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Auto Industry Embraces LED Technology, Saving Millions

NATICK, Mass., Oct. 9, 2019 -- In the LED lighting industry, large businesses in the commercial and industrial sectors were hesitant to integrate the technology at scale in their operations. Now that LED technology has had over a decade's worth of maturation and refinement, two of the auto industry's leading manufacturers are continuing their large-scale installation projects.

In 2014, Ford invested in a $25M LED retrofit project aimed at manufacturing facilities in the US and worldwide, resulting in an annual energy savings of 56 million kilowatt-hours – enough electricity to power 6,000 average-sized homes every year. Similarly, GM is enjoying a 60% reduction in costs over 32 project sites. Between them both, the savings is nearly $10 million annually.

ThinkLite LLC, an established LED lighting manufacturer headquartered in Natick, MA, has serviced the automotive industry for nearly a decade. ThinkLite has seen an uptick in the number of RFPs for commercial and retail installations in the last year, a number they think is only going to rise.

"Since 2018, we have experienced an increase in market demand by over 25%. Corporations, property managers, and manufacturing facilities, now understand the real-world cost savings, light quality improvement, and simplified maintenance afforded by our LED solutions," says Danny Wadhwani, COO-CFO of ThinkLite. "State and Federal energy incentives, paired with efficient lighting, allows for a positive ROI in as little as 15 months."

ThinkLite is well-known in the automotive industry, having recently come off a NASCAR win at The Magic Mile in Loudon, NH in September. The #36 ThinkLite car was driven to Victory Lane by Bobby Santos III, leaving Mr. Wadhwani very pleased:

Gas Prices Trending Cheaper

Two weeks after attacks on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the majority of Americans are starting to see signs of gas prices trending cheaper. While the national average may have only decreased by a penny on the week, 10 states saw pump prices decline by a nickel or more.

“Crude oil prices have dropped close to where they were right before the drone attacks on the Saudi oil facilities,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “This is helping to push gas prices cheaper in most of the country. Americans can expect this trend to continue, except for those filling-up on the West Coast, where refinery disruptions are causing spikes at the pump.”

On the week, all West Coast region states saw prices increase with California (+28 cents) seeing the largest spike, which drives the state average to $4.02 and is likely to push more expensive this week.

Today’s national gas price average of $2.65 which is the same price as last week, and is seven cents more expensive than last month, but 22-cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: California (+28 cents), Ohio (-15 cents), Nevada (+13 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-11 cents), Illinois (-10 cents), Delaware (-9 cents), Indiana (-7 cents), Iowa (-7 cents) and Minnesota (-6 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Louisiana ($2.30), Mississippi ($2.30), South Carolina ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Texas ($2.35), Virginia ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.35), Missouri ($2.36) and Tennessee ($2.37).

West Coast

Pump prices in the West Coast region have increased on the week, following a number of refinery outages that have tightened supply in the market. Robust demand is contributing to price increases, and prices are unlikely to subside until supply is strengthened. California ($4.02) and Hawaii ($3.67) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.23), Nevada ($3.28), Oregon ($3.10), Alaska ($2.96) and Arizona ($2.91) follow. California (+28 cents) saw the largest increase, followed by Nevada (+13 cents).

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report for the week ending on September 20, showed that total West Coast gasoline stocks decreased significantly by 1.5 million bbl to 27.1 million bbl. This level is approximately 800,000 bbl lower than this same time last year. Tight supplies will continue to cause prices to increase, but imports and increased deliveries from nearby states are expected to help to ease increasing prices.

A new video from the Car Care Council, entitled “Auto Care Goes a Long Way,” shows how vehicle owners can save money with some simple preventative maintenance.

“A little auto care can go a long way toward protecting your vehicle investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Neglecting your vehicle can be very costly in the form of more expensive repairs and loss of resale value down the road. The Car Care Council’s new video highlights easy ways to keep your vehicle running efficiently and safely.”


 

A free code pull at a local parts store can give you peace of mind , but in most occasions may leave you throwing parts at your vehicle-costing you unnecessarily. Always test and isolate the exact faults to ensure you do not end up wasting time or money.


Click here for more information about Desert Car Care in Chandler


 

Millennials and Gen Z hit harder by repair bills at time when many consumers may struggle to cover unexpected costs

U.S. Consumers spent an Average of Nearly $2,000 on Vehicle Repairs and Maintenance in the Last Five Years, Ally Survey Finds

DETROIT, Aug. 26, 2019 -- On average, Americans spent $1,986 on vehicle repairs and maintenance in the last five years, according to a recent Ally survey conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,012 U.S. adults.

Millennials and Generation Z (ages 18-34 for this survey) paid an average of $2,334 for vehicle maintenance and repairs in the past five years—a significantly higher financial burden than baby boomers and older adults. In comparison, adults 55 and older spent $1,654, on average, during the same timeframe.

A new survey from Ally finds that Gen Z and millennial consumer paid nearly $700 more for vehicle repairs and maintenance in the past five years than U.S. adults aged 55 and over.Millennials and Gen Z face steeper repair bills at a time when many consumers may struggle to cover unexpected costs

Ally's survey results come on the heels of research from the Federal Reserve that found that nearly 4 in 10 adults would not be able to cover unexpected expenses of $400 without selling something or going into debt.

"Many Americans rely on their cars to get to work and losing access to your vehicle can be a major disruption and huge source of stress—particularly if you can't cover the repair cost," said Mark Manzo, President of Insurance at Ally Financial. "The financial strain can be even more daunting for young people who are early in their careers and may be paying down student loan debt as well."

And when it comes to savings, younger adults are at a disadvantage. Another recent Ally survey found that two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds have not established any type of emergency savings fund, compared to approximately half of all other adults.

Ally's latest survey findings uncovered significant differences in expenses by age and family size, suggesting that not all Americans share in repair costs evenly:

Car Battery Trouble Shooting | Virginia Auto Service

What is wrong with my battery? What should I do?

We have all been there. We put the key in the ignition, turn it, and…nothing happens. Most people would assume that this means the battery is dead and while that may be true, there are some other things that can act like a dead battery. To help you figure out the source of your problem so that you can figure out what to do next, let’s look at the different battery related problems and how to solve them.


It is, in fact, completely dead.

A dead battery means a battery that no longer contains enough of a charge to provide the electricity required to start the car. Batteries lose their ability to hold a charge over time and most batteries, according to Firestone, only last for 3-5 years. The climate you live in and the way you drive will affect how long your battery lasts. If your car is a couple years old, a dead battery could mean it is time to replace it. If your battery dies, you jumpstart it and drive it, and the next time you go to start it the battery is dead again, there is a good chance it needs to be replaced. Have your tech check the charge and replace the battery if needed.


It is only drained.

Batteries can also lose their charge in a short amount of time if something that requires the battery is left on after the car stops running like the radio, headlights, or interior lights. If you are able to jumpstart the car, look around to see if you left anything on that could have drained the battery. If the car starts easily the next time you go to drive it, it is likely something was left on that drained the battery the first time and no other action needs to be taken.

NEW ORLEANS -- SafeAirbags.com, an organization notifying consumers of the need to repair the millions of recalled Takata airbags that remain on the road in the U.S., today launched a national broadcast consumer awareness campaign, featuring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

The broadcast campaign is part of the ongoing efforts to reach over 41 million vehicle owners in America who have been affected by the Takata airbag recall, and spread the word that a part inside the recalled airbags can explode, causing serious injury, or even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that 16 people in the U.S. have been killed, and hundreds of others are alleged to have been injured, by this defect.

To see if your vehicle is affected by this urgent safety recall, Click Here

The severity of the recall caught the attention of Mr. Freeman. The television, radio and digital spots will highlight Freeman asking people everywhere for their help in raising awareness of the recall and encouraging viewers and listeners to visit SafeAirbags.com to see if their vehicle is on the recall list.

"It's the goal of SafeAirbags.com to help ensure the safety of all consumers affected by this recall," said Patrick Juneau of SafeAirbags.com. "Unfortunately, many consumers have disregarded warnings or postponed getting their airbags repaired, and some consumers still may not be aware that their vehicle is included in this serious recall."

Ram Truck Customers Receive Industry-first Listening Experience With SiriusXM's New 'Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora'

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 24, 2019 --

Starting in October, 2020 Ram trucks with Uconnect's 12-inch touchscreen to offer SiriusXM's newest feature 'Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora,' delivering an enhanced level of personalization to the SiriusXM experience

Part of the innovative SiriusXM with 360L platform available in Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 and Chassis Cab trucks

Owners of 2019 model-year Ram trucks with Uconnect 12-inch screen will receive a free over-the-air update in the fourth quarter of 2019 to access this new feature


Ram and SiriusXM today announced another industry-first feature for Ram truck customers. 2020 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 and Chassis Cab trucks equipped with Ram's class-leading Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen will offer SiriusXM's new "Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora," which deliver a combination of rich music curation and industry-leading personalization not found in any other audio entertainment service.

Ram truck owners with a SiriusXM All Access subscription, using the SiriusXM with 360L platform on their Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen, can create their own ad-free music stations based on the artist they are listening to. On their touchscreen, subscribers can then give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down within the SiriusXM service, or even skip songs, to create their own personal channel that plays more of what they want.

Previous model-year Ram truck owners aren't left out. Via over-the-air software updates in the fourth quarter of this year, 2019 Ram trucks with Uconnect 12-inch screen will receive updates granting access to these features. Early-build 2020 Ram trucks equipped with Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen will receive the update in October.

Another new feature available to Ram customers using SiriusXM with 360L is Sports Notifications. This enables the subscriber to select their favorite teams and get an on-screen notification when their team's game is on, then easily tune into that game with the touch of a button. The SiriusXM Sports Notification feature will be available next month on 2020 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500 and Chassis Cab trucks and on 2019 Ram 1500 models with the fourth-quarter update.

SiriusXM subscribers will be notified of the update on their Uconnect 12-inch screen.

National Gas Price Average Jumps by a Dime in One Week

Last week was the first time since early June that the national gas price average jumped more than a nickel in under a few days. On the week, it’s a dime more expensive at $2.66 with half of states seeing prices increase by 10 cents or more. However, even with the significant increase, the national average is still cheaper compared to last month (-6 cents) and last year (-19 cents).

Spurred by the Saudi Arabian oil facilities attacks the weekend prior, crude oil (West Texas Intermediate – WTI) increased as much as $10/bbl at its highest point early last week to nearly $64/bbl. Gasoline stations reacted just as swiftly as the market, raising local retail prices by as much as a quarter, which pushed the national average up six cents overnight last Tuesday. However, by the end of last week, crude was down to $58/bbl and gas prices started to stabilize as reports surfaced that Saudi facilities should be fully operational by end of September.

“At $2.66, the national average is a dime more expensive that last week. The good news is we are seeing downward movement with crude oil prices and stabilization at gas pumps, but Americans can expect some fluctuation through the end of the month,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Should Saudi’s crude production be back to full capacity shortly, the price spikes are likely to be temporary.”

In its latest report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) measured U.S. demand at 8.9 million b/d, which is a substantial 900,000 b/d drop from the previous week and a low reading not seen since February. The decrease in demand amid the spike in crude oil prices could help to keep gas price fluctuations more moderate through the end of the month.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.32), Arkansas ($2.33), Alabama ($2.34), South Carolina ($2.35), Oklahoma ($2.37), Virginia ($2.37), Texas ($2.38), Tennessee ($2.39) and Missouri ($2.40).

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Kentucky (+19 cents), Michigan (+18 cents), Georgia (+17 cents), Minnesota (+16 cents), Maryland (+14 cents), Iowa (+14 cents), Delaware (+14 cents), Mississippi (+14 cents), New Mexico (+13 cents) and South Carolina (+13 cents).


West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all states in the region landing on the top 10 most expensive list today. California ($3.74) and Hawaii ($3.66) are the most expensive markets in the country. Washington ($3.20), Nevada ($3.15), Oregon ($3.07), Alaska ($2.97) and Arizona ($2.89) follow. All state averages in the region have increased on the week. California (+11 cents) saw the largest increase, followed by Arizona (+6 cents) and Nevada (+5 cents).

The EIA’s recent report for the week ending on September 13, showed that total West Coast motor gasoline stocks decreased by 133,000 bbl to 28.6 million bbl. This level is approximately 340,000 bbl lower than in mid-September 2018. Amid rising oil costs, shrinking stocks put additional pressure on prices as they spiked last week. Motorists in the region will likely see prices continue to stay high this week as the market continues to adjust to higher crude prices.

Putting the Brakes on Breast Cancer! H&I Automotive

Throughout October automotive repair shops across the country are looking to end breast cancer with a unique fundraising campaign.

During the Month of October H&I Automotive and more than 100 other Independent Auto Repair Shops across the US are raising funds for a breast cancer vaccine as part of the Brakes for Breast fundraiser.

As part of the fundraiser, the auto repair facilities are giving away FREE (quality) brake pads or shoes. The customer simply pays the labor and any other ancillary parts necessary to complete the brake job and the shops then donate 10% of the brake job directly to Dr. Vincent Tuohy & the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund.

100% of what we donate goes directly to research!

2019 marks the ninth year for the Brakes For Breasts fundraiser.

2011 Our 1st year - 5 shops in Ohio raised $10,000

2012 Our 2nd year - 27 shops in 17 states raised $32,848

2013 Our 3rd year - 66 independent auto repair shops in 27 states raised $66,499

2014 Our 4th year – 143 independent auto repair shops in 29 states raised $115,236.53

2015 Our 5th year – 174 independent auto repair shops in 32 states raised $141,868

2016 Our 6th year - 131 independent auto repair shops in 35 states (most ever!) $125,867.37

2017 Our 7th year - 114 independent auto repair shops in 34 states raised $114,389.20

2018 Our 8th year – 138 independent auto repair shops in 34 states and 2 countries raised $141,061.80

To date donation total is $747,771.70!


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