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Top 10 Father's Day Gifts for the Car Lover in Your Family

Don’t forget dad! Father’s Day is on June 16th – that’s just around the corner. In many families, though, dad is the toughest one to buy gifts for. If you’re looking for just the right gadget for your father, we have put together a list of the top 10 car accessories that make great gifts.

Dashboard cameras can help while parking or to catch video footage of an accident. Though they are not a standard feature even on luxury model cars, these gadgets can be super handy. With the YI Mirror Dash Camera, dad can turn his rearview mirror into a dual dash cam with touchscreen controls. It delivers live, high-quality video from front and rear cameras mounted on the car so he can easily keep an eye on traffic in every direction. The YI Mirror Dash Cam has sensors that automatically activate the cameras in case of an accident and backs up the video data. It also has a few of other safety features and is available for just $69.

Alexa’s voice-activated service can now be used while driving. With the Roav VIVA car charger, your dad can ask for directions, make hands-free calls, listen to podcasts, play music from his smartphone, and more, on command. It works with Android and iOS smart devices. Plus, this gadget provides two USB charging ports and a mute button to turn Alexa off. You can find this gift for just $59.

HUD devices have made it possible to integrate a smartphone with a vehicle. High-tech fathers will love the ability to see the screen of their mobile from the driver’s seat without taking their eyes off the road. And now, devices like the Hudway Cast, make it possible for any car to have what now comes standard on many luxury models. The head-up display sits on the dashboard and wirelessly projects the phone’s display in front of the windshield. Dad can see incoming calls, use the map for directions and select music from his phone without being distracted. Buy this Father’s Day present for $189.

Dad doesn’t have to settle for gas station coffee anymore; get him the Handpresso Auto Capsule. For joe on the go, it fits the vehicle’s cupholder and charges via the 12/24v cigarette lighter. In less than three minutes, he can enjoy a hot cup of gourmet espresso! This gift costs about $160.

This gadget keeps the phone in place and charging while dad drives. The Vanmass Car Charger serves as a mobile phone mount and convenient wireless charger. It’s compatible with most smartphone models and can be mounted on the air vent of any auto. The arm holds it steady and is adjustable for best visibility. This product can be purchased for less than $50.

Interstate Batteries | 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a Car

So what questions should you ask yourself before you go in to buy a car? If you're trying to ring in the new year with a new ride, then you'll want to consider these five things when making this big decision.

1. Should I buy a new or used car?
The age-old question of new or used. Well, there’s not a one-size fits all answer to this question. With a new car, you can have peace of mind that everything is covered by warranty and you’re the car's first owner. While used cars may not have the same sense of peace, you can typically get a better deal by going the used route. Ultimately it comes down to what you prefer.

2. How much do I want to spend on a car?
We recommend sitting down before going into the dealership, to figure out what your budget is for a car. Then you know your max price and can make sure you’re not committing to something you can’t keep up with in the long run. And don’t forget to include the trade-in value of your current car!

3. What kind of car do I need?
Sportscar, minivan, SUV, sedan. There are a lot of options and more than one right answer. Will this car mostly be used for your daily commute or will you be using it to take the kids to soccer practice? While you may want that sportscar so you can be the cool dad when you pick up your kids from school, a minivan might be the more practical choice.

Don’t let a dead battery hold you back from living your best life.

There are a lot of uncontrollable factors that determine how long your battery will last. Things like weather, driving habits and age can impact how long your battery will run, but we’ve got four tips to help you extend the life of your battery so you don’t miss any of life’s important events.

Interstate Batteries | 4 Ways to Help Extend Your Car's Battery Life1. Regular Battery Maintenance*

Battery maintenance is the key to keeping your battery healthy and strong. During regular maintenance, be sure to check the water levels on your battery. Also make sure that you check the connectors and hold downs for proper tightness. You also may need to disconnect your battery to keep it free of corrosion. Our pro tip is to clean the battery using a mix of baking soda and water. Mix the two ingredients to the same consistency as toothpaste, clean the battery with the mixture, rinse with water after clean and then dry thoroughly.

2. Be Mindful of Car Accessories

We all know that leaving your headlights on when your car is off can drain your battery, but running other accessories can be a drain too. It’s best to make sure your interior lights, radio, and windshield wipers are off when the engine of your car is no longer running.

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2019 -- U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the list of June's Best New Car Deals. This month's list includes eight vehicles with excellent financing or cash back incentives. U.S. News also provides June's Best Lease Deals and Best Used Car Deals.

"This is the first summer in a long time where consumers have been in the driver's seat as the demand for new cars slows," said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "We're seeing plenty of good deals on popular models, including the Ford F-150. You can even save big at the other end of the automotive spectrum, with some incredible cash back on the Chevrolet Bolt EV."

U.S. News Announces June's Best New Car DealsJune's Best New Car Deals

2019 BMW X1


0.9% financing for 60 months

2019 GMC Sierra 1500


0% financing for 72 months

2019 Chevrolet Bolt


Up to $4,000 cash back or 0% financing for 72 months and $1,250 cash back, depending on region

Summer Savings at the Pump as Retail Prices Drop Seven Cents on the Week

Nearly every state’s gas price average is cheaper than a week ago, a month ago and a year ago. Today’s national average is $2.74, which is seven-cents cheaper than last week, 13-cents less than a month ago and 18 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Refinery utilization in the United States is at its highest level since early January, resulting in overall gasoline stocks at healthy levels to meet robust summer demand. Prices are dropping due to cheaper crude oil and at the same time U.S. supply is keeping pace with demand,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The national average is poised to fall to at least $2.70 this week – an indication that pump prices may be even cheaper this summer.”

For the last three weeks demand has remained relatively robust at 9.4 million b/d. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks have increased weekly with total inventories at nearly 4 million bbl ahead of the five-year average, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Ohio (-21 cents), Indiana (-17 cents), Michigan (-15 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Kentucky (-10 cents), Oklahoma (-9 cents), Maine (-8 cents), Wisconsin (-8 cents), Nebraska (-8 cents) and South Carolina (-7 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Louisiana ($2.35), Alabama ($2.35), South Carolina ($2.36), Arkansas ($2.40), Texas ($2.41), Tennessee ($2.42), Oklahoma ($2.46), Missouri ($2.48) and Virginia ($2.49).

Great Lakes and Central States

On the week, the top five states in the country with the largest declines hail from the Great Lakes and Central region: Ohio (-21 cents), Indiana (-17 cents), Michigan (-15 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), and Kentucky (-10 cents). Joining these five to round out the top 10 list are Wisconsin and Nebraska with eight-cent declines at the pump. Gas prices are cheaper across the region and range from $2.89 in Illinois – which is the 13th most expensive state average in the country – to $2.49 in Missouri, which is the ninth cheapest state average in the country.

Gas prices dropped alongside a build in gasoline stocks. According to EIA data the region saw inventory build by 300,000 bbl to total 48.1 million bbl, which is below the five-year average of 50.8 million. Refinery utilization slid back a percent to 83% and is the lowest utilization rate for the week ending May 31 among all five regions in the country. Despite the deficit in stocks and low refinery utilization rate, gas prices are expected to remain stable; though during the summer, some states may see weekly spikes – declines or increases – due to the typical volatility in the region.

Beat the Heat with These HOT Car Care Tips | Good Works Auto Repair

Arizona is a beautiful state, there’s no doubt about that, and we enjoy some scenic drives here, too. Driving in the summer heat, however, can be challenging. Summertime temperatures often top 100-degrees. It’s important to make sure that both you and your vehicle are fully prepared.

Statistics show that the most common cause of summer vehicle breakdowns is overheating. The good news is that by simply following some preventative maintenance tips, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting stranded on the roadside this summer. Here are a few places to start:

Check coolant and other fluid levels
Just as people can get dehydrated when the temperatures skyrocket, cars can too. The heat evaporates fluids more quickly. This creates the potential for there to not be enough fluid to adequately perform functions such as cooling. Checking fluid levels frequently can help alert you to any deficiencies before they cause more serious problems.

Maintain your air conditioner
An air conditioning system that is already showing wear or signs of malfunctioning will almost certainly fail during extreme temperatures. Keeping it operating smoothly is important for passenger comfort. It is also a safety factor if you have a breakdown or even if you get stuck in a summer traffic jam. This is especially true if your passengers are children or pets. They are unable to adequately cope with the heat if the AC isn’t working.

Practice proper tire maintenance
Hot weather can have a negative impact on tires, causing them to break down faster and even crack, leaving you with a greater chance for blowouts during driving. Good tire maintenance protocol includes maintaining the proper air pressure, frequent inspection of treads, and tire rotation every 5,000 miles or as recommended by your auto repair professional.

Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Integration: From Concept to Reality

New renewable energy sources on the rise with growth of battery-powered automobiles

DENVER, June 6, 2019 -- While vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration remains more concept than reality in the U.S., it will likely afford economic value to cost-conscious utilities and their ratepayers in the long term. According to a new report from CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Division, the ownership of electric vehicles are on the rise as they are becoming less expensive, more convenient to drive, more abundant, and therefore meaningful as potential utility resources.

"Though it is small now, the U.S. market share of EVs is projected to grow rapidly beginning in the mid- to late-2020s. Currently, 5 million plug-in EVs have been sold globally. The U.S. accounted for over 1 million of those," said Tom Binet, senior economist for power, energy and water at CoBank. "Automobile manufacturers, various electric utilities, and research institutions are working to address multiple technical and non-technical hurdles to EVs' widespread integration with the grid."

While today's U.S. consumers routinely express interest in the fuel savings and environmental benefits afforded by EVs, considerations of first-owner cost and convenience usually win out. With the rising popularity of EVs due to their greater affordability and range, V2G integration could become a new tool for electric utilities in the next decade. 

CoBank's report Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Integration: From Concept to Reality gives a deeper look into the future of harnessing EVs as a resource for the grid.

AAA Forecasts Summer National Gas Price Average to Drop to $2.70

“For consumers today, paying more to fill-up their gas tank may feel less shocking due to the national average pushing within pennies of $3/gallon the last two spring seasons,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “However, there is good news for consumers this summer – the highest prices of the year could be in the rearview mirror. With most refineries operating at normal levels, demand at robust rates, and cheaper crude oil prices, summer gas prices are poised to be a little less than last year –dropping as much as a dime to lower the national average to $2.70.”

Even with Americans being more tolerant of higher gas prices, you can still expect 74% of Americans to make lifestyle changes to offset increased pump prices. Of those, nearly a quarter (24 percent) say $2.75 – a price consumers will see for sure at the pump this summer — as the price that would push them toward changing habits or choices, including:

Are Americans Numbing to the Pain at the Pump?Combining errands or trips – 65% (down from 79% in 2018)

Driving less – 60% (down from 73% in 2018)

Reducing shopping or dining out – 49% (down from 61% in 2018)

Delaying major purchases – 43% (down from 50% in 2018)

Driving a more fuel efficient vehicle – 35% (down from 46% in 2018)

This year, the most expensive West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices, which AAA tracks to understand impact on pump prices, have ranged between $65 and $66/bbl. Most recently WTI crude fell as low as $53/bbl. That is cheaper than last summer when prices ranged between $65 and $73 per barrel – with most daily prices hovering just under $70 per barrel. Historically, crude oil prices and domestic gasoline demand have determined the price Americans pay at the pump in the summer months. And, that’s no different this summer.

Bridgestone Corporation Recognized by General Motors as a 2018 Supplier of the Year

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 28, 2019 -- Bridgestone Corporation, including Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (Bridgestone), was named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during its 27th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony recently held in Detroit. This is the 17th time and fourth consecutive year Bridgestone has received the award.

"We are honored once again to receive this award as it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teammates globally to design best-in-class products that meet and exceed the needs of our customers," said Shannon Quinn, president, original equipment sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. "We have a longstanding partnership with GM and look forward to continuing to work together to deliver future mobility solutions."

During the event, GM recognized 133 of its best suppliers from 15 countries that have consistently exceeded GM's expectations, created outstanding value or introduced innovations to the company.

"We hold our suppliers to a high bar," said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. "They went above and beyond to deliver the innovations and quality that will help us earn customers for life."

The Supplier of the Year award winners were chosen by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing and logistics executives. Winners were selected based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales, and Logistics.

National Gas Price Average Drops by more than a Nickel Since Beginning of May

For the 37.6 million Americans who hit the road this past Memorial Day weekend, the vast majority found savings at the pump compared to last year’s holiday. Today, 42 states and Washington, D.C. have gas price averages that are less expensive year-over-year, with Floridians (-31 cents) seeing the largest yearly change. Motorists in West Coast states are the exception, paying nearly double-digits more than last May to fill up.

“Gas prices have declined, on average, by at least a nickel, for the majority of the country since the beginning of May and that’s a trend motorists can expect to continue into early June,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Stable crude oil prices are helping to push prices down at the pump despite tight domestic gasoline supply and robust demand. A bump in demand could push prices higher, but only by a few cents.”

Today’s national average is $2.82, which is cheaper than last week by two cents, last month by six cents and last year by 16 cents.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 yearly decreases are: Florida (-31 cents), Delaware (-28 cents), New Mexico (-27 cents), Kentucky (-25 cents), Texas (-24 cents), Louisiana (-24 cents), Georgia (-24 cents), Mississippi (-23 cents), Alabama (-23 cents) and Michigan (-22 cents).

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.42), Louisiana ($2.43), Alabama ($2.43), South Carolina ($2.46), Arkansas ($2.48), Missouri ($2.52), Tennessee ($2.52), Texas ($2.52), Oklahoma ($2.55) and Virginia ($2.56).

South and Southeast

Seven South and Southeast states make the top 10 list for largest yearly savings at the pump: Florida (-31 cents), New Mexico (-27 cents), Louisiana (-24 cents), Texas (-24 cents), Georgia (-24 cents), Mississippi (-23 cents), and Alabama (-23 cents). In the region, Oklahomans are seeing the smallest year-over-year gas price change at -14 cents.

On the week, gas prices are cheaper across the region. South Carolina was the outlier again, seeing a one cent jump since last week. State gas price averages range from $2.60 in Georgia to $2.42 in Mississippi.

With a build of 514,000 bbl, stocks are at their highest level – 83 million bbl – for the region in two months. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report for the week ending May 17 shows refinery utilization holding steady at the 94% level. Steady utilization and increasing stocks are helping to push prices cheaper for motorists in the region.

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