- Ford dealers can now begin placing orders for 2015 Mustang fastback
- 2015 Mustang fastback includes many new standard features such as fully independent suspension, push-button start, next-generation SYNC®AppLink™and a choice of three powerful engines
- All-new Mustang EcoBoost®and Mustang GT available with 50 Years Appearance Package
MAY 20, 2014 | DEARBORN, MICH.For Ford Mustang fans everywhere, today they are one big step closer to experiencing the next generation as Ford has begun accepting dealer orders for the 2015 fastback.
Ever since the world got its first look at the all-new 2015 Mustang nearly six months ago, the anticipation has been palpable. Ford engineers have been racking up millions of testing miles, refining each system to make sure everything is just right before the first Mustangs reach customers later this year.
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Any questions? Ask your mechanic.
If you were to make a list of 100 things you wanted to do today, there's a good chance that "take your car in for a service appointment” is not on it. But why not? There's no need to waste time.
Here are some good questions to ask to get the most out of your next service appointment.
Are you ASE certified? An ASE certified mechanic has fulfilled the voluntary requirements of the US National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. To become certified, a mechanic must have at least two years of experience and pass at least one specialty test. ASE certified mechanics must renew every five years. Although ASE certification doesn't guarantee anything, you probably want your mechanic to be ASE certified much in the same way, you'd like your doctor to have a medical degree.
Are you familiar with this make and model? There are plenty of good mechanics properly trained to handle routine maintenance and repairs on most vehicles. But your vehicle is not routine. It's yours. It gets you to and from work. It gets your kids from one activity to the next. It, therefore, behooves you to make sure your good mechanic has experience working with your non-routine vehicle. The best place to start for expert mechanics on your vehicle is to check out the service department where you bought it.
How much do you charge to diagnose the problem? It's hard to fix your car's problem if the mechanic doesn't know what the problem is. In order to find out what the problem is, the mechanic needs to diagnose the problem. This takes time. Find out beforehand what the diagnostic costs are. Quite often, the service department will waive the diagnostic cost if you opt to have it fixed there.
Are you clear on why I brought in my vehicle? Remember when you were in middle school and you were given an assignment and you got home and realized you weren't entirely sure what you were supposed to do? Chances are you didn't do the assignment, did poorly on it, or ended up having to do it late. You don't want the mechanic to be like a lost student who's not quite clear on what it is you want done. Before you leave your vehicle, make sure the mechanic can clearly state what the plan is. Also, make sure he has a phone number in case clarification is needed.
How did you arrive at this estimate? A good, honest mechanic will have no trouble explaining how he or she arrived at your vehicle's repair or maintenance estimate. Most will volunteer estimate basics without needing to be prompted and most will go into more detail if asked to do so. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification or explanations for specific items if you're not sure what's going on or if you think something just doesn't sound right. It's the mechanic's responsibility to make things clear.
Asking the right questions gets you the service you deserve and helps the mechanic provide the best service based on what you want.
Many drivers turn their air conditioners off as part of the ongoing effort to save gas. Before you join the growing number of motorists sweating out the summer months with car windows down or the masses that crank up the air conditioning without hesitation, pay attention to the healthy debate about which option saves the most gas.
Leaving Air Conditioning Off
Air conditioning has become standard equipment for most modern vehicles, but many complain about the extra load these devices represent. When drivers want to cool off, engines must work harder and consume more fuel. Thus, you might logically conclude that keeping the load off of your engine will help improve the fuel economy of your car. Automotive air conditioning units work efficiently, so you might not notice a difference in fuel consumption while operating your car in many conditions. Regardless, seasoned automotive engineers remind drivers that cooling a car requires a lot of energy. In the case of cars, that energy comes from gasoline.
Consumer Reports’s auto-test department performed a study that found air conditioners reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. High gas prices and long road trips can make drivers like you consider leaving the air conditioner off during the summer to save a substantial amount of gas. Before you lower your windows, you should understand that you could actually set the stage for higher fuel costs.
Rolling Windows Down
Open windows do not directly affect the performance of your engine, but they still affect fuel economy. Air flowing over your car gets sucked into your windows, creating a breeze. Unfortunately, the air flow creates resistance, increasing the work your engine must do to move your car down the road. Air resistance becomes a significant problem at high speeds. In fact, a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) study found that open windows reduce gas efficiency by 20 percent at 55 mph.
Understanding the Verdict
Drivers can benefit from using their air conditioners and from lowering their windows at different times while driving. Cars moving at high speeds experience increased air resistance, especially when they have open windows. Meanwhile, slow-moving cars do not meet substantial wind resistance, so drivers can lower their windows and expect to save fuel by turning off air conditioners. Some experts suggest that drivers can save fuel by opening windows at speeds below 40 mph. Cars driving faster than 40 mph will usually use less fuel with windows up and air conditioners on. Now, enjoy your summer and save gas by wisely using your car’s windows and air conditioning.
The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and what better way to celebrate America’s favorite holiday than hosting a delicious cookout? We came up with some tips inspired by Food Network’s cooking sensation Bobby Flay and popular magazine Cooking Light to help you perfect your grilling expertise and wow your guests this year.
1. Get quality meat.
If you’re grilling burgers this holiday, ground chuck is usually a great, inexpensive option, but for steaks, it is important to select a good grade of meat. USDA Prime or Certified Black Angus are going to cook the best, but choice-grade steak is a great alternative as well and may even be on sale at your local market. If you’re serving chicken, get the thighs. They stay moist and have a richer flavor than breast meat.
Pay attention to fat content. Choose ground chuck that is around 80 percent lean. In steak, look for marbling (thin white streaks) throughout the meat. The fat will keep the meats juicy and flavorful, which your guests will be sure to love.
2. It’s all about the prep.
Before moving to the grill, take the meat out of the fridge, and let it sit about 20 minutes to bring it to room temperature. If the meat is too cold, it won’t cook evenly, jeopardizing tenderness and taste.
Seasoning is key. For steaks, lightly score the meat to help the marinade sink in, and for chicken, use a bold dry rub for amped-up flavor. Burgers are a little easier; if you have a quality ground chuck, a light salt and pepper will season your burgers just fine.
3. Don’t rush it.
Your guests will be anxious, but don’t flip the steaks too soon. They need to develop a thin, seared crust before turning or the meat will stick to the grates. To check for doneness, the simple touch test can tell you if it’s time to take the steaks up—rare meat will be soft and spongy, medium meat bounces back when pressed, and well-done steak is firm. If you’re grilling chicken, placing it over indirect heat first is better to cook the meat slowly and keep the skin from scorching. After the inside is almost cooked, move the chicken to direct heat for a few minutes to finish it off with that smoky flavor.
Whether it’s burgers, steaks, or chicken, let the meat sit a couple minutes after taking it up to let the juices sink in and secure that flavor. Your guests will thank you later.
4. Serve and enjoy!
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have a great cookout and a great time on this Fourth of July.
This easy summer side of roasted vegetables drizzled in a garlicky, lemony balsamic reduction is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.
Traditional Italian balsamic vinegar is made in a painstakingly long evaporation/reduction process and comes only from Modena or Reggio Emilia. While there are plenty of less expensive commercial balsamics readily available at the grocery store, try to find one that has been aged so that the consistensy is thicker and the flavor sweeter.
Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini, and Yellow Peppers with a Balsamic Reduction
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes for reduction – 20 minutes for roasting
1 large purple eggplant, sliced length-wise
4 small zucchini, cut in half
4 yellow bell peppers, cut into strips (julienned)
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup aged balsamic vinegar (or 1 cup commercial balsamic vinegar plus ¼ teaspoon sugar)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine the eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss lightly to coat the vegetables evenly with the oil and seasonings.
Spread the vegetable mixture on the prepared sheet pan and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven to roast until slightly browned and somewhat softened (around 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the vegetables are roasting, pour the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and place over high heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and allow the mixture to continue simmering and reducing, stirring regularly, until it thickens and resembles a syrup. (Watch carefully to avoid burning.)
Remove the reduction from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the garlic and lemon zest and set aside.
Divide the roasted vegetables evenly on individual serving plates. Divide and drizzle the balsamic reduction over the vegetables. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.
When it comes to outdoor activities, gardening is one of the best, offering exercise in the fresh air and sunshine as well as tasty and nutritious produce. However, getting started with this healthy hobby means first deciding which vegetables to grow in your beginner’s garden. You may be tempted to start with your personal favorites, but you’re better off starting with a selection of hardy, easy-to-grow plants.
For beginning gardeners, tomatoes may be the most popular first vegetable to grow. This hardy plant turns up in vegetable gardens all over the country as it works well in many different zones. There are numerous varieties of tomato plants in many sizes and flavors. With full sun and plenty of consistent water, it’s easy to harvest a bumper crop of tomatoes.
Growing peppers is easy as they are hardy plants that resist most garden pests. They also come in many flavors with varieties that are spicy, hot, or sweet. There is something for every taste. Transplanted peppers should only be planted after the last spring frost, but pepper plants in a very warm climate may need additional watering to keep them from overheating.
Zucchini is a summer squash that is very popular with beginning gardeners. It grows best in well-drained, loose soil with frequent watering. Zucchini is very susceptible to the cold, so it is important not to plant it outdoors until well after the last frost of the spring. Once a zucchini plant flowers, the squash may be ready to harvest in as soon as a week.
Grown on a climbing vine, cucumbers are a great vegetable for a beginner’s garden where space is limited. Cucumbers grow quickly and have a high yield with the proper care. They should be planted at least two weeks after the last spring frost because they are easily damaged by the cold. If you really want to save space, set up trellises for the vines to climb.
Leaf lettuce is an easy plant for beginning gardeners because it reaches maturity very quickly. It is a cool-weather plant which is good for early spring or late summer. For quick growth, lettuce should be grown in well-drained soil with a slow-release fertilizer. Even first time gardeners will know when to water lettuce because its leaves will begin to wilt.
Many salad lovers are excited to plant spinach in their first gardens. This nutrient-rich, dark, leafy vegetable grows well in many areas. It tolerates cold, but does not like soil that is too warm. It’s best to plant spinach in the early spring or in late fall if you live in an area with mild winters.
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Make this year’s Dad’s Day extra special with an original, quirky gift
Father’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s time to get Dad a gift. Your dad is an original, so why get him the same tie as Mr. Johnson down the street? This Father’s Day, don’t settle for a one-tie-fits-all gift. We know shopping for dads is hard, so we’ve put together a quick list of gift ideas that celebrate your dad’s quirks, whatever they may be, to make this year’s Dad’s day extra special.
For the Dad on a Health Kick
Is your dad constantly on his way out for a jog? Would he ditch a suit for his favorite wicking t-shirt any day? Are your childhood memories haunted by sweaty dad hugs and smelly gym shoes? We’ve got the gift for you. Whether your dad’s been a health-nut his whole life, or he’s trying a new healthy lifestyle, a FitBit® will help him both stay on track and reach his goals. The latest FitBit® products track both physical activity and sleep, and come in a variety of shapes and colors so dad won’t have to sport a hot-pink gizmo on his sleeve.
For the Scotch on the Rocks Man
Your dad is a classy individual that loves to sit back in his favorite leather chair, or behind his desk crafted from rich mahogany, sipping on his most prized aged scotch to end a busy day. This specially designed glass and ice-ball-maker combo from Brookstone create the ultimate on-the-rocks experience, and your dad needs to have it. The ice ball releases aromas and flavors of the liquor while simultaneously cooling the drink without watering it down. How? Science.
For the “The Fish Was This Big, I Swear!” Dad
Is your dad one of the dedicated few that thinks it’s fun to get up hours before dawn and stick his hands in a bucket of worms to lure the best catch of the day? Is the center picture on your mantel one of him and that huge bass he caught last summer? Does he wish it were? This all-in-one Kombo fishing tool is perfect for any fishing-father. It’s one hand-held device that serves as a “bonker,” scooper, sharpener, and high-quality filet knife. He’ll be the envy of his fellow fishermen, even if the fish wasn’t quite 3 feet long.
For the King of Dad Jokes
Your dad has an incredibly refined sense of humor, even if that means it’s refined to a small audience: him. Is he embarrassing sometimes? Sure, but most importantly he loves to laugh and that’s what you love about him. Comedian and father Jim Gaffigan’s latest book, Dad is Fat, is filled with hilarity to which any dad could relate. It’s sure to leave your dad chuckling, if not rolling on the floor and clutching his sides.
For the Dad with a Sweet Tooth
This one doesn’t require much explanation. Beer+pretzels+caramel= crazy delicious candy that your dad will drool over. The only thing that could make these babies better would be bacon. Maybe serve them up during Father’s Day brunch with a side of bacon. Best. Brunch. Ever. Just make sure you don’t eat them before you hand them over. Heck, they’re only $9. Treat yourself.
Does your dad have one of those loveable geeky-sides that you hope doesn’t come out too strongly when you’re in public? Did he practice his Batman voice for weeks before The Dark Knight Rises premiere? Would he wear a cape outside if you would allow it? Was your first Halloween costume Robin to his Batman? Even if he isn’t this extreme of a fan, your dad will love this stylishly nerdy Batman money clip. Because, Batman.
We hope this list gave you some ideas, or at least got you thinking outside of the tie-box for this Father’s Day. Best of luck on your search for the perfect Dad’s Day present, for your perfectly quirky dad.