Maintenance

Image
Avoiding Scams When Servicing Your Vehicle
   Published November 25, 2018
People are quickly learning that to get the maximum mileage out of a car, you have to do proper maintenance. Many are wary of repair shops, however, because they do not know what to believe when a repair shop tells them they need something preventive performed on their car.

In a 2016 American Automobile Association study, two out of three U.S. drivers said they did not trust auto repair shops in general Ė citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences  Read More
Image
Prepping Your Car For Old Man Winter
   Published November 11, 2018
Old man winter is just around the corner and that means itís time to get your car prepped for the frigid temps and the snow and ice that could follow. Some things you can do yourself, others could require a trip to a service shop. But theyíre all important when it comes to preparing for and driving safely in often dangerous winter conditions. This is especially true if you have any winter road trips planned.

Know Your VehicleIt sounds simple, but every vehicle handles differently, so take  Read More
Image
Austin, DFW, Houston Listeners Check Out AirCheck Texas
   Published November 10, 2018
If you are interested in the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine program, a Texas program that provides assistance for owners of vehicles that wonít pass emissions tests, note that changes for eligibility requirements for ALL replacement vehicles took effect on September 1, 2018.

AirCheck TexasAirCheckTexas, administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, does two things to help get polluting cars off roadways. It either helps income-qualified drivers replace their vehicle or  Read More
Image
Where To Find Your Carís Digital Ownerís Manual Online
   Published November 10, 2018
Have questions about your car? Well, forget finding them the old fashioned way, in an ownerís manual tucked away in your glovebox. These days youíll need to go online. In the digital age, automakers are posting them on their websites and some, like Hyundaiís, even include augmented reality features. Many brands are also now allowing you to reference them through the vehicleís infotainment system.

The move to digital manuals is due in part to cutting weight, since paper adds up. In fact, if  Read More
Image
Ways to Protect Your Car From Germs This Flu Season
   Published October 31, 2018
Cold and flu season is once again upon us and that means germs will soon be coming at us from all directions, including from inside our own vehicles.

Flu cases are low right now, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, but things really get hopping in December and flu season runs through March. So there is still time to get your flu prevention plan of attack ready and help keep your family SUV as germ-free as possible. Itís serious business, too. The CDC says during  Read More
Image
Halloween Risk: What To Do If Your Car Gets Egged
   Published October 24, 2018
If your car is going to get egged, it will probably be next Wednesday night. Lots of things can happen on Halloween, but getting your car egged is one of the WORST. It happened to me a few years ago, and I am sure it was random, but the results could have been bad had I not known what to do. Thank goodness I saw it before I left for the day.

The DamageAs harmless as eggs seem, they can actually wreak havoc on vehicle paint surfaces and cause long-lasting, permanent damage. The yolk thatís  Read More
Image
Getting Your Car To 200,000 Miles
   Published July 31, 2018
The average age of cars on the road today is higher than ever ó nearly 11 years old, according to research firm R.L. Polk. Thatís partially a function of a slow economy, but also, Polk says, because vehicles are ďmore durable and more reliable than their predecessors.Ē

With the average car adding more than 15,000 miles to the odometer each year, itís practically a given that youíll hit the once-notable milestone of 100,000 miles. In fact, you might even triple that without needing a  Read More
Image
We All Need to Do Better When It Comes To Tire Safety
   Published May 22, 2018
Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, when 36.6 million people are expected to hit the road, comes National Tire Safety Week. Itís an annual reminder for drivers to make sure theyíre driving on tires with the proper tread and inflation. A recent study found that four in ten teenagers are not. But itís not just teens with unsafe tire habits. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 19 percent of consumers regularly check and inflate their tires. Thatís a pretty  Read More
Image
Dealing With Summer Car Service Woes at the Dealership
   Published May 10, 2018
A Texas Car Pro Show listener got in touch with me, totally frustrated with her dealership. She loves the dealership overall, loves her salesperson, and loves her vehicle. However, she gets irritated when she calls the dealership to make an appointment, and the first available time is two weeks away.

Welcome to summer temperatures and the problems it causes for dealerships and customers.

Summer Car Service Challenges
All the years I owned car dealerships, I dreaded the summer heat.   Read More
Image
Buying A Car From One Dealership, Servicing It At Another
   Published May 2, 2018
A nice Los Angeles listener called us last weekend wanting to use my car buying system, but it was quite a distance in heavy traffic. She didnít mind the drive to get a new car, but servicing was going to be a real problem.

Besides helping people with auto advice on The Car Pro Radio Show, I also recommend good dealerships from which to purchase. I handpick these, and I only have one or two dealers per brand, per market. That means that often, my listeners have to drive to get a great deal  Read More
Image
5 Most Common Reasons Your Check Engine Light Is Coming On
   Published April 27, 2018
If your check engine light keeps coming on due to an oxygen sensor, you are not alone. Itís the continuing number one reason for check engine lights, according to CarMDís 2018 Vehicle Health Index report. The study looked 7,167,314 repairs recommended in calendar year 2017 on 1996-2017 model year vehicles.

Top 5 Reasons for Check Engine LightBelow youíll find the rankings according to CarMDís findings along with average cost of repairs. The one you donít want is the pricey problem of  Read More
Image
Allergy Sufferers Remember To Change Your Cabin Air Filter
   Published April 24, 2018
When To Replace Your Air Filter
Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer ó some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer ó and how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Check the maintenance schedule in your ownerís manual. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of  Read More
Image
Itís Car Care Month: Time To Get Your Car Ready
   Published April 3, 2018
People who listen to my radio show know that I am a huge believer in doing maintenance to a vehicle. When I talk to listeners who have unusually high mileage cars, there is always one common denominator, and that is they are diligent with their maintenance habits.

Car Care Month
Every April, the Car Care Council brings attention to the importance of doing routine maintenance on your vehicle. Last October, they looked at cars all across the country, and an astounding 84% of them needed  Read More
Image
Flex Fuel Vehicles and Using E85
   Published March 27, 2018
We had a listener last week with a 100,000-mile Ford pickup and he was considering switching from unleaded gasoline to E85 because he discovered his vehicle was a flexible fuel vehicle.

Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) are designed to run on gasoline or gasoline-ethanol blends of up to 85% ethanol (E85). Except for a few engine and fuel system modifications, they are identical to gasoline-only models. FFVs experience no loss in performance when operating on E85, and some  Read More
Image
Will My Car Last 200,000 Miles?
   Published December 6, 2017
[Editorís Note: This article has been updated for comprehensiveness since itís original posting in October 2015.]
I get multiple calls weekly asking how long a car will last. While it is always just a guess, I base my answers on listener feedback and personal experience.
Not all that long ago, people targeted 100,000 miles as their goal to drive their car because that is about the mileage you could expect before having a major failure. However, cars have gotten much better, technology has  Read More
Image
Do I REALLY Need Premium Fuel?
   Published November 9, 2017
When gas prices escalate, like the past few weeks, people always start to ask the question, do I REALLY have to put premium fuel in my car? It is a legitimate question, especially when you look in the ownerís manual or open your gas flap and it says in large letters, PREMIUM FUEL ONLY, what should you do?

For most people, burning premium gas is not required, but recommended. There is a reason your carmaker recommends premium, and itís not because they are in cahoots with ExxonMobil. The  Read More
Image
Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Winter
   Published October 3, 2017
Over the past few years, more people have taken to the highways than they have to the air for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even if you are not going on a driving trip, getting your vehicle ready for winter is essential in most areas.

Many people prefer the family time of the road trip, vehicles are much more comfortable for traveling these days, and people like the freedom of being able to go somewhere once they reach their destination. Letís face it, flying has gotten to be a real hassle  Read More
Image
AAA: Synthetic Oil Is Worth the Extra Money
   Published June 8, 2017
Confused about whether to use synthetic or conventional oil in your car? Well, according to a new AAA report, the answer is clear: go with synthetic. It outperformed conventional oil by an average of 47 percent in the new study.

Researchers say synthetic oil is higher quality oil that will keep your engine cleaner and lead to better performance.

The catch, of course, is that synthetic oil is about twice the price of conventional. But AAA searchers itís money well spent especially for  Read More
Image
How To Find A Good Auto Service Repair Shop
   Published June 1, 2017
A nice lady from New York called last Saturday to the Car Pro Show and was concerned because she was moving to Arizona and was not sure how she could find a good place to service her vehicle. As I told her on the air, once a car is out of warranty, I use dealerships for complicated repairs, like brakes and diagnostics, and other facilities for more routine things.

Some people use auto dealerships for all their repairs and maintenance to their car, and there are certainly some advantages to  Read More
Image
Important Decision Ė The Tires On Your New Car
   Published May 30, 2017
How important are aesthetics?
For me, the wheels on a vehicle make or break the looks for me. I like tires that fill the wheel wells of a vehicle and if itís a pickup, the larger the better. Most upper line trucks and SUVs have 20Ē and up to 22Ē wheels these days and they have been extremely popular. However, if you are one of those people who doesnít really care, opt for the standard wheels. The larger the wheel, the more costly the tires when you need to go to replace them.

Does The  Read More