How to Protect Your Car from Floods: The Basic Tips

protect your car from floods

Unfortunately, nature and weather is a big part of our lives, and whether or not we think humans have this civilization thing all figured out, we can’t fight back against a natural disaster. Floods can come at any moment due to thunderstorms, earthquakes, hurricanes, or even the sudden thawing of snow. So how do you protect your car from floods?

Preparation is Key

It’s important to keep an eye on the situation ahead of time so you can act quickly if the weather gets bad. If minimal seasonal flooding is common where you live, consider putting your vehicle up on blocks or even investing in vents or grates.

Plan Your Evacuation

In the event of a severe flood, know where to go, when and how you’ll move your vehicles (tow them, drive them, or any other options you can think of), and think of anyone who can help out. Additionally, always keep your vehicles ready for an emergency: keep them full of gas and start them often to make sure their engine turns over.

Minimize Damage

Sometimes damage is unavoidable, but you can help prevent doing more by taking the covers off cars as they’re drying. Make sure no displaced animals have sought shelter in or under your vehicle, take photos for your insurance agent, and seek professional help for cleanup.

This is the best way to protect your car from floods when they happen, or to keep your expensive vehicle looking nice even if damage occurs.

Go to the Chicago International Film Festival this October

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival has already started, but there’s still plenty of time to go and see a few films! Starting October 13 and lasting two weeks until the last day on October 27, the CIFF is one of the biggest film festivals of the year.

The Chicago International Film Festival is the oldest competitive film festival in North America. It was started in 1964 by graphic artist Michael Kutza, who wanted to create a competition film festival that offered a different selection than what was being presented by Hollywood. That tradition of film festivals is still present today.

The first ever CIFF was held in 1965 and honored classic actors like Bette Davis for their contributions to film. Since then the festival has hosted guests such as Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Viola Davis, and Sophia Loren, to name just a few.

CIFF has also launched the careers of many now-famous creators and actors like Martin Scorsese and many others. CIFF shows a variety of films made by Illinois filmmakers as well as creators from around the world. Proceeds from the festival will go to programs hosted by Cinema/Chicago, the parent organization of CIFF, including the Chicago International Television Festival and the organization’s year-round education program.

2017 Chevy Bolt Regen Paddle Reduces Need to Brake

Chevy Bolt regen paddle

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is already breaking new ground in the world of electric vehicles. Now the automaker has announced that the need for braking in the city will be reduced thanks to the Chevy Bolt regen paddle.

The Regen on Demand paddle, or regenerative braking paddle, will let the driver access increased levels of regenerative braking. This is a feature that collects the energy produced when friction is used to slow the car down and uses the energy to recharge the battery of an electric or hybrid vehicle. Regenerative braking gives cars better battery range in the city because brakes are used more often.

The Bolt driver can toggle the regen paddle to avoid braking altogether, according to Chevy. By reducing your use of the brake pedal and increasing use of regenerative braking, you can boost your battery range by up to 5%. Chevy says that you can improve range even more by putting the Bolt in low gear while engaging the paddle. The paddle will also be available on the new Chevy Volt.

The Bolt’s 60-kWh battery and electric motor will produce 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and will have a range of at least 200 miles. Sales for the Bolt will begin sometime this year.

The 4 Best Restaurants in Chicago: Satisfying Your Palate

4 best restaurants in Chicago

Looking for someplace out of the ordinary in Chicago for that special date? Check out our list of top restaurants in the Windy City.

Hop in your car and drive to some of the best restaurants in Chicago. This includes some old and new places, each of which has some truly inspired cooking. Whether you’re in the mood for classic American fare or something exotic, you won’t be let down. Check out some of the top places to dine in the Chicago area.

According to the Chicago Eater, one of the top places to visit is Leña Brava. Headed by Rick Bayless, you can have Baja-inspired seafood and visit a mescal bar all in one location. Thanks to its brewery, the pub-like atmosphere in the restaurant is truly unique. Plus, with complex flavors that will leave your mouth watering, you won’t want to leave.

Stop by Giant for some unparalleled pasta dishes. Chef Jason Vincent puts together phenomenal plates at this small space in Logan Square, offering the best house-made pastas around. Plus, with locally sourced Midwestern ingredients, you know it’s all fresh.

Roister is headed by the renowned Alinea family. This modern restaurant has a unique atmosphere (the chefs prepare food in front of you), with loud music, an urban feel, and unpretentious elegance. Roister has oysters, steak, lamb, lobster, squash slaw, and more. Plus, with exquisite foie gras and Japanese Wagyu, you’ll think you died and went to heaven.

Finally, The Rosebud is an classic Italian group of restaurants each famous in their own right and second to none with friendly service and delectable, authentic cuisine. Some signature dishes include antipasti, bruschetta, Mama’s meatballs, and pasta fagioli soup. If you go to The Rosebud, you won’t regret it.

These are just some of the many restaurants in the Chicago area. Leña Brava, Giant, Roister, and The Rosebud each offer unique selections and atmospheres, guaranteeing a great time out to dinner with family or friends.

Classic Car Costs: What’s the Actual Price of Ownership?

Collecting classic cars is a great hobby. Not only can you admire some of mechanical and aesthetic designs of older models, but you can even drive them. Few collectibles are used as extensively as classic cars. However, there are some hidden costs to owning one. Read on the see more about classic car costs.

classic car costs

According to Fox News, one of the biggest mistakes classic car shoppers often make is buying for investment. That’s because it’s extremely difficult to know which cars will appreciate in value unless you study market trends extensively. Plus, many car buyers are biased, whether they admit it or not. What you see as a rare icon may not interest others.

Pay attention to market value. Generally, the price of a vehicle (as well as any product in general) is determined by its age, condition, original features, and scarcity. The National Automobile Dealers Association is a great resource for checking the value of a car before you buy. Make sure to have the car inspected before you buy as well.

Car insurance is one expense many buyers forget about. Classic car insurance is usually distinct from regular car insurance. In fact, it often costs less. That’s because most classic cars are not driven as often and they are better maintained. Nonetheless, the costs can add up depending on the value of the car. If possible, get a policy with a high guaranteed value as opposed to agreed value—guaranteed is usually more extensive.

Finally, be aware of storage and maintenance costs. Many special edition vehicles may require special storage facilities, especially if they don’t meet emissions or safety standards. Plus, restoration and repair costs can add up if you don’t have extensive tools or abilities. Shop around for local repair and storage facilities to get a better idea about costs before you buy.

GM RoboGlove Tool: A Wearable Robotic Arm of the Future

GM RoboGlove Tool

These gloves have been replaced by the future.

A RoboGlove might sound like something out of a science-fiction novel, but this innovative GM tool is designed to make car manufacturing easier. This clever tool will help to ease muscle strain on the assembly line, an idea originally developed for a NASA robot. With some truly innovative technologies at play, this could just be the future of auto manufacturing and assembly everywhere.

The GM RoboGlove tool is a battery-pack-powered glove with small controllers and actuators that clip to the wearer at belt level. According to CNET, tendons work as synthetic muscles to aid in gripping, giving the user a powerful grip without straining their own muscles. While this robotic arm might sound a little excessive, GM may implement it to decrease stress on workers on the assembly line.

“I had a go with the RoboGlove and was impressed by its gripping power,” said Andrew Krok at CNET, one of a handful to actually try the glove. “It’s a strange feeling, being able to hold onto something without constantly working muscles.”

Special sensors in the fingertips allow the user to control subtle movements and pressure, making the robo-hand surprisingly dexterous. While GM and NASA are looking to put the tool to use in space and on the assembly line, the technology can also be used in physical therapy or as a prosthetic. The RoboGlove is truly innovative, one of several recent GM inventions that are set to change the industry forever.

Jazzin’ at the Shedd: Things to Do This Summer in Chicago

Jazzin’ at the Shedd

Stop by the Shedd Aquarium every Wednesday for a summer concert series called Jazzin’ at the Shedd. This annual event showcases the city’s finest musicians at one of the most scenic areas in the region. This Navy Pier event also has refreshments and beverages, as well as a stunning fireworks display.

According to the Shedd Aquarium, you can also check out the 32,000 animal residents at the aquarium. Exhibits include a Wild Reef, Abbot Oceanarium, and the Amphibians. You can also take a tour of the lake on a Shoreline Sightseeing Classic Tour, getting a front-row seat to the fireworks display.

You can also see some renowned researchers and scientists in an informal setting at the Jazzin’ Science Pub. Ask questions, enjoy some drinks, and learn about recent breakthroughs in various fields. There will be special guests on the following dates:

  • August 17
  • August 24
  • September 14

Advanced tickets are just $18, while you can also buy them at the door for $20. For those looking to take the Jazzin’ Shoreline Fireworks Cruise, it’s just $35. Members can get in for free—just one of many benefits to joining the Shedd Aquarium society.

If you’re looking to have a fun night on the town or you simply want to support one of the best aquariums in the country, stop by the Jazzin’ at the Shedd event for an unforgettable experience.

Starved Rock State Park Cabins

Starved Rock State Park Cabins

Getaway Spot: Starved Rock State Park Cabins in Northern Illinois

If you’re visiting northern Illinois and are looking for a memorable place to stay after a long day hiking through Starved Rock State Park, check out the Starved Rock Cabins. These highly-rated accommodations are located at the Starved Rock Lodge, right on the grounds of the state park.

The Lodge offers two different cabin options. The Sunset Cabins are picturesque log cabins located next to the grounds’ indoor pool. This is the perfect option for couples, as each room sleeps two and has full amenities—some rooms even have a fireplace! The rustic Pioneer Cabins sleep more visitors and are best for families. These cabins are also located further from the busy Lodge and are secluded in the scenic forest.

These cabins in Oglesby, Illinois are the perfect destination due to their location south of the Illinois River. They’re also not far from Matthiessen State Park and the Margery C. Carlson Nature Preserve. Check out a side of Illinois you haven’t seen by retreating to the exciting Starved Rock State Park Cabins!

The 1980s in Illinois

Back in Time: the 1980s in Illinois

Reliving the Nostalgia of the 1980s in Illinois

Each generation has its own fond memories of trends, products, and celebrities that found fame for a short period of time. For some of us, the 1980s hold a special place in our hearts. As does all of the pop culture we embraced during our childhood.

Remember wearing those checkered VANS shoes? It seems like everyone had a pair of those! No doubt you’d see your friends wearing them when you met them at the arcade to play classic games like Pac-Man and Galaga. Hopefully you didn’t have a mullet hair cut, though!

For Christmas, you probably got one of the many following popular items: an Atari console, a Koosh Ball, a Cabbage Patch Doll, a Care Bear, or a He-Man action figure. And you probably didn’t miss an episode of G.I. Joe or Jem and the Holograms! And who could forget those Chicago Bears?

What other fond memories do you have of growing up the 1980s in Illinois? Share your nostalgia with us!

Explore These Top-Notch Lake Michigan Locations for Boats This Sumer

Lake Michigan Locations for Boats

Looking for places to take your boat on Lake Michigan this summer? Given the 80-plus harbors and marinas in the region, it can seem overwhelming. Here are a few of our favorite Lake Michigan locations for boats:

Chicago – Of course, you cannot go wrong with Chicago, one of the nation’s most cultural cities, with more free zoos and opportunities to check out art than anywhere else.

Michigan City – Check out the Washington Park Municipal Marina, which can accommodate boats measuring up to 100 feet in length. If you’ve got a larger-than-life boat, this is the spot for you.

Saugatuck – Frequently cited as one of the top tourist destinations in the Midwest, Saugatuck is prized for its preservation of history, and everything is in walking distance of the harbor.

Lake Charlevoix – A beautiful medium-sized lake situated near the northern edge of Michigan, you can get to this through a small canal that leads from the Great Lake to the small one. Plenty of places to stop for a picnic lunch!

Of course, there’s no better way to tow your boat around than in a brand new pickup truck! To learn more about what trucks we have available or to take one on a test drive, visit us anytime at Bill Walsh Chevy.