Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Great Holiday Gifts for Jeep Lovers

The holidays are in full swing! Have you been trying to find that perfect gift for the Jeep Lover in your life? 
Let us help with some great ideas to wrap up this holiday!


1. Merry Jeep-Mas wrangler holiday necktie

2. Recovery Gear Kit

3. Life is Good® Holiday Mug Set, Santa / Heart

4. Portable Cargo Tote
Jeep Cargo Tote

5. Jeep Cell Phone Skin

6. Jeep Dog Toys

7. Women's Jeep Military Hat

8. Jeep Roadside Safety Kit
safety kit 

9. Jeep T-Shirts
Jeep Mud Splatter Tee 

10. Jeep Sportz Tents
Jeep Commander tent 

Why would you like to see under your tree this year? 

Lahti's Jeep would like to wish you all a Happy and Safe Holiday and New Year!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Which Celebrities Own Jeeps?

When you think of celebritys' and their cars, you tend to think Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, etc. Well, some celebrities with great taste have been seen whipping around in Jeeps! 

I know, Jeeps are just too hard to resist. They give an aura of badass, heavy duty and just pure awesomeness!

Here are some A-Listers with their Jeeps:

Lebron James

Lindsey Lohan

Tyrese Gibson

David Beckham

Jay-Z & Beyonce

Justin Timberlake

Reese Witherspoon

Which Celebrities do you know of that drive Jeeps?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fun Jeep Facts

Originally called GP for military General Purpose vehicle, Jeep became the new name in the late 1940's from the cartoon Popeye's "Eugene the Jeep". 

The SUV Cherokee model was meant to depict the civility and the ruggedness of the Native American Cherokees.

The military GP's (Jeeps) were initially produced by three companies- Willys, Ford and Bantom

The word Jeep is used as a common term for any 4-Wheel Vehicle in several countries across the world.

The company reverted to the classic round headlights for the TJ after people raised an outcry against the square lights.

The fenders on the earliest Jeeps were flat and not rounded like the later ones were. That's where the name "flatfender" originated from.

An old battered Jeep survived two beach landings and ended up receiving a Purple Heart.

Do YOU know any fun facts about Jeeps? Share with us!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Where Will You Take Your Jeep This Fall?

Have you ever taken part in a Jeep Jamboree? They happen all across the country all year long. The weather might be getting a little colder (it sure is in here in New England, so it’s time to turn those summer excursions into fall adventures). Whether it’s to a Jeep Jamboree, to your favorite off-roading spot, or on a dream trip, we want to know: Where will you take your Jeep vehicle this fall?

Below is a list of Jeep Jamborees happening around the country (and some autumn-flavored photos from our Jeep fans for inspiration).

24th Maine Mountains | Oct 3 - Oct 5 | Bethel, Maine
24th French Lick | Oct 3 - Oct 5 | French Lick, Indiana
15th Moab | Oct 17 - Oct 19 | Moab, Utah
20th Gateway to the Cumberlands | Oct 24 - Oct 26 | Williamsburg, Kentucky
24th Ouachita | Oct 24 - Oct 26 | Hot Springs, Arkansas
4th Cullman Alabama | Oct 31 - Nov 2 | Cullman, Alabama
1st Death Valley | Dec 5 - Dec 7 | Death Valley, California

Click here for more information on each Jamboree

Check in next month for more Jeep information, tips, facts, etc! 

- Lahti's Jeep

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trivia! 10 Things You Didn't Know about Jeep!

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
Summer is winding down here in New England. Just for fun, we thought we'd put together a list of interesting Jeep trivia that you may not have come across. If you know a hardcore Jeep fan (other than yourself, of course) and want to check their knowledge, try dropping some of these on them...enjoy!

Q. What year was the Willys MB Jeep introduced?
A. 1941

Q. What year was the first civilian model introduced?
A. 1945 (this makes Jeep the oldest ORV/SUV brand on the market)

Q. How did the Jeep get its name?
A. This is actually a topic of much dispute. There are several theories, including: "GP" (possibly standing for "General Purpose" or "Government Purpose") became Jeep, or perhaps it was a nickname picked up from the "Jeep" character in Popeye comics popular at the time. The term "Jeep" was originally used to describe any small vehicle or gadget.

Q. How did Willys-Overland prove the Jeeps off road capabilities to government officials?
A. In 1941, they took various government officials and soldiers for a ride, driving up the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.

Q. If the term "Jeep" had other meanings, how did it come to be known for this brand of vehicle?
A. The Willys-Overland company was the only company still making Jeep vehicles continuously after WWII, and was granted the registered trademark in 1950.

Q. What three companies originally were granted permission to make Jeeps for the Army?
A. Bantam, Ford and Willys-Overland

Q. What was the original price per Jeep for the Willys-Overland military contract?
A. $648.74

Q. Where is the Jeep headquarters? (Hint - It hasn't moved since inception)
A. Toledo, Ohio

Q. What has General Motors and Chrysler Jeep been battling over for years?
A. The right to use seven slots in the grill of the Humvee vs. Jeep.

Q. What makes the Jeep Wrangler so practical as an off road vehicle?
A. It is one of the few remaining four-wheel drive vehicles with a solid front and rear axle.

We hope you enjoyed this little batch of Jeep Trivia. Now you have something to talk about on that next great American roadtrip! Have fun exploring in your Jeep!
Until next time, stay safe out there.
- J.M. for Lahti's

Monday, July 29, 2013

Roadtrips - The Best Drives in New England

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
It's late July and we're at the height of summer here in beautiful New England. For a lot of people, that means Road TripTime! It's true that we have some crazy weather here, and winter is not easy...but we are also blessed with some of the most scenic drives in the country. Let's run through a few, so this coming weekend you can pack a basket, grab your shades, fill the tank and hit the road. Don't forget to bring some tunes and maybe even a camera, because these rides will not disappoint. Also, this is a great time to scout out locations you want to return this fall for leaf peeping!

Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
Our first stop is the 36-mile stretch of road, nationally known as a sportsman's paradise (and let's face it, it's fun to say!). The Kancamagus Highway, also known as Rt. 112, winds through the spectacular White Mountain National Forest and is designated an American Scenic Byway. Definitely a favorite in the Fall, this drive will delight any time of the year, as long as you don't mind leaving it all behind. Take a step back in time to see unspoiled forests, falls, mountains and gorges, all relatively close to civilization. There's lodging, camping and nature activities galore, but even if you never leave the driver's seat, you won't be disappointed. Put this one on your list, for sure. Check directions from where you're coming from; for those of us leaving the dealership, you'll need to get on Rt. 2 East and find your way to Interstate 93N, keeping an eye open for Exit 32, NH112. Enjoy!

Route 6, Massachusetts
A number of our Jeep Lovers are also Beach Lovers, and if you count yourself among them, don't miss the opportunity to ride this 112 mile stretch of road, that meanders through Cape Cod. The National Seashore is ripe with panoramic views, quaint towns and tons of beaches.  Unlike the Kancamagus, this ride is a summer favorite, so be prepared to share the road. However, should you brave the pavement in the height of summer, you'll soon discover why so many people have joined you in your quest. There is something for everyone on Cape Cod. Activities, concerts, fine dining, antiquing, museums and don't forget miles of tidal pools, marshes and sand dunes. A complimentary digital download of the Cape Cod Travel Guide is available at (no affiliation). After perusing the pages, I'm willing to bet you'll fill up the Jeep and hit the road ASAP. Locals know, a fast-paced trip down I 495 S will pop you right into the mouth of Rt. 6. The rest is summer fun.

Route 100, Vermont
We've given you some great options for North and East. If you don't mind heading West for a bit, you'll be happy to discover Route 100 in Vermont. Another Fall favorite, you can get some great road trip miles under your belt by hitting this one up now. Clocking in at 138 miles of Green Mountain beauty, Route 100 rides all through the state, with old-growth vistas and some of that Yankee heritage we're so ripe with up here. If you're really adventurous, you can take this road all the way to Quebec, but that's beyond the scope of this post. Check out a number of stops on the National Register of Historic Places (including an authentic 19th century village - Weston, VT), see the rushing White and Black Rivers, and keep your notepad handy for places you want to book a ski trip this winter. Route 2 West (AKA the Mohawk Trail - another fine drive) to 112N to 100 (North or South, this is a long road) will get you there. Don't forget to sample some Maple syrups!

Ocean Drive, Newport, RI
Heading South? What this 10-mile stretch of road lacks in distance, it makes up for in opulence. Newport, RI, known as the playground of the rich and famous at the turn of the century, makes for a great daytrip. See how the industry barons lived by touring some of the mansions, relax and grab lunch, but don't forget Ocean Drive! This little loop is a great way to cap off an afternoon, providing some amazing views of the Atlantic and giving you time to ponder how you'll make your millions. A GPS will be helpful here, but to ease confusion, take I 495 S most of the way down. Those willing to do a bit of looking can find a number of ways to get there, however (Hint; I 395 S and MA 146 S will do the trick as well).

Ok, that's enough to get you started. We've covered the main points of the compass and checked out some neighboring states, as well as a few here at home. Use this as a launching pad. There's so many great drives in New England, we couldn't possibly cover them all here. So invest in a full tank of gas and see where your Jeep will bring you. You can't go wrong with a fresh batch of memories and a better understanding of the opportunities to delight your senses, right here in New England. Let us know what you think, or if I missed a favorite of yours, and until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's


Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Drive in Rain

Greetings Jeep Lovers!
Here in beautiful New England...well, let me restate that. Yes New England is beautiful, but I have to say, we've had more than our share of rainy, gray, wet days this summer. Thunderstorms for weeks straight, all through late May and most of June! This is not normal and I think we need to discuss it openly to stay safe. You see, it's true that rain means green grass, pretty flowers and mud - lots and lots of mud. So it's great for mud-boggers like us, but at the same time, rain (and it's cousin, fog) can be hazardous and really does require following a few tips to navigate.

First off, slow the heck down! Have you ever seen a car whiz by you on the highway, flying through the rain like it somehow provides more traction than tar on a sunny day? They're crazy! The truth is, hydroplaning is easier than you think - especially here in New England where the roads are sometimes less than 100% flat and even. Riding along at normal speeds can sometimes land you smack dab in the middle of a pretty deep puddle, which both affects your handling as well as shoots water all over oncoming traffic or sidewalk pedestrians. If you find yourself having to slow down, don't slam on those brakes - just ease off the gas. If doing so finds you tailgating the bumper of the car in front of you, you haven't been following the 3-second rule. Why not err on the side of caution and leave a 5-second buffer between you and the car in front? Everyone wants to go to the party - no one wants to stay and clean up, remember?

Speaking of tough weather; remember those snow blades that served you well all winter long? Well, it turns out the reason those work so well in the winter is because they are softer rubber. That means as soon as the temp warms up out there, you have to replace them with something more suitable. Check out the wiper section, because if a storm blows up constant, steady rainfall is not likely. You'll be driving through downpours that shift to mist and vice-versa. Your wipers need to be up to the task, especially if you take a bucketful to the windshield by that "ace driver" on the other side of the street who's going too fast and hits a puddle.

We Jeep owners love our tires, so I'm barely going to touch on how important it is not to be riding around on baldies - that's just silly. And you'll pay the price both in stopping power as well as get-up-and-go - you're just as likely to sit-and-spin. Baldies don't provide channels for the rain to kindly remove itself from under your traction space - not fun. If worst comes to worst and you're in a skid, ease off that gas, try to downshift and turn in the direction of the skid. And don't try to ford an impromptu river if you can't see the ground under it - you could completely lose traction. Even going through large, deep puddles can seriously affect braking power, so gently ride those brakes a bit afterward, to try to dry them off using the heat and friction.

Just a few more tips and I'll leave you to chase after sunnier days and summer road trips...Use your defrost to keep windows clear. If you've already defrosted and still can't see through them, it may be time to wash them. Turn on those lights we love so much. Fog-lights in particular are practically a safety requirement in New England; they can truly be lifesaving at times when the roof rack spots will just blind you in the fog. Last but not least, don't be afraid to pull over and have a snack, text a friend or read a book if things get too heavy. It's New England, folks...if you don't like the weather wait five minutes. Chances are that extreme downpour isn't a permanent fixture of the landscape. Enjoy the peace while it lasts, you'll probably save time and car damage by riding it out on the side of the road and picking up where you left off after.

Again, this is targeted towards the young and inexperienced (or anyone from the west coast who's not used to actual weather), so feel free to share the info with your kids or whoever you feel would benefit from it. Hopefully it will be a hot, sunny summer from here on, but just in case, until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Five Things I Love About Jeeps

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
After a thorough drenching last week, things may be slowly warming up here in the great Northeast. The sudden changes in weather, that we in New England have come to expect, got me thinking about some of the reasons I love driving a Jeep. In fact, I thought it might be fun to make a list! Therefore, without further ado, let's run through the top 5 things I love about Jeeps - maybe some of them are your favorites too?

1. Driving Surface Flexibility
Showing some practicality up front, let's cover Driving Surfaces first. For safety and reliability, having a vehicle that can handle snow, rain, mud, sand and street surfaces is a huge benefit here in New England, as well as other places. Knowing that a blizzard, thunderstorm, mudslide or miscellaneous mess won't stop you from getting to work, the store, the kids' practices or miscellaneous place is a great comfort. We may not all be crashing through the jungle on our days off, but I've yet to find the surface I needed to traverse that my Jeep couldn't handle. Having made other automotive choices in the past, experience shows that 4-wheel drive tops all other options in certain circumstances. I still remember going snowboarding, following my buddy who was driving a very fast, very powerful, very German sports car, and watching him fishtail his way unsuccessfully up a hill covered with black ice. At that time, I couldn't lose traction if I tried. Jeeps handle all weather driving incredibly well in my experience.

2. Seasonal Flexibility
This had to be in the list as well, because there are not many rides that you can honestly say offer so many options for the various seasons. We love our seasons here (otherwise we'd live elsewhere), and having a vehicle that can change so much with each season is like having four autos in one. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter each bring their own set of needs and activities and Jeep responds in kind. We'll cover this more in the Accessorizing discussion below, but basically, if you don't want to be bored, buy a Jeep.

3. Looks & Appearance
We can't leave this out, I mean, really. As our friend in Zoolander says, "There's more to life besides being really, really good looking." Well, nobody told my Jeep. If an iconic style award were up for grabs, Jeep would definitely be in the running. When you see them rolling down the road, you know it. Nothing looks like a Jeep, except a Jeep. And as options for personalizing them continue to get better and better, we get the best of both worlds; recognizable and individual at the same time. We love the way our Jeeps look. It's great to have a vehicle that looks as good as it performs, that can ride through the mud and dirt, providing hours of enjoyment, then get the hose and come out looking like a night on the town. Flexibility is the name of the game with Jeeps, are you noticing a theme here?

4. Options for Accessorizing
Oh yes, my friends...we've covered some pretty important themes so far, but only Jeep has made the additional options and accessories worthy of its own field of study. People love their Jeeps. That's part of the reason they can be tuned and toned so specifically towards your particular use or preferences. This is huge, and makes a big difference to the aforementioned reasons. Jeeps can be flexed towards particular surfaces, seasons and desired appearance by playing in the accessory space. Want to go off-roading? Done. Want lightweight doors and roof coverings to take advantage of warmer weather? No problem. Want to turn your Jeep into a rolling dance club, home base for camping or slick city commuter? You got it. Long before Apple launched the iPhone, Jeep had an "accessory for that", meaning whatever you wanted to do in your Jeep, you could get the parts to help you do it. And why not? You are you, and no one else. You deserve a vehicle that fits you and helps you accomplish your goals and desires. Jeep can do all that and more, growing and changing with you as your life develops into a work of art.

5. Room for All
Last, but certainly not least, we need to talk about the people sharing your life experiences with you. The lone motorcyclist may enjoy heading off into the sunset on his own...and the sports car driver, squeezing his or her date into the passenger seat with no room for a daybag or sports gear probably gets a kick out of zooming through the curves...but when you want to hit the road with friends, family or loved ones, you need someplace to put them. A Jeep is more than a means from point A to point B. It's a way of life. It's a rolling comedy show, road game, time capsule and visual tour all in one. It's you, your tribe, your gear, your favorite snacks and your pets exploring the best the world has to offer, together. Memories don't have a price tag. So get out there, make your Jeep your own, wave to each other, enjoy your time and make some memories! You'll be glad you did.

Until next time, stay safe out there.
J.M. for Lahti's

Monday, April 29, 2013

Taking Your Jeep Off-Road

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
You know that part in the movie, when the action hero goes flying off the road in a vehicle and leads the camera on a bumpy, twisted ride through crazy terrain, only to emerge safely afterwards? Looks like such fun, right? Puddle running, leaping into the air, crashing through underbrush... Well, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that none of that happened the way it looked. Paths are carefully plotted out, debris removed, vehicles outfitted with thousands of dollars of equipment, and on top of all that, they're driven by professionals! But as the glimmer of Hollywood bedazzles our eyes, keep in mind that off-road driving is enjoyed by countless enthusiasts, and as the nice weather rolls around we wanted to discuss this enjoyable hobby. It's not quite so impossible as you may think.

The Place
Before we get started, let me make it clear that you can't just pull off the highway and go out places that are specially designated to allow off-road drivers. The US National Park Service reminds us that in order to safely enjoy this hobby, you need to follow a few simple rules in terms of where to do it. It's not every park that allows Off Road Vehicles (ORVs), but when they do, it is clearly marked and regulated. Get your permit, look for the picture of the Jeep (and make sure it is not covered by a red circle with a slash through it). Be mindful of animals - many more are endangered than you may think. Get your permit, know the entrance and exit points, be courteous and be ready for a safety & equipment check by a Park Ranger.
That brings us to the next point...

The Parts
Jeeps are solid, well-built vehicles. Many are equipped with 4-wheel drive capabilities and perform excellent in mixed terrain and/or unseasonable weather. However, if you plan on really hitting the bumps and mud, you may find it beneficial to install some aftermarket parts. Although we are not affiliated in any way, you might want to check out the Drive Off Road Blog ( for some great tips and advice on what to add and where to add it. Basics we've already covered in this blog are; bigger profile tires, winches, and additional lighting and bumper options. You'll also most likely want a GPS system and, depending on where you'd like that GPS to lead you, invest in aftermarket gearing, skid plates (to protect the underbelly) and additional suspension. That brings us to the talent portion...

The Schools
There are actually a number of places scattered throughout the country that will train you on how to drive off-road. You do NOT just get in the car and go for it, unless you want to be injured. Again, we're not affiliated with them, but check out Overland Experts (at They are run out of Connecticut and offer classes in many levels (both professional and amateur). Even better, you don't need to bust up your beauty to enjoy them, they have specially outfitted vehicles for you to use!

Let's Go!   
We are not licensed and insured to instruct off-road driving, but with the resources available, I'm sure you can find a way to get into this amazing hobby. In case you find yourself having to wing it, the barest bones instruction goes like this; put both hands on the wheel, keep your thumbs UP and out of the wheel (that way, if you hit something and the wheel shoots to one direction you won't break them), consider using the left foot to work the brakes and keep that right foot smoothly planted, rolling on and off the gas as smoothly as possible. I urge you to do your research and consider outfitting your vehicle to handle the workload, but don't shy away from the trails; there's a whole world out there, far from the blacktop, where fun rides lead to stunning vistas and favorite memories can be made.
Until next time, stay safe!
J.M. for Lahti's Jeep

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

6 Vital Jeep Accessories for Spring and Summer!

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
Ahh...New England.  Land of palm trees and sunshine...oh wait.  Nope.  That's not quite right.  In fact, as I write this we are recovering from a foot of snow that was dumped on us a few days ago, and this is the First Day of Spring!  Oh well...we love our weather here at Lahti's Jeep in Central Massachusetts, but luckily this post will be useful to everyone (except perhaps our friends in Alaska).

As I said, as of today, Spring is officially here!  The weather may not know it, but after a hearty New England winter, we are all ready for some serious sun.  So I'm giving everyone a head start, and we're going to discuss 6 amazing accessories that will help everyone get the most out of their Jeeps later this Spring and into Summer.  Ranging in price from about $25 to around $800, we think you'll find something in this post that matches any budget.  Given that most of the locals are still sore from shoveling, this will give us something to look forward to and maybe start putting some cash away for, so when that blazing sun hits you'll be ready.

First up, the tube cooler!  This ingenious device straps to your rollbar and neatly packs away a six pack of your favorite canned beverage (Note: Never drink and drive).  Most can be had for around $25 and keep your drinks somewhat cool and very accessible, depending on which bar you choose to strap it to.  You can also pull it down and carry it like a backpack (or large purse), when you step out of your Jeep at the beach.

Then we have the mesh sun screen top, which doesn't flap or bubble in the breeze, allowing you to get just the right amount of sun, while driving in peace and quiet.  These can usually be had for under $50, but may require installing a retaining channel on your windshield first.  Still, it's a nice way to see the sights without being completely burnt to a crisp.

With a trail shade canopy, you can park and set up a picnic from the back of your Jeep, without much fuss.  Chill out in the shade while grilling up lunch, enjoying cool breezes and 270 degree visibility.  If you don't want to mount it to the spare tire, this item can be taken on a hike and staked down or attached to whatever you find handy (trees, for example).  Under $75.

For just under $200, you can get a fold-out tailgate table, that turns the inside of your tailgate (comes with mounting hardware) into a two-tier buffet center.  Just park the Jeep, whip out the picnic basket, unfold the table from its neat and clean, briefcase-sized travel position, set up lunch and dig in!  The 12 gauge aluminum table wipes down quick and clean, letting you get back on the road fast, without splinters in your backside from messy, sticky picnic tables.

When I was a kid, we took a trip to some crazy national park in Canada.  It was cold, it was dark and right around bedtime we started hearing some ridiculous animal sounds (I guess it could have been a raccoon, but I personally believe it was 2 or 3 large black bears.  Needless to say, we spent the rest of the night huddled for warmth in the back of the minivan.  If we had this handy tailgate tent, our speedy retreat would have involved a lot fewer steps!  Depending on the brand, sale prices, etc., this easily set-up tent can usually be had for for under $400.  Stay close to safety and carry your house on your back like a Jeep turtle - negating the need to unpack each and every god forsaken item before you crash for the night.

Last but not least, and the priciest item I'm highlighting today, a portable fridge/freezer can work wonders.  I can almost hear you asking, "But I have a little, rinky-dink 12-volt cooler already...why do I need this?"  This is not a "powered cooler", this is an actual refrigerator/freezer!  The reasons people are shelling out almost $800 for this little baby are many.  Firstly, it comes in a 50-quart size.  How big is that you ask?  Think 72 12 oz. cans. You read that right, 72.  Forget about the waterlogged sandwich or shifting ice - no longer an issue.  The front-opening lid, and strong, patented hinge allows you to actually get to all your goodies inside.  Got a 2 liter bottle of cola?   No problem - guaranteed to fit.  Electrical cables getting tangled and lost?  Nope.  Built in cable retention.  Matter of fact, it comes with two cables, one DC for the road and one AC for at-home use.  This sucker can go from the backyard to the boat to the Jeep, all in a weekend!  Packing away your perishables is no longer an issue.  Now you just need to pick where to go, stop at the store and head out!

Well I hope this brightens your day a bit and gets those creative juices flowing.  Spring is here, believe it or not, and pretty soon we'll all be complaining about the heat.  Here's hoping you have a great summer on the way, and I hope these items come in handy to let you take advantage of all the open road has to offer.
Until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Winter is Here...How to Drive in Snow

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
Here in beautiful, central Massachusetts, predicting the weather can be tricky.  You may have heard the old adage, "If you don't like the weather in New England, wait 5 minutes."  We've had some crazy storms in the past few years and other times when we couldn't find enough snow to fill a snowcone. Let's face it, there's a reason why we drive Jeeps, right?  Well...actually there's a LOT of reasons to drive a Jeep, but today we're talking about the one that involves safely maneuvering through tons of white, frozen water.  Let's discuss our options, useful accessories and strategy; that way we don't have to worry about snow and ice and can focus on avoiding the zombie hoard.

The Basics - Easy on and Easy Off
When I first started riding a motorcycle, more than a decade ago, I came very close to serious injury many times.  The engine was huge and my experience level non-existent.  Oh, and I was in Los Angeles - home of the ten-lane freeway.  After pulling wheelies by mistake, splitting lanes (legal there) or shooting through intersections a little too close to the red light, I received some very helpful advice from a riding buddy.  "Easy on, easy off." When a flick of the wrist is all it takes to go from 0-60, it can be easy to misjudge the necessary throttle.  Easy on, easy off probably saved my life.  As it turns out, it is exactly the same advice needed to navigate safely down snowy roads.

At the beginning of movement, let grace be your guide, as you press the gas pedal and move from a standstill, to a slow roll, to a traction-building traveling speed.  It goes without saying that you don't want to be at top speed any time traction is an issue, but driving on snow requires a special balance - the wheels can't spin too fast or it won't cling to the road, or too slow to have friction between the snow trapped in the tire ridges and the snow on the ground.  Wheel spin is pretty much your enemy.  In terms of stopping, leaving space between you and any obstacle in your path is a must.  Err on the side of caution - too much space first.  You can always decrease space if necessary, but you can't get it back once you've gone too far.  Just because we are equipped with some pretty amazing 4-wheel drive technology doesn't mean we can stop on a dime.  Far from it.

Ugh...this is a tough one.  I mean, as Jeep owners, we LOVE our tires.  Raised, bumpy, off-road name it, we love it.  But snow changes things...Narrow tires are king when you're trying to get traction in snow.  More vehicle weight (and, therefore, downward force)  is concentrated in the smaller surface area and traction levels go up.  I know some jeep owners that switch over to winter tires that are not at all like the tires they roll through the summer on.  This is a valid option.  Matter of fact, my friend gets years of use out of his tires by doing this.  "But I like my biggies!" you say?  Well don't despair...narrow tires only get you through if the snow is up to the axle and no higher.  At that point, floatation rules take over and your nice, big tires will do a heck of a lot more good getting you to market.  You have to be the judge - how much snow you're likely to get, how bad winter will be and where you will be driving are all factors to take into account when planning for old man winter's onslaught.

Straps, Cables and Chains, Oh My!
We talked in the last blog spot about the benefits of a winch, so we'll leave that out of this post, but your options for increasing traction on tires are many.  It's not really tough to figure out which way to go, it's a matter of price and perceived risk - how much snow will you be dealing with.  Straps, cables and chains are all useful for extending the tread and traction of your tire, in order to capture more snow and give you better leverage at pulling through the stuff.   Figure out your price point and ability to get the things into place and you're off and running, because when it comes down to it, anything is better than nothing when it's needed.  However (and this is important), when you are dealing with ICE, all bets are off.  In fact, certain options make travel much, much worse in the wrong conditions.  For instance, cables often come equipped with small, tubular traction boosters that give the cable a more aggressive footprint in snow.  Guess what happens when you hit ice wearing these?  That's right, roller skates.  They will literally act like ball bearings and you can kiss traction goodbye.  That's why, regardless of which method you choose to purchase and keep in the back (untangled and ready for use, of course), you have got to be able to get them on and off easily.  Practice.  Work on it.  Master it.  If you even think black (or any other color) ICE is a factor, get those things off your tires and drive as slowly as possible.

Just a few more tips and you're on your way!  Firstly, if you have four-wheel drive engaged, remember that it's really only effective at slower speeds.  It won't help you if you're burning down the highway in hazardous conditions, not that our drivers do that, but thought I should mention it.  If you don't find it necessary to hit 4H or L, great!  You can save some gas, as long as you're able to safely control the vehicle.  Keep in mind, driving in snow if you're in a rear-wheel drive vehicle means you're driving from the rear.  Adjust your turning and maneuvering accordingly.  While we're on the subject, get your headlights and maybe even flashers ON, if you're caught in a blizzard or anywhere there's limited visibility and/or frequent road hazards.

We love our customers.  We want you coming back to Lahti's Jeep for a long, long time.  So drive carefully, wave to other Jeep owners (or everyone you see, if you'd like - they'll get a kick out of it), be prepared to tow your non-Jeep driving friends out of sticky situations and enjoy winter.
Until next time, stay safe out there!
- J.M. for Lahti's 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Jeep Wrangler - Awarded Best Car for the Money!

Greetings, Jeep Lovers!
Today I'd like to briefly explain some of the details that led to the 2012 Jeep Wrangler being awarded Best Car for the Money in the Offroad SUV category, by U.S. News.  We are honored to add this title to the growing list of commendations this vehicle has earned, but if you don't follow the magazine, you may not understand what factors were involved in the decision.  Let me extrapolate a bit here.  It's not like you needed another reason to love Jeeps, but hey - you may want to convert a friend, or need something to announce to relatives at a particularly awkward holiday here we go.  Rankings are based on a consensus of top automotive experts.  You can always find more information here: U.S. News: Best-Cars-for-the-Money

  • Performance: This covers handling, braking, acceleration, ride quality and other "qualitative performance measures".  The Jeep scored very good (8.3 out of 10), thanks in large part to a new, 3.6 liter, V6 Pentastar engine, pumping out more horsepower and torque.  It's an 83 horsepower boost over the previous model, which was a less fuel efficient 3.8 liter.  Power?  Meet Performance.
  • Interior: Covering interior comfort, features, cargo space, styling and build quality, the Jeep scored decently (6.4), but we already knew Jeeps aren't for everybody.  And with the recent upgrades made to the interior, we're very proud of the luxurious ride and appointments you can expect from a Jeep.  You know what?  We wouldn't change a thing!
  • Exterior: Measuring eye-catching appeal and perceived build quality, we knocked it out of the park (8.3), but this isn't news.  I mean, look at it!  Now that's a Jeep!
In addition, Safety, Reliability, Overall Recommendation and awards were taken into account.  Jeep does pretty well overall, ending up with a with a solid premium entry at a great price.  Best SUV for the Money?  You bet.  Isn't it time you saw yourself in a Jeep?  Dealerships like Lahti's are keen on clearing out inventory towards the end of the year and the beginning of the next.  You've been good to others this past holiday, why not get yourself what you really want now?  Come by, take a test drive and rest assured that you have made a wise choice.
Until next time, stay safe out there!
J.M. for Lahti's