is well on its way to completion. Stay informed on future Volvo developments with the Crown Volvo newsletter.

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Ways To Get Your Neighborhood Involved In Community Service

VolunteersA small group of very passionate individuals can accomplish great things

Community service has many potential benefits. Not only can it improve your community and your environment, but it also helps forge bonds between community members and rewards volunteers with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

The term “community service” suggests starting small, within your own town or even your own neighborhood, and letting those ripples of change spread out to the larger community, or even your state or nation. If you’re interested in making a difference in your community, consider the following ways to get your neighborhood involved in community service.

GETTING STARTED

Before you call a neighborhood meeting or organize a block party, you should take a little time to get yourself organized. The first thing you need to do is develop a clear sense of your goals. Think of community service projects like you would work projects—if you give your boss a bunch of vague ideas about getting new business, she’s not going to be impressed. Likewise, if you bring your neighbors some vague ideas about volunteering opportunities, they might be intrigued, but you’re probably not going to get any firm commitments.

Of course, you want your neighbors to have some say in the matter, but you should be ready to present your ideas, as well as details about some of the community service opportunities in your area. These could be programs that are already up and running, like your local food pantry or animal shelter. You can also search for local community service programs on the Corporation for National & Community Service website. On the other hand, you might have observed practices or places within your own neighborhood that leave room for improvement, such as the lack of a recycling program or a neighborhood park that could use some serious beautification. Projects like these are a good place to start because they’ll have an immediate impact on your own neighborhood.

GETTING TOGETHER

Once you’ve gathered some information and perhaps a few recruits, it’s time to set up a neighborhood meeting. How you go about this depends upon how friendly you are with your neighbors. Perhaps it’s just a matter of starting up the phone tree or knocking on a few doors. You may also want to ask to present your community service idea at the next homeowners’ association meeting or place fliers around the community. However you do it, be sure to spread the word; when it comes to community service, the old adage, “the more the merrier,” definitely rings true. The larger your group, the more you’ll generally be able to accomplish and the wider the movement may spread throughout the greater community.

With that said, don’t be discouraged if initial interest is low. People are busy, and community service activities often rank low on their priority lists. However, history has shown time and again that even a small group of very passionate individuals can accomplish great things. As others see the changes you’re making and how much fun you’re likely having in the process, they’ll be inspired to come on board.

MAKING IT WORK

Keep in mind you might generate more interest if you keep commitment requirements low and allow your neighbors to volunteer when they have time and in ways that work for them. You can’t expect everyone to be able to put in the same amount of hours or meet for projects or volunteer opportunities at the same times. The more flexible and open you make things, the more people will likely get involved. And finally, remember that new connections and good feelings forged between volunteers stand to strengthen your community almost much as the community service projects themselves — so be sure to enjoy the time spent with your fellow neighbors and community members.


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How Does Donating Your Car To A Charity For A Tax Break Work?

calculatorA little planning will ensure you get the most mileage from your generosity

Donating your car to your favorite charity is a great way to get a tax break, but it’s not as simple as it used to be. The IRS has added several rules in the last few years, so be sure you’re prepared before making such a big commitment.

Make sure your charity qualifies

Before you get started, you need to find out if the charity you want to donate your car to even qualifies. Most 501 (c)(3) organizations do, but you want to be sure before you donate.

Make sure you qualify

There are a few qualifications taxpayers must meet in order to be able to qualify for the tax break. You must itemize your deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040. Also, the value of deduction must not exceed 50 percent of your gross adjusted income. You can see all of the qualification rules in Publication 526.

Retail vs. fair market value

Next, you need to find out the value of your donation (car). It’s not like it used to be. Gone are the days when you could get away with using the retail value. What a dealer would get for your car is no longer permissible as a valuation.

Even using a guide like Kelley Blue Book doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. If your car has a book value of $1,100 but needs $300 worth of work, the value (what a real-life buyer would pay) is more like $800.

Money matters

How much your car is worth will determine what sort of paperwork you need to complete in order to get your tax break.

  • $250-500: If your car falls into this range, you only need to have a written acknowledgment from the charity. This has to include the name of the charity, a description of the car (the value is not required) and either a description of any good or service you received in return or a statement that no goods or services were received in return for your donation. Keep this for your records.
  • $500-5,000: This is where things get a little more complicated. You need to fill out Form 1098-C and Section A of Form 8283. Most important to note is that, if the charity sells your car, you can only deduct the actual selling price of the car.
  • $5,000 or more: In addition to all of the above, you have to get a written appraisal from a qualified appraiser and fill out section B of Form 8283, which requires a signature from the charity.

Using a car donation service

Car donations have become a booming business. Some services are for-profit organizations. If you want your car to do the most for you and for charity, consider using a service like Charity Cars. They’re a non-profit that tries to match cars to needy families. If your car qualifies, you will receive the fair market value of the car as a deduction.

For a complete rundown of the IRS’ policies about car donation, read their Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donation (pdf).

 


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What Are The Advantages Of Buying Tires From A Dealership Rather Than A Big Box Store?

tiresNobody knows your car better than we do

Car tires are one of the most important parts on the vehicle, so it’s important to make sure you’re paying for quality. In the interest of trying to save some money, some drivers will go to big box stores or independent workshops to buy replacement tires. However, at Crown Volvo, our “meet or beat” pricing policy means that you’ll always pay the lowest price. In addition, there are many more benefits to buying your tires directly from our dealership.

When you purchase tires from Crown Volvo, we can offer expertise in the specific make and model of car that you drive. That means that our service department is able to ensure that any parts ordered and fitted are exactly what your car needs. The fit and quality of a car tire has a direct impact on its performance, so you need to ensure that you have tires that are designed specifically for the model you drive. Crown Volvo gives you the confidence that this is the case. A big box store simply can’t offer this service and will normally stock OEM products, which are cheaper imitations of top brand products.

A big box store may not offer any warranty at all, which means that you often need to manage any problems with the manufacturer. Our dealership, however, will nearly always offer an extended warranty on the tires and will quickly resolve any problems as soon as they arise.

At Crown Volvo, we have access to all the current information and expertise related to your car. New developments are coming on to the market all the time, so there may be new, better tires available for your car that an independent mechanic wouldn’t know about. We also have a wide choice of different types of tires available, like winter tires.

Don’t pay more for tires with less information—come to Crown Volvo today to find the tires that are right for your vehicle.

We guarantee you the best price on a new set! Plus we’ll give you $50 for your old tires and free rotations for life. Give us a call at (888) 232-9372!


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Support Red Dog Farms At Our Pet Adoption Cookout On August 11th

DogHelp cats, dogs, birds, and more find loving homes

We don’t need much prodding at Crown Volvo to support our friends at Red Dog Farm, a wonderful local non-profit that helps with the rehabilitation, fostering, and adoption of animals. We sponsored their Dogs On The Catwalk fashion show at Triad Stage and provided Volvo vehicles for the group’s supporters to ride in the Summerfield Founders’ Day Parade. Come help us support them again at our Pet Adoption Cookout on August 11th. Help bunnies, guinea pigs, birds, dogs, and cats find good, loving homes in the area. Call (888) 232-9372 to RSVP. Thank you for helping us support this important cause!

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How to Throw The Best Pool Party Ever

Basic planning

Before you even tell people your idea or choose a date for your party, you should take some time to analyze your space and make some basic plans. The first thing to consider is how many people you can comfortably accommodate. If you only have a small above-ground pool to work with, then it will probably be more fun for everyone to keep the party intimate – say, five to 10 friends – to avoid feeling overcrowded.

If you have access to a pool large enough to accommodate more people, consider whether it would be a good idea to have someone with lifeguard training present. Does your pool have a deep end? Will there be children present? If the answer was yes to either, having a trained professional close by might not be a bad idea.

Setting up

Even though it’s a pool party, don’t forget to put out plenty of seating. Not everyone will be in the pool at the same time, and one or two people might not be comfortable swimming at all. If you don’t have very much outdoor furniture on hand, visit your local dollar or discount store — during the summer they often carry cheap plastic chairs perfect for the poolside.

Party favors that make a splash

Everyone likes receiving party favors, and the best favors are the kind that don’t lose their usefulness immediately after the party ends. For pool-party-themed favors, think of summery items that your guests might forget, like sunglasses, airy scarves, flip-flops, and miniature bottles of sunscreen. The best part is that with a little digging, all these favors can be found for a relatively inexpensive price.

Get the wave rolling

One of the classic pool party problems is how to get people to decide to jump in and start the party. The trick is to invite a few of your closest friends to come before the party is scheduled to start, with an agreement to be in (or jump in) the water when people come. Many people hesitate to be the first one on the dance floor (or in this case, the first one in the pool), so take that inhibition out of the equation. Plus, this way no one who comes on time will feel awkward for being the first to arrive.

The best pool parties are simple but well-planned. Before you send your invites, sit down and figure out the best ways to maximize the fun while still keep guests feeling comfortable. Everyone will be glad you did.

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Volvo Tests Convoy of Self-Driven Cars on Public Motorway


Evolutionary program enables cars to mimic movement of others


Volvo has a long history of “firsts,” and now Crown Volvo is proud to announce that we’ve added another one. For the first time ever, a convoy of self-driven cars was tested on a public motorway in normal traffic. The convoy included a Volvo XC60, V60, and S60, as well as a truck driving automatically behind a lead vehicle. The test took place over 200 km (just under 125 miles) of a public motorway in Spain.

The test was conducted by the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project, a joint venture between Volvo Technology, Volvo Car Corporation, and other innovative organizations. The futuristic technology involved allows a “road train” of vehicles to monitor a lead vehicle driven by a professional driver. The road train vehicles “mimic” the lead vehicle’s movement, including acceleration, braking, and turning.

The result is a driving experience that seems out of this world. Linda Wahlstrom, Volvo Car Corporation project manager, can be seen in this video lifting her feet from the pedals and removing her hands from the wheel. Later, she enjoys a magazine behind the wheel.

You’re not likely to see self-driving vehicles at Crown Volvo anytime soon, but the system does make use of current Volvo safety systems including cameras, radar, and laser sensors. Visit us to learn more about how Volvo is turning science fiction into driving reality.

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How to Select the Right Tires Based on Your Vehicle and Driving Style


There are a wide range of tires for your car, and choosing the right one is not always as easy as you might imagine. Your car’s tires have a critical role to play in ensuring that your vehicle remains safely on the road and that you can brake effectively when you need to. When choosing your tires, always consider the following factors.

Your make and model. It might seem obvious, but you should always ensure that you choose a tire that is suitable for the make and model of car that you drive. For example, from one production year to the next, subtle changes to the car’s build are often made, even if the basic body shape remains the same. Make sure you take this into account. Consult your dealership to find out which tires are suitable for the make and model of car that you drive, according to size, speed rating and load carrying capacity.

Your driving needs. Everybody has different needs from a car. Some people just want a car to get them around town. Other drivers are looking for a family vehicle that can be used for vacations or days out. Some drivers will be looking for a car with off-road capabilities. The type of driving that you do has an impact on the sort of tires that you buy for your car, and it’s worth remembering that if you do different types of driving, you may require different types of tire too. A tire that can withstand the rigors of driving off-road, for example, will be very different than one required solely for use on the highway.

Your driving locations. Where you do your driving also makes a big difference to the type of tire that you use. If you drive in a cold climate where the roads are very treacherous, then you would almost certainly want heavy-duty winter tires. If you do a lot of long-distance driving, then you might want to opt for luxury tires, which maximize comfort and safety. If you do off-road driving or live in a rural location, you may want hardier, more durable tires.

Your driving style. How you drive your car also makes a difference. If you drive relatively sedately and tend not to be demanding of the vehicle, then standard all-season tires are likely to give you everything that you need. If you drive a faster vehicle, or if you generally look for more oomph from your car, then performance tires may give you the edge that you want. Performance tires are normally made from a type of rubber that gives better traction and reduces braking distances.

The tires you buy for your car will have a significant bearing on the performance that you can expect from the vehicle. Before you make a decision on which ones to buy based solely on price tag, consider these additional factors to help you choose the best tires for your car and driving style.

We guarantee you the best price on a new set! Plus we’ll give you $50 for your old tires and free rotations for life. Give us a call at (888) 232-9372!

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