Author: Linda Steil

Firestone’s newest Destination M/T2 is anything but boring

Round. Black. Rubber. Tires are BORING. I used to look at tires as those four circular things that cost me a bunch of money every 25,000 miles or so. Nonetheless, they were (and are) essential for keeping me safely on the road, so I would occasionally stop by the shop to have “my guys” take a look and make sure things were rotated and balanced and all that other stuff you’re supposed to do. That’s why I had my guys. They took care of that stuff so I didn’t have to. Then, I got my truck. My truck is cool. My truck has black wheels with huge, rugged tires. Tires are not boring anymore. Tires are awesome. It’s called perspective. (For the record, though, I still have guys that take care of that stuff for me.) So, when a press release about the new Firestone Destination M/T2 tires crossed my desk recently, I may have paid a bit more attention than I would have a couple years ago. I’m just sayin’. What makes these new tires so great? “The Firestone Destination M/T2 tire is the ultimate tire for adventure-seekers looking to get the most performance out of their truck or Jeep®,” said Erik Seidel, president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Overlanders and weekend warriors expect their … Read More

No time for a weekend road trip? Say it ain’t so!

Tell me if this sounds familiar. It’s Monday morning and you ask a co-worker about his or her weekend. You receive the standard, “Not long enough, man. Weekends just seem to go by way too fast.” You nod and move on to start your day. If this is act one of what seems to be a never-ending play, it’s likely because more often, the work week is invading weekend time, according to recent survey results released by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “We went into the survey anticipating that work would creep into a weekend every now and then. However, this data opened our eyes to the fact that, for many of us, the work week doesn’t really end at the weekend, but spills right into it,” said Steve Short, vice president at Enterprise. “Realizing this, it’s no wonder that 85 percent of survey respondents said they want to get more out of their weekends and 83 percent described their weekends as ‘never long enough.’” But don’t fear. All is not lost. At least not according to New York psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert who says it’s about making the most of the time you do have. “Above all else, it’s important for people to remember that the weekends are their time to recharge and take a break,” said Alpert. “Spend time with family or … Read More

Is there a difference between driverless and autonomous vehicles?

According to, the term “science fiction” is a noun that means “fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes …” Or, what we not so long ago, called driverless cars. These days, advancements in technology have driven vehicles that require little or no human interaction to operate them to the forefront of reality. But many confuse driverless vehicles with autonomous vehicles. I know this, in part, because I am one of those people. I mean, really, what’s the difference? Quite a lot, as it turns out. During a brief, on-the-run interview with NPR’s Sonari Glinton, Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst and director of pricing and industry analysis at, broke down the difference in easy-to-understand, relatable terms. “A driverless car is when the car literally does all of the work for you,” Caldwell explained. “I think that’s the dream most people have – they sit in the car and it’s literally as if someone’s driving for them. They don’t need to sit in the driver’s seat. They don’t need to watch the traffic. They don’t need to make sure no one’s going to rear-end them. It’s a place where you can just relax.” Hmm. That does sound like heaven, doesn’t it? Can you imagine how calming rush hour could become? Instead of honking … Read More

It’s time to have THAT talk with your teen – summer driving safety reminders

Do you remember your first speeding ticket? I do. I was 16 and it was April 1. That’s right. April Fools’ Day. But the only fool that day was me. I was definitely speeding and I was busted. The worst part was telling my dad. I got home later that night and told my mom. She was the easy one, and I was praying she was going to tell Dad for me. But I didn’t get so lucky. Instead, she walked me down to Dad’s office and waited while I fumbled with the words that didn’t want to come out of my mouth. When they finally stumbled out, Dad laughed. He laughed. Loudly. He didn’t get red in the face. He didn’t get mad. He didn’t yell. He laughed. I don’t remember much about what happened next. I’m pretty sure I was in shock. I think Dad said something about me coming by it naturally (he had gotten a few speeding tickets in his day), followed up with the fact that I would be paying for it myself, out of my own money. Then he asked the particulars – how fast, where we were, who the officer was, etc. (To add insult to injury, not only did I get my first speeding ticket on April Fools’ Day, the officer turned … Read More

Happy Mother’s Day from Chrysler Capital

As I prepared to write my Mother’s Day message, I found myself having a difficult time doing so. Why? Because every Mom is different and every mother-child relationship uniquely special. How do you celebrate that with one, all-encompassing message? So, I began looking for inspiration. I thought about by own relationships with both my mom and my daughter. What was the one thing about both of them that was also true about every other mother-child relationship in the world? And then, I found it. Purely by accident, while I was searching Pinterest for something new and different to make for dinner, there was my answer. The one, universal truth about Mom. Nothing is ever actually lost, until Mom can’t find it. To all the moms around the world, may your Mother’s Day be as special as you are every day the whole year through. Happy Mother’s Day.

An ode to the odometer

In celebration of National Odometer Day (yes, it’s actually a “day”), a history of our distance-measuring friend seems appropriate. Attempting to go back and determine the actual origin of the odometer may make your head spin faster than a radar gun could clock it. Was it born in Ancient Greece? Or was it the Romans? What about China? It seems there was record of it somewhere in Germany … In an effort to stay a bit closer to home, I’ve chosen a few items from American history to highlight instead. Of the many things Benjamin Franklin is known for, his use of the odometer is likely one of the lesser known. He did, however, as the country’s first Postmaster General use an odometer to develop the postal system for the Colonies. And during the summer of 1763 he utilized an odometer during a five-month, 1,600-mile carriage tour during which he surveyed road and post offices from Virginia throughout New England. On September 14, 1839, Smith Beers was granted patent number 1,325 for an odometer he created. As you might expect, Beers’ invention attached to the axle and measured rotations. A bit of a surprise, however – it rang a bell for every mile recorded. Could you imagine if this were the version still used today? According to the Smithsonian Institution … Read More

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

If you own a bike, the warmer weather probably has you pining for the open road. If you don’t own a bike, it’s important to remember that it is that time of year when motorcycles will be out, enjoying the sunshine. Some may argue that motorcycle safety is the responsibility of the operator. While it is important that cyclists take responsibility for their own safety, road safety is the responsibility of everyone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when a motorcycle is involved in a traffic accident, it is not typically the motorcycle operator who is at fault. Organizations like the NHTSA, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and a variety of state and local agencies work to increase motorcycle safety awareness each year. It’s likely you have seen or heard an ad or public service announcement (PSA) on your favorite local radio or television station. There are plenty of PSAs available online, many of them graphic. In my research, I came across this one and chose to include it because it depicts who motorcycle enthusiasts really are. As a car, truck or SUV operator sharing the road with motorcycle operators, please remember to: Avoid distractions while driving Double, even triple-check blind spots Be cognizant of the location of others driving around you, especially motorcyclists Listen Meanwhile, some … Read More

Four can’t-miss Mother’s Day gift ideas

Did you present the Mother’s Day gift to top all Mother’s Day gifts last year? If the answer is yes, well, congratulations, you overachiever, you! You have nowhere to go but … well, I guess you’re in a bit of a pickle this year, aren’t you? Never fear! I bring you unique gift ideas galore! And, while it may not top last year’s trinket, the thought you put into presenting a true original will not go unnoticed. The best Mother’s Day gift is given the day before, in celebration of National Babysitting Day. Start Mother’s Day off right – get a sitter for Saturday! Let Mom head out for a day of whatever she enjoys most. Maybe it’s a day of shopping. If hours of pampering at the uptown spa is on her wish list, then a day of indulgence it is! Or go for a quiet drive together in the country, with no echoes of, “Billy’s touching me!” coming from the back seat. If Mom drives an older vehicle, without a lot of bells and whistles, consider a headrest DVD player. At first, you may wonder how this is a gift for mom. But take one road trip (long or short, it really doesn’t matter) with nothing but silence coming from the nether reaches of the vehicle and you’ll … Read More

The Brotherhood of Muscle, Vin Diesel and Dodge

Fast cars. Fast lifestyles. And now one of the fastest movies to reach $1 billion worldwide. The Fate of the Furious made an uncompromising box office debut, but I don’t think that came as a big surprise. Also, not a big surprise, Vin Diesel has partnered with Dodge to take on the starring (human) role in the latest series of Dodge commercials, The Brotherhood of Muscle. Seemingly natural partners, Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA-Global, pointed out that the association is one that goes beyond that of car and driver. “Both Dodge and Vin have large, extremely loyal fan bases that are passionate about high-performance vehicles, family and pride. It’s a natural fit that builds on the strengths of both of us.” Vin Diesel agrees. “Ever since The Fast and the Furious began, my favorite has been the 1970 Dodge Charger,” Diesel said. “As Dodge is a partner in making the Fast & Furious films, I’ve gotten to know what they stand for … as well as their passion for creating high-performance cars like the Hellcats and the Demon. They’re bringing muscle back the right way and these are my kind of cars.” The first three ads, Rally Cry, Shepherds and Monsters debuted this week. Keep an eye out during your favorite cable entertainment and sports programming or check them … Read More

Enjoy your commute “Waymo” in a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica

What if you could get to work without the stress of rush hour? What if your kids could get to all of their activities, before and after school, without you having to clone yourself in order to be in two (sometimes more) places at once? What if there were a way …? Waymo, the self-driving technology division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is looking for metropolitan Phoenix volunteers who dream of doing all those things and more. You may recall last fall, when FCA US first partnered with Waymo, delivering 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, modified specifically for self-driving technology. FCA US recently announced the addition of 500 more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to the Waymo self-driving program. “The collaboration between FCA and Waymo has been advantageous for both companies as we continue to work together to fully understand the steps needed to bring self-driving vehicles to market,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “The addition of 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans is a further acknowledgement of the hard work put forth by both engineering teams.” The 500 new minivans will be outfitted with the self-driving technology and then quickly added to the fleet of Waymo’s early rider program vehicles in the Phoenix area. “The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is a versatile vehicle for our … Read More