How to Roast the Perfect Turkey


Tips for an exceptional Thanksgiving dinner culinary centerpiece

The arrival of November means, among other things, that it is time to start considering what you are going to prepare for your impending Thanksgiving feast and how you are going to prepare it. One of the traditional staples of Thanksgiving dinner is turkey, and while it may seem like a simple enough thing to prepare, it is nonetheless a cause of anxiety for those who have either had hiccups in years past or who have never prepared one before.

Generally, the most widely-recommended method for preparing a holiday turkey is roasting. It is a relatively simple endeavor that should result in a delicious bird that should satiate the appetites of everyone at your table and provide more than enough leftovers to provide sandwiches for days.

If you are still uncertain as to how to pull off a perfectly-roasted turkey, consider the following tips.

How to brine

MarthaStewart.com recommends soaking your turkey in a mixture of salt and water overnight to enhance the moisture of the meat, and adding aromatics to your brine solution if you want additional flavor notes. To make brine for an 18 – 20-lb. turkey, you will need 7 quarts of water and 1 1/2 cups of coarse salt at minimum. MarthaStewart.com’s recipe recommends bay leaves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, crushed garlic and Riesling as just a few ingredients that can be added to the mixture for additional flavor, but you can ultimately make your mixture with any additives you choose.  Place brine in a 5-gallon container lined with a large brining or roasting bag, submerge turkey, allow to sit overnight and remove from brine one hour before cooking.

Prep the turkey

Per Butterball.com, your first task will be draining any juices from the turkey and patting it dry. After this step is completed, place the turkey breast-up in a roasting pan, tucking the wings underneath the body. Season the surface of the bird with salt, pepper or any seasonings you prefer and dress the bird with vegetable oil.

Weight matters

According to Butterball.com, the overall weight of your fresh or thawed turkey will ultimately determine how much time it spends roasting. Whether you choose a regular or convection oven, you will want to set the temperature to 325 degrees.

In a regular oven, expect the following cooking durations for unstuffed turkeys of corresponding weights: 2 – 2.5 hours for 4.5 – 7 lb.; 2.5 – 3 hours for 7 – 9 lb.; 3 – 3.5 hours for 9 – 18 lb.; 3.5 – 4 hours for 18 – 22 lb.; 4 – 4.5 hours for 22 – 24 lb.; and 4.5 – 5 hours for 24 – 30 lb.

With a regular oven and a stuffed turkey, expect the following: 2.25 – 2.75 hours for 4.5 – 7 lb.; 2.75 – 4.5 hours for 7 – 9 lb.; 3.75 – 4.5 hours for 9 – 18 lb.; 4.5 – 5 hours for 18 – 22 lb.; 5 – 5.5 hours for 22 – 24 lb.; and 5.5 – 6 hours for 24 – 30 lb.

For unstuffed turkeys in convection ovens: 1.5 – 2 hours for 6 – 10 lb.; 2 – 2.5 hours for 10 – 18 lb.; 2.5 – 3 hours for 18 – 22 pounds; and 3 – 3.5 hours for 22 – 24 lb.

For stuffed turkeys in convection ovens: 1.75 – 2.5 hours for 6 – 10 lb.; 2.5 – 3.25 hours for 10 – 18 lb.; 3.25 – 3.75 hours for 18 – 22 pounds; and 3.75 – 4.25 hours for 22 – 24 lb.

If your turkey is frozen and stuffed, you can take it directly out of the freezer and pop it into a regular oven without waiting for it to thaw. For this kind of turkey, observe the following times relative to weight: 4 – 4.25 hours for 7 – 9 lb.; 4.25 – 5 hours for 9 – 12 lb.; and 5 – 6 hours for 12 – 14 lb.

Final steps

Prior to placing your bird in the oven, insert a meat thermometer into its breast. You will know that the meat is adequately cooked when the temperature reads 165 degrees. Butterball.com also recommends placing tin foil over the breast and drumsticks when cooking is two-thirds of the way done in order to prevent overcooking.

Once the turkey is finished, move to a platter and let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

By following these instructions, you should have a turkey that is perfectly cooked and delicious in every way. If you are still uncertain, acquire the help of a parent or family member who has successfully prepared Thanksgiving meals in the past and ask for their input.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

 

Car Care: Give Your Car Its Spring Physical


It’s the right time to have your vehicle serviced

Today’s cars and trucks last longer than ever. They are generally more trouble-free than ever before, also, and the best way to keep them that way is the automotive equivalent of a physical. Just as your doctor checks over your systems and structure, your dealership’s service department will look over your vehicle with expert eyes.

Don’t wait until a “Service Engine Soon” warning pops up on the instrument panel or a tire blows out. By then, it may be too late to avoid an expensive repair or considerable inconvenience. Prevent problems on the road with a spring checkup. Here are some items that should be included.

Electrical System: Your car’s battery and alternator should be checked to be sure the charging system is up to snuff, the battery is within its serviceable lifespan and has enough reserve, and all cables and connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. Belts should also be checked for tightness, cracks and excessive wear, as a broken belt will stop you in your tracks.

Tires and Wheels: Whack a few killer potholes lately? Modern tires are also better than ever before, but you need to keep an eye out for problems that can lead to tire failure. Have a trained technician examine your tires for cuts in the tread or sidewalls, bulges, bubbles, dry rot, signs of belt separation or other problems that could leave you stranded, and make sure tires are properly inflated. Wheel damage is common, too, so be sure to include them in the inspection.

Suspension and Alignment: At the same time your tires and wheels are inspected, your suspension and wheel alignment should also be examined. Shock absorbers can fail, steering components can bend or become loose, and bushings can wear out. Winter conditions can be hard on the parts designed to support you, as can rough roads or frequent trips into the back country. For predictable handling, even tire wear and maximum fuel efficiency, it’s important that all four wheels––not just the drive wheels–– are properly aligned. If you can’t remember the last time you had it done, now is the time to have an alignment performed. Your tires will last longer and you’ll avoid spending the extra money at the pump that can result from misaligned wheels.

Fluid Levels and Filters: Because today’s cars can click off tens of thousands of miles without problems, it can be easy to forget about checking, topping off and replacing its vital fluids. Coolant and brake fluid both have finite lifespans and require replacement, as indicated in your owner’s manual. Your dealership’s technicians have special tools to check the age and protection level of the engine coolant, and they’ll also have the coolant specified by the manufacturer for use in your car. Brake fluid needs attention as well, and your routine driving conditions––frequent towing, heavy stop-and-go driving, etc.––can make it necessary to have these systems serviced more frequently than indicated in the manufacturer’s basic schedule.

Spring is a great time to treat your car to an oil and filter change. Whether it’s hot or cold where you live, idling a lot, sub-zero temperatures or excessively hot conditions can all degrade engine oil, leaving delicate components more vulnerable to premature wear and corrosion. Moisture and acids can build up in the oil, as well, so getting it changed in the spring ensures proper protection. Don’t forget to have the engine’s air filter and, if equipped, the cabin air filter checked and replaced if needed. Also remember that necessary chassis lubrication is part of the usual “L.O.F.,” or “Lube, Oil, Filter,” service. Those parts are especially susceptible to wear and corrosion, whether salt is used on the roads where you live or not.

As the seasons change again, it’s a great time to rejuvenate your automobile. Good planning and preventative maintenance can ensure a worry-free summer ahead.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

Why do we recommend ACDelco dexos™1 certified engine oil?


DexosGM dexos™ Engine Oil Increases Engine Efficiency New for the 2011 model year, GM will introduce ACDelco dexos™1 certified engine oil as a factory fill and service fill for its gasoline engines worldwide. The new engine oil specification has been developed to help meet the increased demands for enhanced engine efficiency. dexos™ oil helps deliver increased fuel efficiency and reduced engine emissions. dexos™ is a GM proprietary engine oil specification that has been designed to:

  • Further improve fuel economy (to meet future Corporate Average Fuel Economy, CAFE, requirements) and fuel economy retention through improved viscometric properties that create less friction in the engine, which allows the oil to maintain its fuel economy benefits throughout the longer life of the oil
  • Provide a more robust formulation for added engine protection that offers improved oxidation and deposit-forming tendencies and aeration performance, which enables fuel-saving devices, such as January / February I 2011 January / February 2011 ACDelco News Page 2 Variable Valve Timing, to work optimally
  • Support GM’s Oil Life Monitoring System (OLMS) by resisting degradation between oil changes
  • Ensure worldwide availability of equal quality oil while reducing the duplication of a large number of internal GM engine oil specifications, replacing GM specifications GMLL-A-025, GM6094M and GM4718M. dexos™1 also is backward compatible for older vehicles; however, the owner manual oil specification in prior model years remains acceptable.

dexos™ Classifications

The dexos™ specification includes two classifications.

  1. GM will require dexos™1 for global factory fill in spark ignited engines worldwide and service fill for gasoline engines worldwide. It will replace the GM6094M specification for most GM gasoline engines.
  2. dexos™2, required for diesel engines as well as a service fill for gasoline engines in Europe, was introduced in Europe late last year.

GF-5 Standard

In addition to GM dexos™, a new International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) standard, GF-5, was introduced in 2010. There is a new API engine oil service category – SN Resource Conserving. The current GF-4 standard was put in place in 2004. The GF- 5 standard will use a new engine fuel economy test, called Sequence VID (six D), which provides a statistically significant increase in fuel economy versus the Sequence VIB (six B) test that was used for GF-4. Like dexos™, the new ILSAC GF-5 standard will call for more sophisticated additives.

It’s expected that all dexos™1 approved oils will meet GF-5. However, not all GF-5 engine oils will necessarily meet the dexos™ specification.

Fuel Economy

Since CAFE standards were first introduced in 1974, the fuel economy of cars has more than doubled, while the fuel economy of light trucks has increased by more than 50 percent. Proposed CAFE standards call for a continuation of increased fuel economy in new cars and trucks. To meet these future requirements, all vehicle operation aspects are being looked at more critically than ever before.

New technology being introduced in GM vehicles designed to address vehicle efficiency and fuel economy include direct injection, cam phasing, turbocharging and Active Fuel Management. The demands of these technologies on engine oil also are taken into consideration when determining new oil specifications. Active Fuel Management, for example, can help to achieve improved fuel economy, however, alternately starting and stopping cylinders puts a lot of stress on engine oil.

To meet tough fuel economy mandates, the industry will shift toward lower viscosity oils. Testing has shown that thinner 0W-20 oil, for example, can provide as much as a 4-percent improvement in fuel economy over 15W-40 oil.

dexos™1 will be offered in these viscosities: SAE 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30 and 5W-30. dexos2™ will be available in SAE 5W-30, 0W-40 and 5W-40. Please check the appropriate vehicle owner manual for the proper viscosity grade.

Increased Service Intervals

To help reduce the consumption of oil while maintaining proper engine protection, many GM vehicles equipped with the GM OLMS have a maximum oil change interval that is much longer than what was considered a normal interval just a few years ago.

ACDelco News Page 3 If all GM vehicle owners follow the OLMS intervals in their vehicles as intended, GM estimates that more than 100 million gallons of oil could be saved annually.

The second generation OLMS will rely on significantly more engine operating information than the current system, which, combined with dexos™ certified oil, could allow a significant extension of the maximum oil change interval. dexos™ specifications call for improved oil robustness to support extended drain intervals over a vehicle’s lifetime.

When the OLMS determines that an oil and filter change is needed, the driver is notified by a Change Oil message on the instrument panel. The oil change should be performed within 600 miles (1,000 km). The OLMS must be manually reset when the oil is changed.

dexos™1 Availability: Currently, ACDelco Synthetic Blend dexos™1 5W30 engine oil is available through the GM Oil Program in 55 gallon drums (which can be pumped into bulk tanks). Quart-size packaged product is now available. Orders may be placed through your local ACDelco oil distributor http://www.jackmaxton.com.

More Information can be found at

http://www.acdelcotechconnect.com/pdf/newsletters-press-releases/acdelco/2011/11jti-007-acdelco-news-2011.pdf

Tech Tips: Brake Terminology


Tech Tips: Brake Terminology

What you need to know about brake components…

Many drivers don’t think much about their vehicle’s brakes unless they have trouble stopping. What does that squeaking, squealing or grinding really mean, though? The braking system is a complex collection of parts. Here’s a list of basic braking system components to help get you acclimated.

Pads: The brake pads are what convert the kinetic energy of your moving wheels into thermal energy and actually bring you to a stop.  When you press your brake pedal, the pads are squeezed against the rotors (more on those below) to slow and then halt the rotation of your vehicle’s wheels. Some pads have built-in wear indicators that produce a high pitched squealing when the pads need to be replaced. Making sure you get the right brake pads for your specific model is important to ensure even wear, proper stopping and minimal noise.

 Calipers: Brake calipers house the brake pads and are normally found in one of two types: floating or fixed. Dirt or corrosion can negatively impact caliper performance and can even cause them to stick, leading to the pads dragging on the rotors even when the brake pedal isn’t depressed. This can cause reduced fuel economy, overheating and excessive wear.

 Rotors: When you press down on your brake pedal, the pads clamp down onto the rotors (also known as discs) and stop the wheels from spinning. There are various kinds of rotors, including drilled and slotted, which provide less surface area than traditional solid rotors but help distribute heat and minimize wear. Brake rotors are as important as the pads. If you feel pulsing when you decelerate or your steering wheel shakes (sometimes extremely hard), your rotors may be warped. They should be inspected for damage and replaced if necessary.

 Brake Fluid: Hydraulic braking systems rely on brake fluid to convert the force you exert on the brake pedal into the pressure braking components exert on your wheels. Brake fluid also amplifies braking pressure. The Department of Transportation has several classifications for brake fluid––DOT 3 and DOT 4, for example––which reflect a fluid’s boiling point, viscosity and formulation. Consult your owner’s manual or your dealer’s factory trained technicians for information about the type of fluid recommended for your make and model and how often it should be changed.

Brake Line: As most automobiles on the road today have hydraulic brake systems, they also have brake lines that channel the brake fluid to the brakes themselves. Air in brake lines or a ruptured line can cause complete brake failure, so brake lines should be periodically inspected by trained technicians to insure safe operation.

Jack Maxton’s service technicians know the right parts to use for your specific make and model, so whether your brakes are squeaking, squealing, grinding or simply not stopping the way you want them to, the best place to go for brake system diagnostics and service is your dealership. You’ll never have to wonder if they’re using the right parts or the right tools, and you’ll have added peace of mind and confidence behind the wheel.

 

 

http://www.jackmaxton.com

 

Car Care: Springtime Check Up


Shake off the dust and rust and get ready for nicer weather

With winter nearly over and warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about getting your automobile back into shape. Cold weather and poor road conditions wreak havoc on your vehicle, both inside and out, so here are some helpful suggestions to get your ride ready for spring.

A thorough exterior and interior cleaning is first on the to-do list. Outside, be sure to give your car, truck or SUV a good wash to remove dirt and debris that has built up over the winter. Those in snowy regions should pay special attention to the undercarriage, where salt and sand can take its toll on metal parts.

Inside, clean out any winter-specific accessories you are carrying, and be sure to check and replenish your first-aid and roadside assistance kits. If you carry items like tire chains or bags of sand or kitty litter in the winter, it can be tempting to just leave them in the trunk or bed until next year, but don’t do it – all that extra weight will cost you money at the pump. According to http://www.fueleconomy.gov, carrying just 100 extra pounds can reduce your mileage by up to two percent.

Pay special attention to your vehicle’s upholstery and carpet to ensure they are free of dirt, stains and salt residue, and make sure you use products safe for the specific type of cloth, microfiber, suede or leather you have. Your dealership can advise you about the appropriate cleaners, stain removers, etc., recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, and most dealers offer detailing services to quickly and professionally get your vehicle looking great.

Now that winter is almost over, it’s also time to replace your snow tires with your warmer-weather rubber. While you’re at it, check both sets of tires to see if they are ready for another season. Make sure there is adequate tread depth, and look for uneven tread wear that could indicate a balancing or wheel alignment issue. Vibrations felt when driving, and pulling to one side or the other, are also signals that service is in order. Your brakes have probably been through a lot over the past few months, so having a factory-trained technician take a good look at all the components would be a good idea, too.

Next, check your belts and hoses; fluid levels; battery; air, oil and fuel filters; and plugs and wires. Test your air conditioning system to be sure it is blowing cold air, and inspect your wiper blades for winter damage. It’s also a good time to get an oil change.

Regardless of what service you need, stop by and have the factory-trained professionals who know your vehicle best do the right work, with the right parts, for a price that’s lower than you think.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

Car Care: Wheel Alignment


One of the most important and yet neglected factors influencing the handling, and the fuel efficiency, of any car or truck is the wheel alignment. Your vehicle’s ability to go, stop and change direction is affected by the direction each of the wheels is pointing, and, whether you drive a compact car or full-size SUV or pickup, the directional control you get where the rubber meets the road is important for safety.

At any given moment only a small patch of rubber, often smaller than the palm of your hand, is supporting the weight of the vehicle and transmitting all of the forces from the engine, brakes and steering to the pavement. Proper wheel alignment helps ensure all of those forces are going where they belong and the tires aren’t being overworked.

While it may look to the naked eye like all of the tires are pointed straight ahead, they are all at slight but important angles. There are three different angles that affect wheel alignment: camber, caster and toe.

“Camber” is the degree to which a wheel departs from vertical (or perpendicular with the road), as viewed from the front. The top of each wheel is usually angled slightly inward. On an average car or truck, the angle is usually less than a few degrees, and you need special measuring equipment to determine the angle. The camber angle compensates for the way tire rubber stretches and deforms when cornering, and helps to make sure that the tire’s contact patch remains in full contact with the road, including while going around corners.

“Toe” is the degree to which a wheel departs from being parallel to the other wheel on the same axle. If the front wheels (and the rears, if the vehicle has independent rear suspension) are angled slightly towards each other (as viewed from above) it’s called “toe-in.” “Toe-out” is when the wheels are pointing slightly away from each other. This is to counter the forces that push the wheels back into a more straight-ahead angle while driving.

Finally, “caster” is the frontward or rearward angle that the steering pivot point has from vertical, as considered from the side. The forces from the caster angle are what give the steering wheel a self-centering capability when you go down the road or relax your grip after going around a corner.

Each of these can be adjusted with links that are part of the suspension system. However, small variations in the angles can have a big effect on how the car drives and on tire wear. Sometimes hitting a big pothole or sliding into a curb can be enough to affect the toe or camber angle by a single degree or less, causing the vehicle to continuously pull in one direction or the other.

In addition to causing the vehicle to pull in one direction or the other, alignment problems also cause abnormally high, often uneven, tire wear. This can lead to a blow-out that could cause an accident, excess vibration that can be felt throughout the vehicle and reduced tire life.

Since checking and adjusting wheel alignment requires precision equipment, it should only be done by your dealer’s service department. You should never attempt to adjust the alignment by hand at home. While most service facilities offer both front-wheel-only alignment and four-wheel alignment, it is usually best to go for four-wheel alignment.

On rear-wheel drive cars and trucks with a solid rear axle, there usually aren’t any adjustments available for the rear wheels. However, even in this case, four-wheel alignment is important because the front wheels will be adjusted relative to the rear wheels so that everything is pointed in the right direction. Doing a front-only alignment can still leave the car pulling in one direction or the other.

One way to determine if your vehicle needs an alignment is to drive it down a straight, flat road with little or no crown (the fall-off toward the outer edge). The car should track straight ahead without you having to tug on the steering wheel. If the vehicle diverges from straight ahead without steering input, get it serviced soon.

You should also do a regular visual inspection of all four tires for uneven wear. The tread depth should be relatively consistent. You can quickly check the depth using a penny stuck into the grooves. If the top part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the rubber in each groove, you have enough tread left. However, if the depth is significantly different on the inner or outer edge of the tire, you could have an alignment problem that needs to be corrected.

Most alignment work can be done quickly and often doesn’t require any parts replacement unless the vehicle has hit something severe and bent a suspension link. A proper alignment and a regular tire rotation with each oil change will help your tires last longer and make your vehicle safer and more enjoyable to drive.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.

 

Air Conditioning Service


Stay cool when the temperature rises

With spring now in full force, it’s time to make sure your vehicle’s air conditioning system is ready to keep things cool as the heat of summer driving approaches. There are several items that every vehicle owner can check out on their own, while other jobs should probably be left to a trained professional technician.

The first and easiest task is to just check the function of the system by turning it on. Unless you drive a hybrid with an electrically-driven air conditioning system, the air conditioning (A/C) compressor is almost always driven by a belt turned by the engine. That means you need to start the engine for the air conditioner to provide any chilled air.

With the engine running, turn on the air conditioning and verify that cold air is coming from the vents. Cycle the fan control to ensure that the amount of chilled air can be varied. If you can feel cool air but it isn’t blowing, you may have a faulty ventilation fan or it may simply be a blown fuse. Check the owner’s manual to find out which fuse controls the fan and replace it if necessary. If the fuse is good but the fan still doesn’t work, it’s probably best to bring the vehicle into your dealership and have a technician check it out.

If the fan is pushing out air that is not quickly cold, shut off the engine and take a look under the hood to inspect the accessory drive-belts on the engine. For safety reasons, it’s really important not stick your fingers or any other object near the belts with the engine running. On a rear-wheel drive car or truck, the accessory belt, along with the A/C compressor, will be found at the front of the engine. On most front-wheel drive vehicles in which the engine is mounted sideways, the “front” of the engine is usually found on the passenger side of the engine compartment.

Inspect the belt or belts with the engine off to ensure they aren’t loose, frayed or broken. Most newer vehicles will have a single belt that wraps around several pulleys, including the alternator, air conditioning compressor and possibly a hydraulic power steering pump, while older vehicles may have two to three belts. If you push on the belt mid-way between two of the pulleys, there should be less than half an inch of slack on the belt. A frayed belt shouldn’t cause A/C failure, but it should be replaced, so it doesn’t break while you are driving.

As the engine packaging on newer vehicles gets increasingly tight, belt replacement has become more difficult. If a belt needs replacing, you should take your vehicle to your dealer and have a trained technician take care of it.

If the belt(s) is in good shape, the most likely sources of air conditioning problems are the compressor or low levels of refrigerant. Over time, refrigerant can slowly leak out of the air conditioning system and require a recharge. Vehicles built before the mid-1990s all originally used a form of refrigerant known as R-12. Because R-12 caused damage to the Earth’s ozone layer, it was banned from use and replaced with R-134.

Older vehicles originally built for R-12 can be upgraded to run with R-134, and over the years many have already been modified. This is not a do-it-yourself sort of project and if you still have an older vehicle that uses R-12, the upgrade should be handled by a pro.

Drivers shouldn’t try to recharge their vehicles on their own and can get this service done by their dealership. A factory-trained technician should inspect your A/C system for leaks and other problems before your system is recharged, anyway, to avoid wasting refrigerant and money.

If the problem is with the air conditioning compressor or a leak somewhere in the system, the repairs should definitely be handled by a professional. Taking apart the system and putting it back together without damaging seals is a not a trivial task, and if you don’t get it right it can be far more expensive to fix than if a technician did it in the first place.

Now is the time to check out your air conditioning and have it serviced before you get stuck in a traffic jam on a 90-degree day. It costs nothing to do the basic checks, and getting service now will prevent grief later.

This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.