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With Halloween next week, how can I ensure the safety of my kids as they hit the streets to go door-to-door? Of course, they will be accompanied by an adult.

trick-or-treat-kidsGary Jaffarian speaks to the importance of driving slowly in neighborhoods on Halloween and shares great tips for a safe and happy Halloween on how to keep your kids safe as they head out for trick or treating hours.

The most important answer to your question is really a message to those who leave work to drive home on Halloween. Please DRIVE SLOWLY in your neighborhood and on all back roads, as children, teens and parents will be out in force going door-to-door. You may be hungry and tired, but nothing is worth the risk of a potential accident or hitting a trick-or-treater. The sun sets about 5:50 p.m. on Halloween, making the trick or treating the Halloween hours include the darkness.

Tips for Drivers:
• Be aware of which night your town is celebrating the holiday (refer to list below) and know that there are many young children out during those hours and drive slowly!
• Be aware that young trick-or-treaters may dart out from between parked cars.
• Never drive while wearing a mask. Your visibility could be obscured.
• No distracted driving! Of course, no looking at the cell phone or other electronic devices—keep your eyes on the road.
• Have a designated driver if you are attending a Halloween party where alcohol is served.

Tips for parents to keep your children safe:
• Wear a costume that makes it easy to walk, see and be seen. Make sure it’s not too long so that your children will not trip. Make sure all masks allow for normal visibility. Black or dark costumes or body suits make it more difficult to be seen. Bright colors are best.
• An adult should always accompany smaller children. It’s best to take them out earlier in the evening.
• Carry a flashlight and make sure that some sort of reflective material or the popularHalloween flashlight glow light stick are incorporated into all costumes. Your children will be happy to get a glow stick!
• Establish ground rules with children that are too old to be accompanied by an adult, including teens. Such rules could include: what neighborhoods to go to, staying in a group, what time they must come home, and appropriate behavior while trick-or-treating. Be sure they bring a cell phone in case of an emergency. They can use their cell phone light or carry a flashlight or at least a glow stick.glow sticks
• Always use sidewalks when available. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
• Never dart out between parked cars. Always cross at the corners or at crosswalks.
• An outside light on at the front of the house is usually a sign that trick-or-treaters are welcome. Avoid going to houses that are not lit. Never enter any home unless it’s a family member or a friend.
• Allow an adult to inspect all treats prior to eating them. Throw out any treats that appear tampered with. Do not allow homemade treats to be eaten unless you are sure of the source.
• Parents, avoid using your cell phone so you can keep a close watch on the children without any distractions.

Each city and town have various set hours and days to trick-or-treat as follows:
• Haverhill—Saturday, October 28 from 5-7 p.m. to celebrate the holiday, which will eliminate the commuters on the road.
• Andover— Tuesday, October 31 from 5-7 p.m.Halloween on sidewalk
• No. Andover— Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Lawrence—Tuesday, October 31 from 5-7 p.m.
• Salem, NH— Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m.
• Plaistow, NH— Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Newton, NH— Tuesday, October 31 from 5-8 p.m.
• Amesbury— Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
• Boxford— Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Danvers— Tuesday, October 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Georgetown— Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Newburyport– Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Downtown Newburyport trick or treat at shops—Friday, October 27th from 4-5 p.m.
• Peabody— Tuesday, October 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Rowley— Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Salem, MA— Tuesday, October 31 from 5-8 p.m. (if you dare! It’s the #1 most popular Halloween destination in the country!)
• Salisbury— Tuesday, October 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Check with your local paper, police or town hall for your town’s hours, if it’s not listed above.

Happy Safe Hall SignHave a Happy Halloween from all of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota—and most of all drive safely, be safe and have fun!

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Gary Jaffarian

How do I check the air in my tires? How do I know the correct tire pressure? I’m not sure how to use those air pumps at gas stations.

woman fill tireGary Jaffarian explains how to check your tire pressure. Read this blog to learn how to use a gauge or fill the tires at the gas station and where to check how much air you need in your tires in summer vs. winter. Better still —- he can tell you where to get them checked and filled for free!

This is a great question especially this time of year when the temperature is changing and tire pressure is affected. Some of you may be seeing an indicator on your dashboard. How do I check the air in my tires? How do I know the correct tire pressure? I’m not sure how to use those air pumps at gas stations.

Some of you may be seeing an indicator on your dashboard indicating tire pressure is low: a symbol that looks like an exclamation mark inside brackets or parentheses (pictured here). tire symbol It is important to address low tire pressure as it affects gas mileage and will cause uneven wear and other conditions. If tire pressure is too low, then too much of the tire’s surface area touches the ground, which increases friction between the road and the tire. As a result, not only will your tires wear prematurely, but they also could overheat. Overheating can lead to tread separation — which could cause a serious accident.

It is important to address low tire pressure as it affects gas mileage and will cause tire chartuneven wear and other conditions. If tire pressure is too low, then too much of the tire’s surface area touches the ground, which increases friction between the road and the tire. As a result, not only will your tires wear prematurely, but they also could overheat. Overheating can lead to tread separation — which could cause a serious accident.

tire gaugeOne option is to buy a tire pressure gauge. This is a handy gadget that will tell you the tire pressure in each tire.

The second option is to use air pumps at a local gas station. Some stations have attendants that will assist you while others charge (usually quarters).

Before you use a tire pressure gauge or go to a gas station, you should confirm what your recommended tire pressure is. To find that information, open the driver’s side door and look at the information on the label in the door jam.

How to use the gas station air pumps:
1. Remove the cap or stems from the tire valve on the tire(s) you want to check, one at a time.
2. Use your tire gauge to check the air pressure in the tire.
3. Use the air hose to add air in short bursts.
4. Keep checking the pressure until you get it right.

If you’re not sure how to use a tire pressure gauge, place the pressure gauge on the valve stem and press down hard enough so the hiss sound disappears and your gauge provides a reading. With a standard gauge, the air pressure will push a small bar out from the bottom of the gauge.

If you would like to have your tires checked and filled by a professional or certified technician, make sure to stop at a dealership like Jaffarian Volvo Toyota. We will be happy to check it for you Monday through Saturday. We’re just two minutes off Route 495, Exit 49 (River St. exit) at 600 River St. in Haverhill. It is a good idea to have your vehicle serviced as the weather changes and get your tires and your brakes checked. Drive safely.

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Gary Jaffarian

How do I best prepare my vehicle for fall?

There are two important parts of your vehicle to check as leaves fall and temperatures drop. Gary Jaffarian prepares you for fall driving including trips to fairs, local events and leaf peeping.

brake rotorsFall appears to be here and there are two important parts of your vehicle to make sure are ready for the colder temperatures: In last week’s Ask Gary Blog we wrote about the importance of ensuring your brakes are in good working order to prevent hydroplaning. If you missed that blog, I suggest you check it out, as the fall can be tricky for driving on wet leaves. You can learn more about brakes on our web site.

uneven tire wearThe second key part of your vehicle to check out now is your tires. Now is the time to check for wear and tear so you are safe and confident that your tires are in good shape for fall and winter driving. So how do you know if you need new tires?

 

1. Watch our Jaffarian video on our You Tube Channel to help you with an easy tip to check your tire treads.

2. Are you hearing a thumping noise as you drive?
Often that sound indicates an uneven wear and the tires may need to be replaced.

3. If you are unsure, bring your vehicle to a reputable service department to have them checked. At Jaffarian, we assess all critical elements of your vehicle as part of our complementary services to provide you a report of the status of your tires. Ask for that information so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you need to replace tires. Remember, it is recommended you replace two tires together in the rear according to Popular Mechanics, rear tires provide stability, and without stability, steering or braking on a wet or even damp surface might cause a spin, unless your mechanic recommends changing a front and rear on the same side due to uneven wear. They may also rotate the tires or suggest an alignment. Tires are so important — but they are often taken for granted or misunderstood for their importance as part of the vehicle’s safety system.

If you need tires, how do you make an informed decision of the best tire for your vehicle and where you go to buy the tires?

First, it’s very important that you “compare apples to apples.” This is more thanapples-to-apples comparing only the brand name. It is important you compare the actual same tire. Some places offer a brand name tire but the actual model is of lesser quality. Do your homework before you make a decision. Remember, your safety and the safety of others is literally riding on your tires!

Some of you may have seen the news story of tire warehouses selling tires that had old expiration dates. Not all tires are created equal. It is truly a product where you get what you pay for. If you are unsure, check your owner’s manual and speak to a service advisor whom you trust.

tiresale_event_360At Jaffarian, we have a large tire department and are here to help you make an informed decision to get you the tires that are best for your vehicle, your driving needs and your budget. For Scion and Toyota owners, now is the time to buy as we are offering buy 3 tires and get the 4th tire for only a $1! For your peace of mind and safety, have your tires checked. Make an appointment or come by the Jaffarian Service Department. And be sure to check out our online coupon specials including brakes, an alignment, fall services and the Toyota tire special of buy 3 tires, and get the 4th for $1 at Jaffarian!

We are committed to protecting your wallet and your safety. Enjoy fall driving!

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Gary Jaffarian

Leaves are falling. What tips do you have for driving safely in the fall?

wet leaves on roadGary Jaffarian shares to important tips to avoid a common fall driving hazard — hydroplaning on wet leaves.

Fall is officially here and while the temperatures have not felt like it, we are starting to see the leaves fall. Leaves can be a driving hazard. Even dry leaves can present a challenge because they can hide potholes, curbs and street markings and even present a fire hazard should leaves gather inside a hot muffler or tailpipe.

With Fall here, be sure your vehicle’s brakes and tires are in good condition. This time of year the roads can be slick from a combination of rain and leaves. Hydroplaning is a real risk this time of year. Hydroplaning is a build-up of water between your tires and the Wet leavesroad resulting in a loss of traction, steering and brake control. Even a single layer of wet leaves can make braking, steering and stopping difficult. This is particularly dangerous at intersections and even worse at downhill stop signs. Be especially careful when driving on a leaf-strewn highway ramp, on back roads or other areas where you may be traveling north to view the foliage.

Gary Jaffarian’s 10 tips to avoid hydroplaning:
1. Slow down on slick roads. Roads that are covered in leaves may also be slick.
2. Avoid driving through standing water.
3. Keep your tires properly inflated.
4. Rotate and replace tires when necessary.
5. Avoid driving in outer lanes where water tends to accumulate. Middle lanes may be safer.
6. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you, like you would during a snow storm.
7. Turn off cruise control.
8. Drive in a lower gear. Many of the new vehicles we sell have automatic traction control. Be sure it is turned on.
9. Avoid hard braking.
10. Try not to make sharp or quick turns.

When was the last time you had your tires and brakes checked? At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we will routinely check them and provide you a report on these and other diagnostics for your peace of mind. Check out our online specials to protect your wallet and bring in your vehicle to be checked by our certified mechanics at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Departments. We do your homework for you so check out our “Dare to Compare” online and in our Jaffarian Toyota Service Department. We are committed to saving you time and money while sharing tips to keep you safe. Have a question for me, please submit it!

Happy Autumn! Drive Safely.

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Gary Jaffarian

Where can we go as a family to enjoy the fall season? Viewing foliage isn’t enough to keep young children happy!

Gary Jaffarian has lots of ideas to share for family fun. They are either close to home or throughout New England where the adults can also enjoy seeing the fall foliage.

There is certainly a lot to do this time of year within a short distance or a for a weekend trip in New England. I’m a big fan of all New England states and how much we can do and see within this scenic region. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country rich in mountains, lakes, ocean, and among the best fall foliage in the world. I generally suggest places to see some great fall foliage, but this fall I will suggest fun family activities, as you requested.

We’ll focus on short-distance trips within the state and then some highlights from the other N.E. states.

MASSACHUSETTS:
Amesbury Fair & Country Music Festival at Landry Stadium (12 S. Hunt Road), this Charlie Daniels AMESBURYweekend Sept. 22-24, including the Charlie Daniels Band! Check out their website for detail at www.AmesburyMusicFest.com.

Wachusett Mountain Kidsfest in Princeton is also this weekend, Sept. 23-24 from 10Wachusett kidsfest-calendar a.m.-5 p.m. with unusual highlights such as a reptile show, a maximum velocity bike show, flying high frisbee dogs, a ski ramp for skateboarding, a ropes gym, baby animal petting zoo, crafts and some music shows. There’s something for everyone in the family at this one!

Topsfield Fair runs from Sept. 29-Oct. 9 this year. If you haven’t taken the family yet, then go this year! America’s oldest agricultural fair has turned into days of fun for the whole family. This year’s shows include The Village People, Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, and GrTopsifeld1ammy-nominated singer Cassadee Pope, among other big shows. There is a Demolition Derby, Monster Truck Show, Moto Maniacs (motorcycle daredevils), a rodeo, the famous Flying Wallendas on their high-wire show and some Disney-themed shows, food, rides, livestock, nature exhibits and a coloring contest.

Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival—Enjoy Downtown Newburyport for a scarecrowNBPT1 contest in Market Square, along with food, crafts, and morning entertainment for children. Of course, there’s all the great shops and restaurants, too. It’s held on Columbus Day Weekend—Sun. and Mon. October 8-9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mann Orchards Corn Maze in Methuen is sponsoring a corn maze at their Riverside Farm location at 445 Merrimack Street now through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily except Monday. They also have hayrides, a petting zoo, a spider web climber, and a giant sandbox, checkers and chess games. There is pumpkinDCIM100MEDIADJI_0060.JPG bowling, a giant coloring mural, mini hay maze for younger children and of course wonderful treats from the Mann Bakery and Orchard including, cider and apple cider donuts, corn dogs, chicken tenders, and even fried oreos! If you just want to buy some fresh apples, backed goods, or cider, visit their orchard at 27 Pleasant Valley across from The Loop.,

Kimball Farms Corn Maze on 780 E. Broadway, Haverhill. This great local find has beenKimball_jpg a working family farm since 1820. From now through Oct. 31, they have a corn maze, hay rides, pony rides, a giant slide and pumpkin painting. They also have llamas and farm animals. It is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:
N.H. Pumpkin Festival is held on Oct. 13 from 4-8 p.m. and Oct. 14 from 12-8 p.m. inNH_Pumpkin Laconia. This festival features 20,000+ jack-o-lanterns, rides, 50+ food and craft vendors, children’s games, a 200-foot zip line and climbing wall. Pets on leashes are welcome. It’s held at Opechee Park at Pleasant and New Salem Streets in Laconia.

Deerfield Fair (34 Stage Road, Deerfield, NH) This is a big one from September 28-October 1 and is New England’s oldest family fair. There is loads of Deerfield Fairentertainment, animals, agricultural exhibits and family fun. Parking and entertainment are free and it is held at the Deerfield Fairgrounds. There is a demolition derby with tractor pulling, stables. The Flying Wallendas will also be at this fair. Every day has a different schedule, so check out their website.

RHODE ISLAND:
Roger Williams Park & Zoo Jack O’Lantern Spectacular (1000 Elmwood AvRoger Williams2e., Providence) from Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. to Nov. 5 at 10:30 p.m. There are more than 5,000 carved pumpkins which are lit at night. This is a big family favorite during the day with rides and a zoo and this spectacular exhibit at night.

VERMONT:
Vermont Pumpkin Shuckin’ Festival at the Stoweflake Mountain VT Pumpkin_BcResort, 1746 Mountain Road in scenic Stowe on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There is a pumpkin shuckin’ competition, music, chili cook-off and many children’s activities.

MAINE:
Fryeburg Fair (1154 Main St., Fryeburg) from Oct. 1-Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ThereFryeburyFair are farm animals, rides, food and draft horses and exhibition halls, similar to the larger Topsfield Fair. (No dogs allowed.)

Please note that most events with animals do not allow dogs. Most events have per person charges, so check out the websites above for each event. Before you go make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. If you haven’t had your oil changed according to your manufacturer’s recommendation, or if you’re hearing noises that sound like something may be off, visit Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Department on Monday through Saturday for your convenience. You can call 888-718-4749 for an appointment or book on line 24/7. Know before you go, that all is well with your vehicle!

Enjoy your fall trips and send us a photo for our Jaffarian Facebook page if you go to one of these events, or send us a photo of your vehicle at another destination where you go to enjoy some family fun or foliage.

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Gary Jaffarian

How do I know when it’s time to buy a new car seat for my son? I can’t afford to buy the one that grows with him. I find it confusing…


Gary Jaffarian is happy to explain car seat regulations as recommended by law enforcement, government agencies and pediatricians. The week of September 17-23 is Child Passenger Safety Week.

I am so glad you asked this question because children who are not in the right car seat for their size are at risk of injury. Every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash. Often times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.

Car Seat age-size-top

The law in Massachusetts, as in most states, is that all children riding in passenger motor vehicles must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured according to the manufacturer’s instructions until they are 8 years old or over 57 inches tall. When children outgrow their booster, they must wear a seat belt that is properly adjusted and fastened according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the age of 13.

It also is important to know at what age an infant should be facing toward the rear and when they should face forward. The proper car seat is dependent on the child’s age, size and weight. There are four stages of restraints and car seats for infants and young children: infant seats, toddler seats, booster seats and safety belts and there are a variety of types.

• All-in-One Seat (or convertible seat): This seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a rear-facing car seatforward-facing seat (with a harness and tether) and to a booster seat as a child grows. Because it can be used with children of various sizes, it allows for children to stay in the rear-facing position longer.

• Combination Seat: As a child grows, this seat transitions from a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether into a booster seat.

• Booster Seat with High Back: This type of booster seat is designed to boost the child’s booster seatheight so the seat belt fits properly. It also provides neck and head support and is ideal for vehicles that don’t have head rests or high seat backs.

• Backless Booster Seat: A backless booster seat is designed to boost the child’s height so the seat belt fits properly. It does not provide head and neck support. It is ideal for vehicles that have head rests.

• Seat belts on any type of seat should be fastened properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. As your child grows, they will move from a rear facing to front facing to a booster seat.

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week, area Target stores (Salem and Plaistow, NH and Haverhill) are offering a car seat trade in event. Anyone who brings in a car seatChild seat belt to recycle will get an extra 20% the purchase of a new car seat or booster seat and most are on sale. Babies R Us (Salem or Nashua, NH or Peabody, MA) is offering a national safety event with 25% off all car seats online or in stores this week.

If you have any questions about the correct car seat, please see the chart here, check with your local police department on Car Seat Saturday on September 23rd. Also, if you have any questions, you can make an appointment at a Car Seat Inspection Site or call the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Information Line at (877) 392-5956.

Keep those babies, toddler and children safe at any cost, and most importantly, drive safely.

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Gary Jaffarian

Is this one of those dangerous long holiday weekends? How can we make the roads safer?

Gary Jaffarian explains that by making sure to not drink and drive we can reduce the number of fatalities by at least 20%.

Backyard BBQThis is the weekend to acknowledge the end of summer and is celebrated with barbecues and trips to the beach as a last hurrah. Many of these parties, outings and celebrations involve serving liquor. That’s precisely why thousands of law enforcement officers, state and local safety advocates will participate in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) nationwide Labor Day weekend drunk driving prevention mobilization called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Research shows that high-visibility police enforcement can reduce drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20%. The NHTSA will also be buying ads and billboards to remind people if they aren’t sober, they will get pulled over. You can’t hide driving erratically.

Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk-driving fatalities. Drunk driving is a life-threatening problem our country faces every day. According to the NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, up from 9,967 in drinking and drive2014. It’s incomprehensible that more than 10,000 people lose their lives in drunk-driving crashes each year, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities.

In 2015, nearly 20 percent of all drunk-driving fatalities for the month occurred over the Labor Day holiday period. The statistics are clear: Labor Day weekend is increasingly more dangerous for people out on the roads. It is important that those considering driving after drinking know that there are deadly consequences to their actions, according to the NHTSA.

Drunk-driving fatalities increased steadily through the summer of 2015, with 891 fatalities in June, 941 fatalities in July, and peaking in August with 1,045 fatalities—moreDrink Drive2 than any other time during that year. But even one fatality is one too many.

I often discuss the options to drink and not drive—or to drive and not drink– and serve as the official “designated driver.” The other culprit for accidents, of course, are cell phones as the major source of distracted drivers. Sad but true, these accidents are 100% avoidable. If you are going to “party” this weekend, here are your only choices:
• Bring a friend who doesn’t want to drink to be your designated driver.
• Sleep over as the host’s house or a local hotel.
• Call a cab, Uber or Lyft.
• Take public transportation.

If you don’t have Bluetooth, no talking on the cell and never text. It is illegal in New Hampshire to talk on hand-held phones. In Massachusetts, it is discouraged. Cell phones now rival alcohol for traffic accidents. If you need help connecting to Bluetooth or want to buy a new vehicle with Bluetooth, this is a great time to come to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota. This is one of the best times to purchase or lease a 2017 model, as the 2018 vehicles are arriving daily. Let’s make this the safest Labor Day weekend ever!

Enjoy this last “unofficial” weekend of summer safely.

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Gary Jaffarian

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