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Owning Articles

A Teen’s First Car Is a Lesson in Life
   Published June 15, 2021
We spent a good amount of time on the Car Pro Show last weekend talking about Teen Driver Safety Week. It can be a life changer for the parents as well as the child. For most parents, your child’s independence is exciting and scary at the same time.

We had a caller to the nationally syndicated show who had a son who wanted a pickup truck. While I like pickups as a first vehicle, this family was on a limited budget. I spoke to the teen on the air to try to explain why he would be better  Read More
Why Is Your Check Engine Light On And How Much To Fix It?
   Published April 28, 2021
If one thing in life is certain, it’s that at some point your check engine light will come on. Probably at an inopportune time, too. But whenever it is, we caution you not to ignore it. Especially in the age of Covid. According to CarMD, a provider of automotive diagnostic and business solutions, 2020 led to financial challenges for many, which means some people held on to older vehicles longer than ever before. CarMD says these changes impacted the age of vehicles and types of repairs needed.
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An Easy Driveway Vehicle Check During Car Care Month
   Published April 22, 2021
If you haven’t been maintaining your vehicle by the book during the pandemic, you’re not alone. A recent Hankook Tire survey found that a lot of people aren’t, even as more and more people venture out as Covid cases decline.

The Hankook Tire Gauge Index found that:

70% of drivers across the U.S. had not checked their tire pressure in the 30 days prior, despite the industry recommendation to do so at least once a month.

73% had not topped off their vehicle  Read More
April Is Car Care Month
   Published March 31, 2021
People who listen to my radio show know that I am a huge believer in doing maintenance to a vehicle. When I talk to Car Pro Show listeners who have unusually high mileage cars, there is always one common denominator, and that is they are diligent with their maintenance habits.

Every April, the Car Care Council brings attention to the importance of routine vehicle maintenance on your vehicle. A previously published Car Care Council study looked at cars all across the country, and an astounding number of them needed service or repairs. Some of those were minor like windshield wiper blades, but others were more serious and alarming.
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Catalytic Converter Theft Is Skyrocketing
   Published March 24, 2021
This happened to dear friends of mine. Their Tundra was sitting right in front of their business in broad daylight when the catalytic converter was stolen. Our DFW Toyota dealer, Freeman Toyota, had four Tundra catalytic converters stolen one night recently right under the nose of a security guard.

Catalytic Converter Thefts Are Up Nationwide
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), catalytic converter thefts have seen a significant increase across the country since March of 2020, the start of the global pandemic.

“Vehicle thefts, carjackings, and break-ins are all crimes we’ve witnessed trending upward for several months, and now catalytic converter thefts are also on the rise,” said David Glawe, President and CEO of NICB. “We have seen a significant increase during the pandemic. It's an opportunistic crime. As the value of the precious metals contained within the catalytic converters continues to increase, so do the number of thefts of these devices. There is a clear connection between times of crisis, limited resources, and disruption of the supply chain that drives investors towards these precious metals.”  Read More
8 Ways To Get Your Car Ready For Summer
   Published March 10, 2021
It seems to sneak up on us every year, and yes, it was just a few weeks ago when I was in the midst of a rare arctic blast, but 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 uncommon for some freon to leak out during the winter, which will cause your compressor to overwork itself.  Read More
Car Thefts Took A Huge Jump In 2020
   Published March 10, 2021
Apparently, Covid-19 was not a deterrent to car thieves in 2020. In fact, it’s quite the opposite according to an analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. A recent NICB study shows auto theft took a dramatic leap upward in 2020 compared to 2019, reversing two years of auto theft declines.

According to the NICB’s initial study, there were 873,080 auto thefts in 2020, up 9.2 percent over 2019 which had 799,644 thefts. So in 2020 that amounts to a boost of more than  Read More
Hail Damage, Spring Storms, & Bad Weather Driving
   Published March 3, 2021
In Texas two weeks ago, we had severe winter weather, including a lot of ice and snow. Last week, we had spring storms including thunder, lightning, and many places saw hail.
It is March and spring brings storms and, with them, many places get hail. In my home state, hail is expected in the spring, you just hope and pray it is pea-sized, not softball-sized. Many areas in our Car Pro Show listening audience this time of year experience big amounts of rainfall. This article addresses both weather events.  Read More
Will My Car Last 200,000 Miles?
   Published February 24, 2021
[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
Getting Your Car To 200,000 Miles
   Published February 24, 2021
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
When It’s Time To Take Mom And Dad’s Keys
   Published February 19, 2021
Odds are, at around 16 years of age, your parents handed you the keys to your very first car. It is a day most of us never forget. Even if it was just a cheap car, it was ugly, and it didn’t run all that great, it still meant you had your freedom. Now many years later, you are faced with the decision to have a talk with your parents about their ability to drive. As cruel as it seems, you are in the unenviable position to take away freedom from the very people who gave you yours.

With the  Read More
Do I REALLY Need Premium Fuel?
   Published February 8, 2021
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
What To Do If You’re Involved In a Car Accident
   Published February 8, 2021
Odds are, you remember the first fender bender you ever had. No matter how minor, it stays with you and can even be traumatic. If you are in an accident without serious injury, thank your lucky stars, but also you need to know what to do and what not to do. Here are some tips that might help you should it happen.

Stay CalmFirst, stay calm and stay safe. Then call 9-1-1. It will vary depending on where you are, but make the call and get instructions on what to do. What they tell you may  Read More
Beware the Dreaded Pothole
   Published January 28, 2021
It’s a potential road hazard we face every time we hit the road. One that doesn’t just pose a threat to our vehicles, but our own safety and that of other drivers as well. I’m talking about the dreaded pothole. Winter and spring are considered prime pothole season, but they’re a problem in both cold and warm climates. The city of Houston even has a pothole tracker.

Big or small, potholes can cause big headaches. Trying to avoid them can lead to crashes and potential injuries. According to the Michigan DOT, if you can’t safely avoid a pothole (no swerving into an occupied lane), the best thing to do is to keep your wheel straight, slow down, then release the brakes before you hit the pothole to reduce the impact.
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Tires Are The Most Important Safety Feature On Your Car
   Published January 21, 2021
When you think of all the safety equipment on cars these days, people quickly think of airbags, emergency braking, anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, etc. The truth is, in my opinion, your tires are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. It is often the most ignored as well. Today, I bring you some tips on how to keep your tires in good condition. After all, tires are all that separates you from the road.

Keep An Eye On Tire Pressures
This is one of the most critical  Read More
How To Find A Good Auto Service Repair Shop
   Published January 20, 2021
Many people who have cars out of the warranty period, often ask me if I know a good garage to recommend. In some areas, I do but in others, I don’t know a sole.

Some people use auto dealerships for all their repairs and maintenance to their car, and there are certainly some advantages to  Read More
Are You “Puffing” Your Car?
   Published January 6, 2021
Winter is here - and has been for some for awhile already. It’s cold out - and no one wants to get into a freezing cold car on a bitter morning. We get it. You may be tempted to unlock your car, turn on the engine to warm up a bit with the keys inside, then head back inside. It’s a practice calling “puffing” - a term that comes from seeing a visual “puff” of exhaust coming out of the tailpipe during cold temps. But it’s not a good idea, because a car thief could end up riding off in your warm and cozy vehicle.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau warns against the practice and says more and more states and municipalities are passing laws banning “puffing,” making it illegal to leave a vehicle running and unlocked, even in your driveway. These days, the NICB says remote starters are usually considered a safe alternative. They allow you to start the engine while keeping the vehicle safely locked up without the presence of a key or fob.  Read More
CarMD 2020 Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Results
   Published January 6, 2021
A New Year is upon us and we hope the road ahead in 2021 does not include a check engine light for you. It’s happened to most of us of course, due to what could be a number of potential issues, some more costly than others. (You can find a list of the most common ones here.)

A new 2020 CarMD Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings gives us some more data. It looks at the frequency of engine light repairs among makes of 1996 to 2020 model-year vehicles.   Read More
5 Ways to Be A Safer Driver in 2021
   Published December 29, 2020
Let’s face it. The roads can be downright dangerous out there, filled with distracted, drunk, drowsy or aggressive drivers, not to mention those who feel a need for speed and try to beat red lights. If you’re guilty of any of these behaviors yourself, it’s time to make some resolutions to change that. Here are five New Year’s driving resolutions to make for the year ahead that will make the road safer for yourself and other drivers including law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives every day working traffic incidents.  Read More
Holiday Shoppers: Be Careful Parking At The Mall
   Published December 17, 2020
When it comes to hitting the shopping mall during the holiday season, it can be a real jungle out there. Parking lots are accidents waiting to happen as they fill up with cars and people, including thieves who are only too happy to steal your Christmas out of your car. So there are many things to be on the lookout for, from your personal safety and that of other pedestrians, to the safety of your vehicle and its precious unwrapped contents.

Parking  Read More