GoPro Digital Video Cameras – Capture the Moment!

by Tom Talbott on August 31, 2014

We’ve all seen what the GoPro Digital Video Camera can do – those helmet cam shots, or mounted in places where a regular camera would be challenged.  The GoPro fits in the palm of your hand, its incredibly light, and its rugged.  From humble beginnings in 2004 to an IPO in 2014 that raised $427 million on day one, the GoPro has become the most exciting new option for adventurers and sports enthusiasts, as well as a wide range of interesting and creative uses.

Patriot Subaru, located in Saco, Maine and Patriot Subaru North Attleboro, MA are both giving away two GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition cameras from each of its stores, to celebrate the launch of the new 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy.  Since the Outback, Subaru’s most popular model is billed as the vehicle “made to take you places you’ve never been”, the dealership thought it would be a great promotional tool to give the GoPro.  Why not capture those moments of visiting new places on a camera that can do it all!  The giveaway in September 15, 2014, so it may be over by the time you read this, but suffice it to say, hundreds of entries are pouring in, and four people will be very happy to win.

This may be a different blog than we usually do, but we’re excited about this event!  Patriot Subaru GoPro Giveaway






Subaru fans and followers were looking forward to the new 2015 Outback, the flagship of the Subaru line. The Outback has been a top-seller with over 120,000 sold last year, so one might ask if Subaru could have left it alone. Woe the adage, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  Fortunately, Subaru has the good sense to make some modest adjustments, which by all accounts has strengthened the brand. At your Portland Maine auto dealer, they’re selling fast.

2015 Subaru Outback Patriot

For starters, the 2015 Outback looks more streamlined and sleeker than previous years. There is less plastic and more styling.  As Car and Driver put it, “It’s a better hiking boot.”   Aptly put, because the Outback is billed as the vehicle to take you places you’ve never been.  A tad longer by .06 inch, wheelbase up a notch. A little roomier inside, particularly up front.  Notably the quality of the interior design has been upgraded without being gaudy.

No change in the engine, but Subaru did take some steps to quiet the cabin. The steering ratio is a bit quicker, and the electric power assist is new. The suspension was tightened up just a little, but the Outback continues to deliver a smooth ride when the road gets rough.  Subaru says that this model is 59% stiffer in torsion and 35% in bending.  That may been tiny fractions of an inch, but it can be felt in the reduced body lean.  Also of note, the MPG rating went up 1 mile city and 3 highway, respectively 23/33.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety gives the 2015 Outback its highest rating, a Top Safety Pick +. The optional EyeSight is given a rating of Superior, and is available on the Premium model.

Give Subaru credit for taking a proven winner, and making the tweaks in all the right places, and in balance with what the Outback stands for:  A versatile, reliable vehicle that is cherished by its loyal owners, and rapidly gaining new ones.


Subaru of America has reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that after examination of returned parts, it showed that some brake lines were susceptible to rust after several years of exposure to salt water,  common to areas where heavy salting is used in winter conditions.  Further testing revealed a gap in the shielding around the fuel tank which allowed the salty brine to seep in and corrode the area, which had the potential to compromise the line and allow brake fluid to escape.

Subaru will recall approximately 660,000 vehicles in 20 states that use road salt on a regular basis.  The vehicles involved are the 2009-13 Forester, the 2005-9 Legacy and Outback, the 2008-14 Impreza WRX/ WRX STi, and the 2008-11 Impreza.  The 20 states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia — or in the District of Columbia.

No accidents or injuries have been reported or attributed to the potential corrosion.  Subaru, a unit of Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc, has said that they will contact owners directly, and those customers can schedule service with local Subaru dealerships.  If a repair is necessary, it will be done free of charge, and if it had been repaired previously, the customer is entitled to reimbursement.   The service center will check for any corrosion and brake fluid leakage, and if none is found, an anti-corrosion wax will be applied.  If leakage is detected, the brake line will be replaced, and rustproofed with the anti-corrosion wax.

Subaru noted that if there was any brake fluid leakage, a warning light would turn on, alerting the driver.  The driver would not lose braking power, but the driver would notice a sluggish response and the car would need a longer distance to slow down or bring the car to a stop.  This could lead to an accident, so as in any recall, do not ignore it.  You may not have symptoms now, but don’t find out the hard way!


Benefits of Organic Vegetable Gardens

by Tom Talbott on June 14, 2014

Simply put, organic gardens don’t rely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  But while you are eliminating some things, you still need to develop a natural ecosystem that fosters growth, and wards off pests and plant disease.  Here’s a quick look at how it can be done.  At your Portland, Maine  area Subaru store, we have a wonderful organic vegetable garden tended to by associates, as well as customers.

Patriot Subaru Organic Garden


First, prepare the soil. You should have it tested so you understand the pH and nutrient levels. Mix in compost, leaf and grass clippings, and composted manure. Local farms are the best source – and animals that have been organically raised.

Choosing the right plants is of course, key!  Refer to the USDA’s Hardiness Zones, and consider variables such as light, moisture, drainage. Choose native plants that grow well in your area.

Watering is best in the morning, when it is cooler and more can seep in before evaporating.  If you water at night, plants stay damp and wet, and leaves them exposed to more fungal diseases.  Water the roots around the base, not the greenery.

Don’t forget to weed!  Weeds use up valuable nutrients.  Many people like to use organic mulch which suppresses weeds, and also helps the soil.

Instead of pesticides, introduce ladybugs, frogs, and toads.  Leave a source of water for them to stay near by!   Fencing with chicken wire keeps gophers and rabbits away.

The more you harvest, the more the plants will produce, so start picking when ripe!

Your garden can bring you years of great food, and good, relaxing fun.  For more information, google Starting An Organic Garden.  Here’s one story:  Click here.








2015 Subaru Outback

Consistency counts, and in this department the Subaru Outback continues to deliver what the customer wants -  Reliability, comfort, style, durability, and efficiency.  The 2015 Outback, and the 2015 Subaru Legacy will be rolling out this summer,  but the wave of early Outback reviews from industry are two thumbs up.

Subaru says the changes to the 2015 Outback are designed to make it roomier, more powerful, increased efficiency and quieter.Straight on, the nose is the first noticeable change, with a hexagonal grille, a sleeker angle to the windshield, and new shoulder contours.  The rocker panel now doubles as a step for when you need to get items up on the roof rack.  8.7 inches of ground clearance means it’s always ready for off-road fun.

The engine will either be a 2.5 liter/4 cylinder boxer engine, 175hp, or a 3.6 liter/6 cylinder boxer, 256hp.  The former delivers 25/33 city/highway mpg, almost 10% more than the predecessor.   The Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) is now standard on all models.

The interior offers 2.7 additional cubic feet, more hip, shoulder, elbow, and legroom. The cargo area grows 1.2 cubic feet.  Plenty of room for you and the St. Bernard.  Let’s face it,  Outback owners think of those things!   The Outback enhances its position as a safety performance leader with new front seat cushion airbags. One of the noted improvements is a reduction in cabin noise.

The standard equipment list continues to grow, with a rear view camera, larger touchscreens, aka cool. The options list expands too, with steering responsive fog lights on models with Subaru Eyesight, and a rear detection system.

Subaru is on a roll, with great success on all models – Forester, Impreza, BRZ, WRX, Crosstrek all pulling in accolades.  The 2015 Outback and Legacy models push the envelope further, and remains the flagship model in an impressive fleet.


Installing A Car Seat Properly

by Tom Talbott on May 16, 2014

This is gong to seem incredibly obvious, but the two very important things that you need to do in order to properly install a car seat is….. Read the Car Seat Instruction Manual that comes with the car seat,  as well as the section in your vehicle’s Owners Manual that pertains to car seat installation. Resist the urge to just buckle it in and think it’s done right.   Every car seat is different, and every vehicle is different, creating different combinations. If you install the seat incorrectly,  the protective measures will not be in place, and the risk of injury increases.  So for all you “DIY” Do-It-Yourselfer’s,  this is one project that really needs to go by the book.

Safety Seat Installation

Safety Seat Installation

So if you thought this blog was going to give you the steps to install, think again!  Reach for those instructions and owner’s manual.  Next, do the smart thing, and take it to an Inspection Station near you. This will usually be a police station, fire station, or some other form of local community civic service. Call for an appointment.  Many of these stations offer clinics, or free inspection hours, so call them for information.  Click here for a locator that can assist you.

Ok, so your Portland Maine Subaru dealer didn’t answer all your questions, but we hope we imparted the best possible information, which is simply to not take shortcuts, or gerry-rig the installation.   Take the extra time and read your instructions carefully!



Athletes Of All Ages Started With A Book

by Tom Talbott on May 4, 2014

These days, it is more than common to find athletes of all ages competing in a wide variety of sports.  Adult leagues abound for adults, with men and women in their 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s competing at different levels.  We’re not talking about lightly tossing a ball around, we’re talking full out play in basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, to cycling, skiing, and of course road running. Track and field events have competitive athletes who train and prepare for race day,  70, 80 years of age. Many businesses, like your Maine Subaru dealer, has on-site fitness centers for employees to exercise during the work day.

Prior to the 1970′s,  youthful ambitions of athletic participation was almost exclusively for the young of age, not just the young at heart.  To find a “runner” in their 40′s still competing was an anomaly. Friends would say, “give it up old man!”,  genuinely suggesting that they were way past their prime.  But in 1977, one book turned the tide.

Jim Fixx Complete Book of Running

Jim Fixx Complete Book of Running

At the age of 35, Jim Fixx weighed 240 pounds, and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day. With a family history of heart disease, Jim started jogging and running to get in shape. 10 years later, smoke free and 60 pounds lighter,  he would write the seminal book on the fitness revolution,  “The Complete Book of Running”.  Published in 1977, the book quickly sold one million copies. In a matter of months,  “going for a jog” became the daily routine for millions of adults.   The book was able to communicate in common man terms, the benefits of exercise to increase the average life expectancy. It was not based on scientific research,  but on common sense.  It worked.

It was ironic that the man who wrote the book would succumb to a 1984 heart attack on a quiet back road in Vermont, at the age of 52.  The autopsy revealed that Fixx’s heart had one artery blocked 95%, a second 86%, and a third 70%.  The years of smoking, his stressful job, a second divorce, and his prior weight, combined with the family genetics all contributed to his death.  Still, the medical opinion was virtually unchallenged, that Fixx’s book linking a healthy lifestyle and exercise with longevity were correct.

The iconic book cover, featuring a runner’s muscular legs, red shorts and red shoes, was in fact Jim Fixx.    In 1982,  Jim wrote a companion book entitled “Jim Fixx’s Second Book of Running”.  A third book, published posthumously  in 1984, was called “Maximum Sports Performance” which discussed not only the physical benefits of exercise, but the psychological benefits, including reducing stress and tension.


2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STi Kick It Up A Notch

by Tom Talbott on April 27, 2014

2015 Subaru WRX STi

Subaru continues it’s impressive roll of refinements and upgrades that have brought successive years of increased sales to the manufacturer.  Between the success of the Outback, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, BRZ, Crosstrek, and the WRX/WRX STi…’s hard to say which vehicle is the “flagship” of the line.  At your Maine Subaru dealer, it depends which customer you’re talking to!  Each vehicle roll0ut is fun, so for right now, it’s the 2015 WRX and WRX STi that are in the spotlight.

Essentially the base WRX is fully redesigned. This includes some new styling with foglights, sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler, heated mirrors, wiper de-icer, and heated front seats.  The 2.0 liter turbocharged engine is smaller than what it used to be at 2.5, but the horsepower is up to 268, and the gas mileage has improved.  The AWD is a new torque-vectoring system that improves traction and control in the turns. 6 speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The manual version will go from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds – excellent for this class.  5.9 in the CVT.

The STi keeps the 2.5 liter engine as it has been using. Disappointed?  Don’t be. Subaru made the refinements in handling, with stiffer suspension tuning, a more responsive and communicative hydraulic-assist steering system, and an adjustable center differential that the driver can fine tune the traction.  Word is that the turns feel sharper and more balanced than ever, which makes the driving an even greater experience. New items include an Brembo brakes, 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat, 18 inch BBS wheels, leather upholstery, and….a 9 speaker premium Harmon Kardon audio system.   0-60 in 5.1 seconds.  The only downside on the STi is that it is a stiff ride – it’s made for performance – so if you have bumpy roads, it might be too much for some.  But if you want to kick it up, the WRX STi is unmatched in it’s class.

For a more detailed review, check out Edmunds , Car and Driver, or Jalopnik.




What is the Subaru Love Promise?

by Tom Talbott on April 17, 2014

Subaru has long held the position that when you do things the right way, the path to success is a much smoother ride.  That includes giving back to the communities by committing to work, support, and partner with educational, health, environment, and animal organizations.  More than talk,  Subaru has set itself apart from other businesses through its deeds, and the deeds of its partners, and its dealerships.  The goal is to be unlike any other car company, by doing what’s right because it is the right thing to do, not just to say you did it.

On a national level, Subaru of America’s “Share The Love”  has given $35 million to partner charities over the past 6 years.  Every charity has one thing in common: complete dedication to improve the world and the lives of its people. Subaru-Love-Promise-Patriot-Subaru

So Subaru has announced a new initiative named the Subaru Love Promise, which as described, is a promise to do right by the communities it touches.  Dealerships pledge to uphold this promise, by reaching out and doing more than ever before to provide its support to its customers, charitable organizations, and associates.  The pledge is described as follows:

“I believe in being more than a Subaru retailer. I believe in being part of my community. In setting an example. In building lifelong relationships. And in ensuring the love is felt not just by our customers, but by all. Not because it’s good for business. Because it’s the right thing to do.”

Your local Maine Subaru dealer was part of a pilot program to launch the campaign, and wrote a series of stories that outlined various events it had recently conducted that exemplified the Love Promise.  From dog adoptions, to reducing energy consumption, or fundraising for disaster relief, the store shared what was done, and how it was accomplished.  The goal is to act as a catalyst of ideas, literally to create a library of events and programs that can be shared with other dealers, and then implemented in their respective cities and towns.

For more information on the Subaru Love Promise, click here.


The Maine Lab Rescue in Windham Maine, founded in 2012, is a foster based organization that focuses on saving Labs and Lab mixes from high-kill shelters or other undesirable situations. The MLR also rescues mixed breed dogs, puppies, as well as cats and kittens.  Instead of staying at one shelter, the animals are taken in by foster homes while the await adoption.

Patirot Subaru with Maine Lab Rescue

Dog Adoption Day at Patriot Subaru, Saco Maine, with Maine Lab Rescue.

This is a private, mostly volunteer group.  Funding comes through individual and corporate donations, and nothing is received from federal, state, or local government.

As a foster organization, MRL has a Me. Dept of Agriculture permit to import dogs and cats into Maine, and from there they work with foster homes who take the animals in.  This is sometimes the first home the animals have known, and it allows them time to adjust to being with people.  Adoption Days are held at various businesses and community events year-round, where potential adoptive families can come and meet the animals, brought in by the foster family. It is expected that the adoptive family spend several hours with the animal getting to know each other before an adoption is processed.  The MRL looks for homes that will provide the love, care, and attention to the animals.

Your Maine Subaru store has conducted several dog adoption events with the foster-based Maine Lab Rescue,  with great success, placing between 12-15 dogs on average at each event.

One item learned from the MRL is the need for healthy dogs to donate blood.  Transfusions can be life-saving,  in the event of a road traffic accident, digesting poison, or from some other form of trauma.  Donor dogs should be vaccinated, (not 10-4 days before donation) free of infections and parasites, and not pregnant. For more info:  Dog Blood Donors