Prepare Your Automobile for Winter Driving

 

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In the winter, an improperly maintained vehicle can be the difference between life and death. This might sound severe but a breakdown in a remote location, in sub-zero temperatures can be just that. Let’s look at some of the areas on your vehicle to have operating at peak efficiency before the snow starts to fall.

If you’ve never looked at your owner’s manual, or your current vehicle is new to you, this would be a good time to get it out and look it over. Are there some items the manufacturer recommends for winter use? Do you know how to change a tire, check fluid levels, etc. Be prepared before you head out.

Have you noticed any running issues with your vehicle? Stutters, difficult starting, lack of power? If so, get these checked immediately so an engine issue doesn’t leave you stranded.

Something as simple as a dirty filter can impede performance and increase fuel consumption. When was your air filter or fuel filter last replaced? Dirty cabin filters can cause less heat and fogged windshields. Small items like these can have big driving implications. Plan to get these basic service items replaced.

Always try to keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle during the winter. Moisture, due to the cold, will create some condensation in your tank. Water in fuel is not a good thing. It doesn’t hurt to also carry a bottle of Fuel deicer in case it’s needed.

Have your cooling system checked over. If it has been more than two years since you system has been flushed, it needs to be done. The proper antifreeze/water mixture means the engine runs at the correct temperature and the heater works properly. Have any hoses, belts and clamps inspected for wear and replace if necessary.

While your cooling system is being checked, it’s also a good time to make sure the heater and defroster are in peak condition. A drive in freezing rain is not the time to find out you don’t have the heat necessary to keep the windows clear. Check the condition of wiper blades and switch to winter washer fluid too.

A battery charging test is simple to have performed and it will tell you the state of your battery and alternator. Cold weather is hard on batteries and weak ones will leave a driver stranded. Check for corrosion around the terminals and clean them with a stiff wire brush.

Are your headlights aimed properly, it gets darker earlier and stays darker longer in the winter. Clouded lenses can be professional restored with a difference being like night and day. Replace any burnt bulbs so you can be clearly seen on the highway.

In the summer, windows are often open but during the winter, you want to keep all that heat inside. If you have any type of exhaust leak, this could be deadly. Have the system inspected as well as your trunk and underbody for any small holes exhaust gases could seep in through.

It goes without saying, winter tires are best for winter weather. Check your tire pressure (including the spare), check tires for cracks, cuts or nicks. And, if you decide you can get through the winter on your all-season or summer tires, stay off the road in bad weather for the benefit of those who wisely chose to run the proper tires for the conditions.

It doesn’t hurt to have other components given a once over by a qualified mechanic as well. Brakes can be damaged by salt which cause corrosion. Winter is also the wrong time to discover your transmission is acting up due to not being serviced at the correct interval.

And finally, carry an emergency kit. Blankets, work gloves, a shovel, sand, a candle, waterproof matches, snacks and a phone charger are just some of the useful items. Preparation can save lives in emergency situations.

 

45 years of Range Rover – A Design Icon

“The world would be a sad place for me, without great design” –
Gerry McGovern.

Modern automotive design is, by necessity, high-tech and computer-led – leading to the belief that the human touch has largely been lost. But it is no coincidence that the imaginative mind behind one of the most successful car marques in existence takes influence from beyond the computer screen in order to design cars that provoke thought, interest, emotion and affection.

The Range Rover is just such a car. Launched in its original guise in 1970, it truly deserves to be called a ‘design icon’ – a status it has achieved through four model generations, the latest of which has even been hailed as ‘possibly the best car ever made’.

And now, as Range Rover celebrates its 45th anniversary, Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern gives an insight into five objects that have inspired and influenced the way in which he approaches his work.

1. Round Café, Coventry

This cylindrical café, which opened in the late 1950s, was a symbol of the modernist design philosophy introduced by Coventry town planner Donald Gibson, and has been regarded as a city centre landmark ever since.

The building, like many built in Coventry at the time, stood as a symbol of post-war optimism. Gerry says: “During the 1960s, the whole city centre was really modern, with mosaic tiling and large expanses of glass – most of the buildings in the town centre were forward thinking.

“My mother worked in the café for a while and I used to sit in there as a child. It felt like being in a spaceship. So I was introduced to this world of modernism and futuring from a very young age, which is something that has always stayed with me.”

2. Eames lounge chair

The iconic Eames Lounge Chair was designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956. The chair’s unique shape, exposed structure and base materials of molded plywood and leather is said to be inspired by a baseball mitt.

The Eames chair has been a design favourite of Gerry’s for many years, representing a timeless piece that has both utility and purpose at its core. Gerry says: “It is perhaps an obvious choice for a designer to make, however it’s so good and continues to give me pleasure, which is what ultimately all good design should have the ability to do. For me, it’s a piece of design that is still relevant today.

“The Eames chair has certain values that are important to me as a designer. For example, being true to materials. The fact that, rather than covering up the structure, the designers chose to celebrate it. However, by continually refining and updating the materials and finishes, as well as improving the quality of construction with more contemporary materials, softer leathers and lighter woods, means that it’s still as relevant today as the day it was designed.”

3. Josef Albers – ‘Never Before I’ series

German-born Josef Albers was an artist and teacher who specialised in painting, printmaking, murals and architecture. After emigrating to America in the 1930s, Albers was regarded as an important influence on generations of younger artists and was credited as an innovator in the fields of Op art and Colour Field painting.

The clarity and precision of Alber’s work is of particular significance to Gerry, he says: “Albers is recognised as one of the world’s greatest modernist printmakers. To me, the beauty lies in the precision of each colour against the other. There is absolute clarity in his work.

“One of the reasons why I admire Albers so much is the precision that he achieved through silkscreen printing, which meant he could create perfect lines of connecting colour. The colours are so vibrant, so rich. I never tire of his work – I bought my first collection by Albers more than 15 years ago and while I’ve sold many other artists work over the years, I’ve always kept the Albers.

“When creating an initial vehicle design, you start with the fundamentals, which are optimized volume and proportions and followed on by surfacing and detail. There is a sense of graphic design and symbolism in a lot of my favourite art, Albers’ printmaking is a perfect example.”

4. Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs, California

Designed by Richard Neutra in 1946, the Kaufmann House is located in Palm Springs, California. It was created for the businessman and philanthropist Edgar Kaufmann and was purposefully designed to sit in juxtaposition with the surrounding mountains. It is seen as a prime example of modernist architecture.

The design aesthetic particularly resonated with Gerry, he says: “The Kaufmann House has that sense of bringing the outside in, which is something that we deliberately tried to incorporate with the inclusion of the panoramic roof on our Range Rovers.

“Many of our customers are being chauffeured through cities and want to look up and be able to take in their surroundings. We felt that it was important to introduce the large glass roof so we could bring a sense of the environment into the vehicle and thus create a sense of occasion.”

5. Patek Philippe Calatrava watch

Since 1851, Patek Philippe has produced some of the world’s greatest timepieces and its unpretentious, yet sophisticated designs have been a mainstay throughout its history. Gerry owns two examples of the Swiss ultra-luxury watch manufacturer’s work – the Nautilus and Calatrava. He says: “The Calatrava particularly represents, in my view, a masterclass in simplicity and sophistication. It’s as much about what it doesn’t say, as what it does say. It’s a beautiful thing – the notion of ‘less is more’ is a fundamental part of its design philosophy. Every detail on the watch is doing a job.”

Gerry concludes: “All five of these objects have the ability to connect on an emotional level. For me, emotional design has three key components. The first is visceral – when you look at it do you desire it. The second is behavioral – when you use it does it do what it’s meant to do. And finally, reflective – once you have experienced it, does it continue to excite. To me, Range Rover epitomizes all three of these components.”

For find out more about Gerry McGovern’s design inspirations, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfG2sIANYYg to watch the film.LR_45_years_of_RR_design_Gerry_in_room_3_Cropper_Header

Land Rover And Born Free Foundation Support Elephant Conservation Project

Today, Land Rover and the Born Free Foundation announced support of ‘Remembering Elephants’, a new conservation project that aims to raise awareness and funds for endangered Elephants.

Initiated by wildlife photographer and passionate conservationist Margo Raggett, 50 of the world’s leading wildlife photographers have donated their work to create a stunning book that will be sold to raise funds. The book, published in September 2016, represents a stand against poaching combining the most beautiful and captivating images of elephants in Africa.

Margot said: “I’m over the moon that Land Rover has agreed to support the Remembering Elephants exhibition and couldn’t think of a more fitting sponsor. What started as a project on the back of an envelope between a few photography friends has now grown into something that will raise tens of thousands to protect elephants, a cause we all feel very passionate about. We need to remember elephants now, hence the title of what will be a stunning tribute to this beautiful species.”

The Remembering Elephants book will showcase 60 photographs documenting the journey of an elephant’s life, from birth to the final moments of death. All 60 images that feature in the book will be presented at the exhibition and sold to raise further proceeds that will go towards the cause.

The project reflects both Land Rover and the Born Free Foundation’s campaign to secure global sustainability, increase awareness, educate and improve the welfare of animals around the world. Land Rover will sponsor a public exhibition of the book’s photography at La Galleria, Pall Mall on 18th September 2016.

Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Experiential Marketing Director, said “Land Rover has enjoyed a successful and rewarding partnership with the Born Free Foundation since 2002, this incredible project allows us to further cement our commitment to supporting the Foundation in their tireless fight against poachers and the protection of Elephants. The photography is emotive, and truly encapsulates the beauty of elephants. It is a project that Land Rover is proud to be a part of.”

An exhibition of the Remembering Elephants photography will launch on the 18th September and will run until 1st October at Pall Mall’s La Galleria, London.94698landrover_Cropper_Header

Range Rover Helps Unveil New Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo At Global Reveal And Naming Ceremony

On February 19th, Land Rover helped Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson unveil Virgin Galactic’s new SpaceShipTwo at a special reveal and naming ceremony at their Mojave Air and Space Port base in California, USA.

A Range Rover Autobiography, the pinnacle of premium SUV luxury, took centre stage at the global reveal, towing out the new SpaceShipTwo – officially christened VSS Unity  – in front of the world’s media, special guests and a group of Virgin Galactic’s ‘Future Astronauts’.

Guests at the unveiling ceremony including Virgin Galactic’s stakeholders, VIP guests and Future Astronaut customers, watched on as Sir Richard arrived in the Range Rover and the new SpaceShipTwo made its global debut. The event also marked the special official naming moment of the new SpaceShipTwo, with Stephen Hawking announcing the name VSS Unity via a specially recorded message.

Announced in April 2014, the tow-out of VSS Unity by a Range Rover Autobiography marks the latest milestone in the partnership between the two pioneering brands; a partnership based around a strong British heritage and a true spirit of adventure, but underpinned by a desire to push the boundaries of technical innovation.

A fleet of Land Rover vehicles currently provides valuable support for the Virgin Galactic team at its base in Mojave, and will be an important part of its commercial operations for future astronauts at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director at Virgin Galactic said: “Since our partnership began in April 2014, Land Rover has become an integral part of the team’s day to day operating environment in Mojave. Therefore it was fitting that the Range Rover Autobiography took a starring role in today’s events as our new SpaceShipTwo, Unity, made its global debut. We’re looking forward to more collaboration across the business including STEM programmes as well as engineering, design and product initiatives.”

Land Rover’s partnership with Virgin Galactic celebrated as Range Rover Autobiography tows new spaceship VSS Unity at global reveal and naming event with Sir Richard Branson at the Mojave Air and Space Port, California, USA

Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director at Land Rover, said: “This is a significant milestone for Virgin Galactic, and we are proud to be part of it. Helping the team unveil the new SpaceShipTwo not only reflects our supporting role in the Virgin Galactic programme, but it was also an impressive display of the Range Rover’s towing capability. But we have partnered with Virgin Galactic for many more reasons than simply providing and promoting a fantastic range of SUVs.  We share the same long-term vision to invest in innovative design and technology to help us go further and achieve more. Not simply to enable mankind to explore, but to develop this partnership to inspire others. From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology – and explore new ways of travelling for future generations. This is a very special match of brands based around a shared vision.”

Both Land Rover and Virgin Galactic run significant and highly regarded community relations and STEM education programmes, which encourage young people to aspire to a future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

2015 marked the 21st anniversary of the Range Rover Autobiography, the pinnacle of the Range Rover model line-up. Across two decades Autobiography has denoted the ultimate combination of Land Rover design, capability and luxury, adapting with changing customer tastes and preferences to remain a benchmark in the premium SUV market.   

Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Restoration

Blog3Land Rover’s Heritage Restoration programme will see the Series Land Rover and Defender’s name continue at Solihull. A team of twelve experts, ten of whom will transfer over from the existing production line, will lead the project, which will initially begin with the restoration and sale of early Series Land Rovers. The team has 172 years of combined experience working on Defender or Land Rover production. One employee who will transfer onto the programme, Tony Martin, has worked at Solihull all of his life, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather; in effect, he will be restoring some of the vehicles his grandfather helped to build.

Blog3ATim Hannig Jaguar Land Rover Heritage Director said: “Land Rover Heritage will be offering cars, services, parts and experiences for all owners and fans around the world. Our new restoration service and the sale of expertly restored Series I vehicles is just the start of making sure that classic Land Rovers are not only part of our past but part of our future.”

From 1948 to 2016 – Celebrating the Solihull Story

More than two million Series Land Rovers and Defenders have been built in Solihull, UK since 1948. What began as simply a line drawing in the sand has gone on to become one of the world’s most iconic 4x4s, earning the accolade of being the most versatile vehicle on the planet, capable of taking owners to the places other vehicles couldn’t reach. In 2015, a unique milestone Defender – the ‘Defender 2,000,000’ sold for a record £400,000 – a far cry from the original £450 the first Land Rover sold for at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show.

Blog2In 1948, the Series I went into full production at Solihull. Post-war Britain was struggling with a shortage of steel, though aluminium was in plentiful supply for the bodyshells and the country had vast manufacturing capacity. Inspiration came from Spencer and Maurice Wilks, two brothers who had helped return the Rover Company back into profitability during the 1930s. They had devised the Land Rover as a vehicle primarily for farming and agricultural use. They could not have predicted the global impact their vehicle would have.

Changes followed and in 1958 the Series II brought about a new design and engine updates, including an advanced diesel engine which remained in service until the mid-1980s. Sales had reached half a million by 1966, while annual production peaked in 1971 with 56,000 units. During the 1970s, the Series III continued to sell as well as its predecessor, a testament to its enduring appeal.

The vehicle earned a new name in 1990 – Defender. By this time, the Land Rover portfolio included the Range Rover and the newly-launched Discovery. A new name was fitting for a vehicle previously only referred to by its wheelbase length and Series number.

Part of the Land Rover’s appeal came from the endless variants that were created off the basic platform, including models as diverse as fire engines, lorry-like Forward Control vehicles, cherry pickers and even an amphibious car capable of floating on water. Over its 68 year history, it has been a vehicle driven by everyone from farmers and famous explorers, to royalty.

For many Defender owners the vehicle has become part of the family, just as on the Solihull production lines where that same family bond has been forged over the years by the workforce.

Blog2ATim Bickerton, aged 55, has 40 years’ service with Land Rover having started as an apprentice, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Charlie and father Peter, who clocked up 35 and 30 years respectively working on the same line, both progressing to foreman. Tim was followed by his daughter Jade, aged 25 who worked on logistics and materials for the Defender, before recently moving to another area within JLR. Then last year his 23 year old son Scott became the fifth member of the family to work on the Defender.

Tim, who worked on producing special limited edition Defender models, said: “I am hugely proud of our special family tradition working on this remarkable vehicle. The Defender has become part of our family. We’re like a stick of rock with Defender running through us. The Defender is the vehicle that everyone relates back to Land Rover; it may be seen as a workhorse but we think it has become a real thoroughbred.”

David Smith, aged 56, is another 37 year veteran of the current Defender production line who will be moving across to the Jaguar XE production area. A former butcher he joined Land Rover as a 20 year old because it doubled his wages to £80 a week and gave him a job with long term prospects. “The Defender is a special vehicle and very much hand built. You need to get a feel for it; we call it ‘the knack’ and it takes months to learn the knack. It’s about doing the job at speed, it’s an intense combination of skills. Working on the Defender is like being part of a big family,” he said.

Celebrating The Legend – Last of the Current Land Rover Defenders is Built in Solihull

Land Rover celebrated 68 years of history as the last of the current Defenders was produced at its famous Solihull production facility.

Blog1ATo mark the occasion Land Rover invited more than 700 current and former Solihull employees involved in the production of Series Land Rover and Defender vehicles to see and drive some of the most important vehicles from its history, including the first pre-production ‘Huey’ Series I as well as the last vehicle off the production line, a Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top.

At the same time, Land Rover announced a new Heritage Restoration Programme, which will be based on the site of the existing Solihull production line. A team of experts, including some long serving Defender employees, will oversee the restoration of a number of Series Land Rovers sourced from across the globe. The first vehicles will go on sale in July 2016.Blog1B

Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Today we celebrate what generations of men and women have done since the outline for the Land Rover was originally drawn in the sand. The Series Land Rover, now Defender, is the origin of our legendary capability, a vehicle that makes the world a better place, often in some of the most extreme circumstances. There will always be a special place in our hearts for Defender, among all our employees, but this is not the end. We have a glorious past to champion, and a wonderful future to look forward to.”

Blog1CNick Rogers, Group Engineering Director at Jaguar Land Rover, added: “This is a special day of fond celebration for Jaguar Land Rover. We all have personal memories of Defender. It’s a true motoring icon and is much loved around the world. The world has changed dramatically in the last 68 years, but this vehicle has remained a constant – something no other vehicle can claim. The last of the current Defender models embraces the vehicle’s simplicity, honesty and charm – it represents its Series Land Rover heritage. Creating the Defender of tomorrow, a dream for any engineer or designer, is the next exciting chapter and we are looking forward to taking on that challenge.”

The Defender Celebration in Solihull saw more than 25 unique vehicles from Land Blog1DRover’s history come together in a procession around the Solihull plant, featuring the final current Defender vehicle off the line. Land Rover associates were joined by a number of previous employees from the past 68 years to help celebrate this historic day. The last of the current Defender vehicles includes an original part that has been used on Soft Top specifications since 1948 – the hood cleat. The vehicle will be housed in the Jaguar Land Rover Collection.

Building An Icon: Land Rover Creates One-Of-A-Kind Defender To Mark 2,000,000th Production Milestone

Celebrating 67 years of iconic Land Rover production, a unique vehicle has been built to commemorate the UK production of the two-millionth Series Land Rover and Defender.

With a bespoke design and an all-star cast of special guests helping to complete the momentous build, ‘Defender 2,000,000’ has been created to be a tribute to almost seven decades of Land Rover production in the Solihull plant, UK

Continue reading Building An Icon: Land Rover Creates One-Of-A-Kind Defender To Mark 2,000,000th Production Milestone