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The event took place at the Texas Roadhouse in Hamilton, New Jersey on May 17. This marked the first of six Cruise Nights. A large crowd attended and enjoyed food, music, and a good time in support of a good cause.

All the proceeds generated by the event went to the Capital K9 Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing ballistic body armor and other safety equipment for police working dogs. Police dogs are a vital part of law enforcement, and their safety contributes to the safety of the community they protect. Three dogs were presented with bulletproof vests thanks to the funds raised by Capital K9 Association.

There will be five more Cruise Nights, all taking place at the Texas Roadhouse in Hamilton from 6pm-10pm. If you want to support your community and the Capital K9 Association, we encourage you to join us on. Don’t miss out on a chance to help protect those who protect us.

Cottman Transmissions is honored to provide support for our community, our police, and their dogs. For more information on the Cruise Nights or this worthy cause go online to capitalk9.org.

5-25-16 - Cottman of Trenton a proud sponsor of Cruise Nights to benefit the Capital K9 Association - 2

There are dozens of things that can reduce the life of your car’s transmission, from poor driving habits to inadequate service intervals. But the leading cause of damage to automatic transmissions is heat.

The transmission cooler is designed to help extract heat from the transmission: Transmission fluid runs through the cooler, releasing heat to the coolant in the radiator. That coolant, in turn, releases heat to the air passing over the fins. The cooled transmission fluid then returns to the transmission, to keep it running cooler.

For most normal driving, the factory cooler is adequate to keep the transmission safe. But under extreme circumstances you may need more cooling capacity than the factory cooler can provide.

What kind of circumstances? Towing, for one. If you have a camper, trailer, or boat, towing it will increase the heat in your transmission dramatically.

Another source of excess heat involves where you drive. On generally flat roads, the factory cooler should be fine. But if you do a lot of driving on extreme grades, such as through the mountains, your transmission will be working overtime. And if you’re towing a trailer at the same time, well, that could be the kiss of death for your transmission.

In those cases, your best bet is to have an auxiliary transmission cooler added to the system. An auxiliary cooler is like a little radiator that mounts in front of the regular radiator. Transmission fluid gets piped through the cooler to remove more heat than the factory cooler can, and it’ll keep your transmission running cooler in even the most difficult terrain.

Your local Cottman center will be happy to discuss your driving situation, and they’ll let you know whether you should consider adding an auxiliary transmission cooler to your car. And if you do need one, they can get the right one for your specific needs and install it for you.

Heat can be a killer for your transmission, but the folks at your nearby Cottman center can help protect you from that heat, and keep you on the road for miles and miles.

The International Advertising Competition has just announced that Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care has won two categories in the 2016 competition:

The annual competition is the creation of the Web Marketing Association (WMA), an association of “internet marketing, advertising, PR, and design professionals who share an interest for improving the quality of advertising, marketing and promotion used to attract visitors to corporate web sites,” according to their web site.

“Winning these awards is extremely gratifying, as it comes from marketing professionals,” says Sue Burg, Cottman’s senior director of advertising. “These are people who understand what great internet communications should look like, and they found ours to be exceptional.”

Cottman Wins Two Awards - photo of actual awards - Low Res

While most corporate websites focus on sales, the Cottman Man is about people; providing them with a clear explanation of their cars and how to ask for service. This is important because, in any type of service situation, communication is critical for accurate diagnosis and repair.

“Our goal with these sites was to help educate the consumer,” explains Derik Beck, Cottman’s VP of digital marketing. “Cars aren’t the same as they were 20 or 30 years ago, and of course, neither is keeping those cars running dependably. Educated consumers can enjoy more trouble free miles out of their cars, and they can make smarter decisions when they do need repairs.”

“Today’s cars are extremely complex,” explains Cottman President Randy Wright. “There’s no way the average consumer can keep up with the changes taking place. The Cottman Man blog and video series take these highly technical subjects and makes them clear to everyone, regardless of their technical background. It fills a critical need and helps consumers become more comfortable when they need to speak with a technician or service advisor.”

The blog has posts with information on a wide variety of subjects, including service recommendations, preparing for a road trip, saving money on your car, and even how to explain a problem to your local technician. They’re written in a clear and friendly manner, without relying on jargon or acronyms that have no meaning to anyone outside the repair industry.

This isn’t the first time the Cottman Man Blog has been singled out for high praise. It’s actually received two other awards in its short life:

  • 2015 Automotive Communications award from the Car Care Council Women’s Board (WB) and the Automotive Communication Council (ACC)
  • Named Top 50 Automotive and Mechanics Blogs in a list compiled by Direct Capital.

For more information, visit the Cottman Man Blog on line at www.TheCottmanManBlog.com, or view the Cottman Man Educational Videos on the Cottman web site at www.Cottman.com/videos.

Every time you watch the news lately, it seems some area is flooding. Texas just went through the worst flooding in recorded history, causing damage will end up costing billions to repair.

But housing and road damage are only a part of the effects of flood waters: They can also create irreparable harm to your car or truck.

The water is bad enough, but flooding isn’t just about water: The rising tides bring silt, sewage, and all kinds of blech! — any one of which can hurt your car. When combined, they can create a level of damage that can never be fully repaired.

Naturally, the easiest way to prevent flood damage is to avoid it. If you hear a flood forecast, move your car to higher ground. And avoid driving during flood warnings: There’s no way to tell whether that water ahead is just a puddle or a small lake!

If your car did get caught in a flood, don’t try to start the engine!

That’s because, once it starts, any dirty water in the engine, transmission, or brake system will spread around and get mixed with the fluids. What could have been repaired with a simple oil change may now require a major flush or rebuild.

Automatic transmissions are particularly susceptible to water damage. The clutches in your transmission are hygroscopic — that is, they’ll literally push oil out of the linings to absorb water. Even if the transmission works for a while, it won’t be long before it fails.

Instead, have your car towed to your local Cottman center, and have them check for water contamination. They can change the fluids before they start the engine, and improve the chances of saving your car.

Of course, even if you remember these rules, you still may not be able to get your car back on the road. The water and contaminants can do a real number on the car’s electronics and computer systems. But remembering not to start the engine could give you a chance at saving your car after a flood.

Franchisees and Corporate Leadership Collaborate to Continue Company’s Leading Position in the

Auto Repair and Maintenance Services Industry

The spirit of unity filled a weekend of productive educational and networking sessions during the 2016 Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care National Convention. Held recently at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, the convention was the year’s most anticipated event for the franchise system.

“There’s nothing better than bringing the Cottman family together,” said Randy Wright, president of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care. “Our annual convention is an important time to collaborate and discuss innovative ideas for the future, and one we look forward to every year.”

The convention celebrated several key accomplishments and inspired all attendees – franchisees, local market team members and corporate leadership – to think big, strive for excellence and garner close ties to the community. The event also included extensive sales and marketing training, educational seminars and breakout sessions.

“We have made tremendous strides as a franchise this year,” said Wright. “While upholding the honesty and integrity that defines every experience at Cottman, our team has collectively earned the trust and respect of the communities we serve. The convention is one way we like to recognize these achievements and also plan ways to push ourselves to the next level for our loyal customers.”

The most emotional portion of the gathering was the awards dinner. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care bestowed honors on top-performing franchisees and their team members in attendance for best practices, leadership initiatives and excellent customer service over the past 12 months.

During the dinner, Wright presented the “President’s Award” to Rick White, owner of Cottman of Raleigh. He earned the brand’s highest honor with a series of strong marks in all criteria judged, including total revenue, revenue increase, operations and participation within the franchise system.

“To be awarded such a prestigious recognition is a tribute to my entire team, which works incredibly hard along with me,” said White who opened his Cottman center 19 years ago. “I look forward to sharing this honor with all who have been part of our successes.”

The “Cottman Man Award,” given to the franchisee with the highest gross sales for the previous year, went to Jim Dietvorst, owner of Cottman of Denver and Cottman of Wheat Ridge.

Santo Albanese from Cottman of Stroudsburg, was recognized as “Manager of the Year,” one of the chain’s highest honors. Albanese exemplifies the highest standards in professionalism, dedication and sales.

Cassey and Clay Beacham, owners of Cottman of Greenville, were honored with the “Person of the Year Award.” This award goes to franchisees who show a burning desire to be the best through their actions. Given that sales at Cottman of Greenville has grown substantially for three consecutive years, it is apparent that Casey and Clay developed a plan of action and saw it through.

Doug and Mary Scott, owners of Cottman of Gladstone and Cottman of Independence, received “The Transmission Physician Award” for their industry knowledge. The two are not only successfully managing in their own center, but they are also consistently supporting fellow Cottman owners and establishing long term market relationships with both outside accounts and retail customers alike.

Named after the Cottman founders, “The Founders Award,” presented to Beth Burns, owner of Cottman of Trenton. The award is given to an individual who has overcome adversity. As an owner, Burns has had her share of trials and tribulations but throughout her career has never shrank from any opportunity presented to her, making her a perfect fit for the honor.

Given to three outstanding franchisees, the recipients of the “Top National Account Development Award” included Ron Vinduska, owner of Cottman of Jacksonville, Greg Dittbrenner, owner of Cottman of New Castle, and Clay Beacham. This honor is awarded to proactive and dedicated owners who work hard to acquire and retain national accounts.

The “Top Business to Business Customer Development Award” was given to John Hilgar, owner of Cottman of Feasterville, and Michael Morrison, owner of Cottman of Spartanburg. Both franchisees have shown a strong commitment to developing and nurturing these types of accounts. In the past year, they have added new business while also maintaining existing accounts.

This year, two franchisees received the “Technical Proficiency Award” for demonstrating exceptional technical knowledge of the automotive industry. The honorees were Duke Caulk, technician at Cottman of Wilmington and Damon Broadway, technician at Cottman of Gladstone.

In addition, 14 Cottman centers were honored with a “Customer Service Award” for providing excellent service to its respective communities. The honorees included:

  • Cottman of Lansdale
  • Cottman of Spartanburg
  • Cottman of Denver
  • Cottman of Brandon
  • Cottman of Wheat Ridge
  • Cottman of Stroudsburg
  • Cottman of Cincinnati
  • Cottman of Lancaster
  • Cottman of La Place
  • Cottman of Louisville
  • Cottman of The Woodlands
  • Cottman of Waldorf
  • Cottman of Fern Park
  • Cottman of St. Peters

To learn more about Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, please visit www.cottman.com.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic.  Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care centers specialize in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more.  Cottman’s headquarters is based in Horsham, Pennsylvania.  For more information, please visit www.Cottman.com and www.TheCottmanManBlog.com.

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If your car was built in the last 10 years or so, it probably has “ABS” — Antilock Brake System. That sounds impressive, but what exactly is an antilock brake system? And how does it affect you?

Contrary to popular belief, ABS doesn’t necessarily stop your car faster. In fact, in some cases, such as on a gravel road, ABS can actually increase the stopping distance.

The real advantage to ABS is simple: It allows you to maintain steering control during severe braking conditions.

Think about the last time you had to stop in a hurry in a car without ABS: Once the wheels locked, the car kept going in whatever direction it was heading when you hit the brakes. It didn’t matter which way you turned the steering, the car wasn’t going to change direction with the wheels locked.

That’s the whole idea behind ABS: Since the wheels never lock, you retain steering control. So, if you have to avoid something in front of you, you can, simply by turning the wheel.

The one problem with most antilock brake systems is that activating the system — by slamming on the brake pedal — causes the car to vibrate enough to loosen your fillings. It’s downright scary at a time when you’re already in terror mode, trying to stop in a hurry. This has created a situation where people often won’t apply the brakes hard enough to allow the ABS to work, causing the very accidents ABS was supposed to help avoid.

The best way to become comfortable with the ABS system is to try it out… before you find yourself in an emergency situation. Find an empty road or parking lot, accelerate to about 20 or 30 miles an hour, and then try to lock the brakes. Get comfortable with the vibration now, so you know what to expect in an emergency.

And make sure you keep your ABS system in good working order by having your car’s brake fluid changed every couple years. Brake fluids tend to absorb moisture, and, if left in the system, can eventually cause the ABS components to corrode or wear. Regular fluid replacement can help keep the system in good working order.

Your local Cottman center can help you with that. They can flush your brake hydraulic system and replace the fluid for you, to keep your antilock brake system working like new. Give them a call and set up an appointment today.

You’re driving down the road when you notice a light on the instrument panel: It’s the letter “B.” What exactly does that mean? A comment on your driving? Is it something serious? Should you pull over, or can it wait until you get home and call your local repair center?

Or, you’re driving on the first cold day of the year and you notice your engine seems to be running faster than it used to on this stretch of road. The transmission isn’t upshifting properly. What could be wrong?

What type of engine oil does your car take? How often should you have it changed? Where’s the jack and how do you use it?

If you’ve ever run into questions like these about your car, chances are you never read your owners manual. What’s an owners manual? It’s that book in your glove compartment; the new one that no one’s ever opened. And that’s too bad, because it includes a wealth of information about how to get the most out of your car.

Need to reset your clock? It’ll show you how. Not sure how to get your windows to defrost properly? It’s in there. There are even sections that’ll provide you with tips and instructions on what to do if you get stuck, start to skid on a slippery road, and more.

The owners manual provides a detailed explanation of every light, button, dial, and gauge on your dash. It’ll show you how to jump start the battery and change a tire. And it provides you with a detailed maintenance schedule for every system on your car, to help you keep it on the road and running right for miles and miles.

So what are you waiting for? Open the glove compartment and take the owners manual for a spin. Look through the headings: You’ll find sections that cover virtually everything you ever wanted to know about your car. And you’ll probably discover that some of your assumptions about driving and caring for it were way off base.

Have a question about something that’s covered in your owners manual? Drop by your local Cottman center; the technicians there will be happy to help clarify anything you find confusing. And they’ll help you work out a maintenance schedule that’ll keep your car running great for years to come.

Cellphones and other mobile devices for GPS and music are great conveniences, but they can also be deadly.

Your local Cottman Man warns against using these devices while driving, citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that blames distracted driving for as much as ten percent of traffic fatalities every year.

“Statistics tell us nearly 3,200 people die every year in crashes involving distracted drivers,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

“These are totally preventable crashes.”   Least experienced drivers – our kids who are under 24 – account for 25 percent of all distracted driving crashes.  The sad thing is that these types of crashes are totally preventable.

To call attention to what safety experts have called “a national epidemic,” NHTSA and police agencies throughout the nation this month are mounting their annual “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” distracted driving enforcement campaign.

Despite the negative attention distracted driving has been getting, use of cellphones by drivers doesn’t seem to be going down. As of a year ago, almost 170 billion text messages are sent every month in the U.S., and at any given moment during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers are using hand-held cell phones while driving.

“As parents, we are the number one influence on what kind of driver our teens become. We set the example for them to follow,” says Wright.

Parents can help young people develop a lifetime of good driving habits with a few simple steps:

  • Talk with your teens and explain that driving is a big and serious responsibility.
  • Set ground rules for when they’re behind the wheel, which should include that when on the road, they must stay off the phone.
  • Make a Family Pledge and have every family member commit to distraction-free driving.
  • Set a positive example for your kids by putting your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you drive.

“At Cottman, we work to keep your car running smoothly and trouble-free,” said Wright. “We encourage our customers to do their part to be safe on the road by driving distraction-free and setting a good example for teens as they begin to drive.”

Up-to-date information on distracted driving is at the NHTSA site http://www.distraction.gov/