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AAA travel and safety tips for the 4th of July weekend

Since gas prices this Independence Day are about a dollar cheaper than last year, many people are planning to travel out of state.

"We're going to see 35.5 million people hitting the road to drive to their destination, which is an increase from last year. 41 million people will be traveling in total, so there is going to be a lot of people on the road." said Crissy Gray, the AAA District Office Supervisor in Charleston, WV.

If you plan on traveling our of town for the 4th of July, it's important to remember to check your…
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Veterans can take advantage of Fireworks-Free Fourth of July at 12 Michigan State Parks

LANSING ? For veterans looking for a quieter Fourth of July celebration, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is making 12 state parks fireworks free this year.

"While fireworks are a traditional Fourth of July festivity, some veterans and others prefer a calmer celebration with a little less excitement," said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson. "We are pleased to honor our veterans and offer that opportunity in several of our beautiful state parks." ?

Taking place from July 3 through July 5, the Fireworks-Free Fourth of July is a partnership between the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the DNR…
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Cars & Pet Safety: How To Keep Dogs Safe In The Heat

Dogs are beloved pets that frequently travel with their owners on outings and everyday errands. But when the temperatures climb during the summer and early autumn months, exiting the car and leaving Fido behind can quickly become a deadly situation for the dog.

How bad could it get? Here are some examples of outside/inside closed automobile temperatures from Red Rover, citing a study by the Animal Protection Institute.

Outside, the temperature may be 82 degrees Fahrenheit at 9:00 a.m., but inside the car the reading could be 109 degrees. At noon, the outside temperature in summer could…
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New Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The 2016 Dodge / Mopar Challenger Drag Pak was unveiled today, boasting a choice of supercharged 354 Hemi or naturally aspirated 426 Hemi engines. The car is meant for racing only, and costs $99,426 for the 426 and $109,354 for the supercharged V8.

These drag racing cars are designed for the Sportsman class, and are race-ready. They are "designed to ignite the passion of the grass-roots car racers," according to Mopar?s sales chief.

Dale Aldo from the Motorsports Marketing Team said that past Drag Paks (from 2011 on) have been successful, and that the cars were built to…
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Is Your Check Engine Light On? Don’t Ignore it.

One of the most vital signals of an improperly functioning vehicle is the check engine light and when illuminated, it alerts the driver to a variety of existing potential problems. Vehicle check-ups during community car care events throughout the country reveal that the check engine light is on in nearly one out of ten vehicles, says the Car Care Council.

"When the check engine light comes on, it means that a vehicle system, such as the ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating properly, even if the vehicle appears to be running normally," said Rich White, executive director…
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Is Your Car Making Your Allergies Worse?

Summer is in the air and with it comes pollen, dust and pollutants that are drawn inside vehicles through air conditioning and ventilation systems.

 Cabin air filters clean the incoming air, removing allergens, and should be replaced regularly, says the Car Care Council.

"A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car than…
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Four Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System

With the hot summer temperatures on the rise, knowing the symptoms of a sick cooling system are critical to your summer driving plans, since cooling system failure is a leading cause of vehicle breakdowns. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant, according to the Car Care Council.

?Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure, which would put a sudden end to your summer road trip,? said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. ?If thecooling system doesn?t receive regular maintenance, it…
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A/C Service: Keep Your Car Cool When Things Heat Up

Sitting in traffic when temperatures soar without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system is the last place most drivers want to be. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and have their A/C system checked annually to make sure it is working at peak performance when they need it most.

A vehicle?s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service consists of the following steps:

- Service…
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948TE Automatic for Minivans

Chrysler has been building the 948TE automatic for the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 for some time, regardless of whether they use four or six cylinder engines. The 948TE will also be used for minivans, Allpar has been told.

The 948TE is a heavier duty of the current nine-speed automatic, mainly engineered and designed by ZF, but altered and built by Chrysler.  Mircea Gradu, Vice President of Powertrain, Transmission, and Driveline Engineering, said Chrysler ?had a tremendous contribution ? to the base development of the 9-speed.?

The first digit (9) is the number of gears, and the others (28 or 48…
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