If you have purchased a new car or crossover SUV in the past few years and assumed it had a spare tire and wheel, you could be in for a surprise. Unfortunately, you may not know for sure until you are on the side of the road somewhere. Those who find out they have no spare tire in an emergency situation are, shall we say, less than pleased. Read More
The greatest single cost in car ownership is depreciation. Basically, the second you drive your car off a dealer lot, it loses value and will continue to do so until you either decide to sell it or it stops working.
By taking proper care of your car, keeping it looking good and running smoothly, you can ensure that it fetches as much money as possible when it comes time to sell or trade in. Following these five simple steps will work wonders in maintaining Read More
Many of you will be traveling over the holidays, and nobody wants to find himself or herself stuck on the side of the road for any reason, but if you drive in major metro areas, odds are good you see it on a daily basis. I am a sucker for people who look like they need help and have stopped many times to see if I could assist. The last time I did this, the driver had been in a hurry and ran out of gas in a fairly new car. He asked if I could give him a lift to a gas station and I asked him if he’d called roadside assistance? His reply was “I don’t think I have that”. He was driving a two-year-old Camry, and a quick Google search revealed the phone number. He called and the ETA of the service provider was less than 10 minutes. Read More
Have questions about your car? Well, forget finding them the old fashioned way, in an owner’s manual tucked away in your glovebox. These days you’ll need to go online. In the digital age, automakers are posting them on their websites and some, like Hyundai’s, even include augmented reality features. Many brands are also now allowing you to reference them through the vehicle’s infotainment system.
The move to digital manuals is due in part to cutting weight, since paper adds up. In fact, if Read More
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. It’s serious business, too. The CDC says during Read More
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 that’s Read More
It seems to sneak up on us every year. Suddenly we look up and for many, the thermometer is hitting triple digits. For some people, depending on locale, that first 100-degree day is the start of a string of hot days that lasts for months. This is a tough time of year for your car, but there are things you can do to help your car get through the summer season.
1. Check A/C Have your air conditioning system checked, many repair shops do this at no charge or a very nominal fee. It is not Read More
CarMD, a leading provider of automotive diagnostic data and business solutions, released its 2019 CarMD Vehicle Health Index report. This annual VHI report provides an overview of information related to check engine-related car repairs, costs and trends. Top 5 Reasons for Check Engine LightBelow you’ll find the rankings according to CarMD’s findings along with average cost of repairs. The one you don’t want is the pricey problem of Read More
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 – citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences Read More
Old man winter is just around the corner and that means it’s 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 they’re 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
If you are interested in the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine program, a Texas program that provides assistance for owners of vehicles that won’t 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
The average age of cars on the road today is higher than ever — nearly 11 years old, according to research firm R.L. Polk. That’s partially a function of a slow economy, but also, Polk says, because vehicles are “more durable and more reliable than their predecessors.”
With the average car adding more than 15,000 miles to the odometer each year, it’s practically a given that you’ll hit the once-notable milestone of 100,000 miles. In fact, you might even triple that without needing a Read More
Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, when 36.6 million people are expected to hit the road, comes National Tire Safety Week. It’s an annual reminder for drivers to make sure they’re driving on tires with the proper tread and inflation. A recent study found that four in ten teenagers are not. But it’s 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. That’s a pretty Read More
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
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 didn’t 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
When To Replace Your Air Filter Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer — and how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s 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
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
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
[Editor’s Note: This article has been updated for comprehensiveness since it’s 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
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 owner’s 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 it’s not because they are in cahoots with ExxonMobil. The Read More