4 Things to Update When Buying a Used Car

This is a partnered post with Kayser Chrysler Center

Used Car Tips

So you’ve just bought a used vehicle.  You got a good price, saved a ton off the sticker of a ‘new’ car, and got the perfect car that’s ‘new to you’!  But, as much as you might take care of your new vehicle, you don’t know how the previous owner did things.  A report can show whether it’s been in an accident, but not whether the owners kept up with scheduled maintenance or fixed parts on the brink of failure.  Follow these four things to always update when you get a used car to make sure you’re ready to go anywhere, anytime.

  • –  Replace the maintenance items first thing, if they’re looking worn or you can’t tell if they’ve been kept up.  Depending where you buy your used vehicle, you may not know if the brakes have ever been replaced, for example.  Check your car’s manual to see what items should have received maintenance up to the current mileage, then inspect or replace them promptly.  Some of them might surprise you, like lubricating and cleaning the seat belt retractor!  These items are in the manual for a reason, and keeping them up to date will help keep your family safe.
  • –  Check the commonly worn down items to make sure they’ve got some life left in them.  Fluids might need topped off or replaced.  Have the battery and alternator checked, especially before winter!  And make sure your tires are inflated properly and still have enough tread left on them.
  • –  Change any worn belts or hoses to prevent a breakage at the worst moment.  You know, like in the middle of a hot or freezing day, with kids in the car, on your way to work.  Having all your hoses in good condition will help prevent leaks and reduce the amount of upkeep you have to do, too!
  • –  Add in the ‘extra’ items.  These items are ones you typically don’t think of until you don’t have them.  Extra fuses of various sizes can be stored in the glove compartment or special slots near the fuse box.  Maybe you like to keep a tire inflator or jump starter in the car?  And always ensure the spare tire, jack, and lug wrench are present and in good condition.  You won’t enjoy that hot or freezing day on the side of the road taking a tire off, only to discover you have no working spare to put back on!

These are my top four things to update when buying a used car.  Did I leave anything off that you would include?

6 Ways to Show Your Car Some TLC

This helpful post is brought to you by Commerce Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Ways to Show Your Car TLC

Our cars take good care of us when we take good care of them. It’s a give and take relationship. Here are couple of ways that are simple enough for all of us to do but sometimes a little hard to remember.

  • 1.  Trip Check
    Some auto repair shops perform a gratis car trip check. The idea is before you go on a trip, you take your car in to see if there’s anything amiss that you would need to know before you go on a trip. When you’ve built a trusted relationship with your repair shop, they know your car, and this can be an invaluable money saver and safety measure. Taking care of problems before they become prominent can help lengthen the life of your car and can help take care of you on the road.
  • 2.  Regular Oil Changes
    Every knows this, right? So why is this being brought up? You know why! We all forget. Remind yourself somehow. Are you a digital native? Get an app to give you reminders. Do you organize your life by paper and pen? Write out your oil changes in your calendar at the first of every year for every oil change. Treat this like a date with your car and be faithful!
  • 3.  Protect from Weather
    Clean out the garage and use it. Don’t let hail, sleet, wet leaves, and acorns attack your baby. Keeping your car out of the elements will prolong its cosmetic life and its practical longevity. We’ve all seen the unfortunate videos where the limb lands on the Lamborghini and we lament heavily.
  • 4. Car Washes
    Not only do these make our cars look good in the immediate, they also make the car look good in the long run. By eliminating the chemicals, oils, and grimes that get stuck to our cars on the daily commute, we can make the paint job last a longer time too.
  • 5.  Gauge the Tire Pressure
    Measuring the tire pressure is good for the tires and for your safety, but the proper alignment and pressure level of the tires help the car run smoothly. Just as our bodies don’t function well when a joint is out, so our cars don’t operate well when the tires are not at the proper level.
  • 6.  Regular Detailing
    Keep your carpets and interiors looking nice for longer by having your car detailed often. Frequent detailing will help stains and oils from settling on your car’s surface and fabric and keep it looking newer longer.

Is there something simple yet certain that you would add to the list?

Ridiculously Useful Car Gadgets

This post is brought to you by Anderson Chrysler Dodge of Logansport.

Between the 101 errands you have to run, the school pick-up line, and commuting to and from work, do you ever feel like you live in your car?  If so, I have a few handy ridiculously useful car gadgets you may just love!

DropStop Gap Filler

I actually dropped a phone in between my seats once and thought it had been instead stolen. I went out and got a new phone. One month later, I dropped a favorite pen and fished out my old phone. (I never found the pen.) The Drop Stop helps your beloved items from being lost and originates from Shark Tank.

Cell Phone Mount

This is the mother of all cell phone holders. Let’s start at the base. The base is cigarette lighter which has another cigarette lighter port (so you don’t permanently block yours using this one) and usb ports(to charge the cellphone being held). The base supports the snake neck which you can adjust to the desired height and direction. The snake neck has a rubberized clamp to grip various cell phone sizes. Best of all, it has an on/off switch to avoid draining your car’s battery.

Steering Wheel Desk

For the person who spends more time in the car than not, this table is a complete necessity. The handy tray simply attaches to your steering wheel and provides as surface for your laptop or meal on the go.  Needless to say, don’t eat and drive or surf the web while driving.  This is a handy item to have and use while your car is stopped. 🙂

Car Swivel Tray

This is a good alternative to the steering wheel tray above. It does a great job holding the little stuff that you need all the time. Pictured you see little items, but this could also be the platform for your meal on the go. Plus, it saves so much space and is movable that its versatility of use skyrockets!

Car Emergency Tool

For those who struggle emerging from their cars will find this tool handy. It attaching to your car’s door mechanism and becomes a leverage on which you can put your weight to get out of the car. It also acts as an emergency tool. It is a glass window breaker and a seat belt cutter. If you’re in trouble this handy tool will help in a jiff.

Did I leave anything off?  What ridiculously useful car gadgets would you recommend?

Car Maintenance Apps

This post is brought to you by Premier Cape Cod.

Car Maintenance AppsEveryone knows that car maintenance is closely tied to it’s longevity.  If you want the best bang for your buck and these apps might help you to not forget the little details that will make your car last.  Plus, they can further help your pocket book by calculating important car expenses.

BitKar App

Auto maintenance is simple with this detailed app. Keeping a car in its prime isn’t that hard to do if you do it regularly. This phone will help you remember when it’s time for new parts that are to be replaced in a timely, cyclical manner. Beyond the normal care, this app helps you take care of unusual problems too. You can find a mechanic, car repair shops, and even diagnose car problems with BitKar. One feature that sets it apart is the auto repair bill estimator. Fixing your car isn’t quite so scary with this tool.

myCARFAX app

Want to bring your car maintenance into the 21st century? This simple app helps you to do so for up to five cars. You will see your car’s recommended maintenance schedule as well as be notified of upcoming, regular car servicing. The app will also keep you informed of safety recalls and repair cost estimates.

Drivvo App

Finances and Vehicles. This app helps you calculate what your vehicles is costing you per months and determine an average per day too. It bring awareness of what your mode of transportation costs. Drivvo tracks how much fuel costs you, maintenance expenses, service fees and spits out all this information for you in a lovely graphic. One special item about this app is it doesn’t just track the typical vehicles; it tracks motorcycles, busses, and trucks.

Do you know of any car maintenance apps that I should add to this list?

Maintenance Checklist for Your Car

Maintenance for Your Car

How well do you know your car? Perhaps you need reacquainted and to spend some one-on-one time with each other. Setting some “dates” with your car could continue the relationship a bit longer!

Every month check your:

  • – Oil level – Add oil if it’s low, and take it in if it’s very low as there may be a leak.
  • – Hoses – Replace them if they’re brittle.
  • – Belts – Replace them if they’re worn or frayed.
  • – Tire pressure – Check the pressure and add air if it’s too low.
  • – Coolant/antifreeze – Add more if it’s low.
  • – Air filter – Replace if it’s dirty.
  • – Tires – Looks for damage or uneven wear.

To see what you should check every 3 months and 6 months read the rest of this post on East Hills Chevrolet of Roslyn.

Tips for Spring Car Maintenance

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cooper Tires for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tips for Spring Car Maintenance

Now that the weather is finally starting to turn nice, the winter cold is shaking off and you can see road trips in the near future, it may be time to take a look at getting your vehicle ready for spring! It is important to service your car when the weather changes as your engine, tires and interior need different treatment when the weather warms up. So before you hit the road, make sure to take a peek at this list of tips for spring car maintenance and check things off so you can not only stay safe on the road, but also keep your car in good shape for years to come!

Tips for Spring Car Maintenance

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 Check your tires. Depending on where you live, you may have studded snow tires still on your car. Not only do most states require you remove them by a certain date, but they can be bad for your car as well if left on in warm weather. If you don’t have studded snow tires, it is still important to check the wear and tear on your tires and get new ones if you need to. Worn tires can throw off your alignment and this can cause serious damage to your car as can not rotating them. Plus, good tires help you get great gas mileage! Spring is a perfect time to purchase new tires and Cooper Tire’s has a great promotion to help you roll into spring.  The Cooper Tire Spring Event is going on now!

Now, through April 15, consumers are eligible to receive a prepaid Visa card worth up to $70 when purchasing a new set of four qualifying Cooper Tires through participating dealers.

If you drive an SUV or a CUV you can get the Discoverer SRX tires.  The Discoverer SRX offers a premium 65,000-mile Tread Wear Protection Warranty and a 45-Day Road Test guarantee ensure a confident choice and smooth ride for SUV and CUV drivers, if you aren’t satisfied with your Discoverer SRX tire purchase you may return them to your original dealer within 45 days of purchase for a FREE OF CHARGE Cooper brand replacement only, including mounting and balancing.

The Wear Square is located at six points of reference around the inside and outside of the tread. Throughout the tire’s lifetime, the square changes shape beginning with a full square and ending with an exclamation mark when tire tread is low, allowing consumers to quickly and easily assess the approximate tread remaining on the tires.

Use the Dealer Locator to find a dealer near you so you can save on an important part of your car that keeps your family safe.

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– Hit the car wash. Many people think you wash your car just so it looks nice, and although that is a big reason to do it, another reason is because winter does a number on paint jobs and can actually cause rusting if left dirty too long.

– Check wiper blades and blinkers. Wiper blades should  be replaced every 6 months or so in order to make sure they can handle the spring rains.

– Do an oil change. It is easy to remember to do an oil change if you do one every time a new season comes along. Spring is a great time since you may need to change the kind and weight of oil you use in warmer weather.

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 Check your fluids. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid, brake fluid and coolant for warm weather.

– Do a good clean of your interior. Make sure to wipe down your dashboard and apply a protective product so the sun doesn’t damage it.

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7 Reasons Trucks Are Better

7 Reasons Trucks Are Better

Song’s have been written about them-many, many songs. From country to rock there is a following that sings the praises of the not so humble pickup truck- That has to say something to you about their widespread appeal. They work hard and they play harder just like you, combining fun, form, and functionality. But if that is not enough for you here are 7 reasons why trucks are better and a few songs that sing their praises. “Something Bout’ a Truck..” “Mud on the Tires..” “Pickup Man”
1. Towing – Pull livestock, boats, jet ski’s, campers, trailers, and on and on. Trucks are workhorses when you have a big job to get done. If you don’t have one it is pretty much a guarantee that you have borrowed a friends truck to get something done that any other vehicle just couldn’t handle.

2. Beds – Whether you need to move a friend, haul a load of firewood, carry mulch, or load up on fishing gear the bed of a truck is an invitation to tote whatever needs toting. From small items too large a truck bed is where to get things done. There aren’t many things that you can’t haul in your truck bed. Did we mention picnics under the stars? Drive ins from the truck bed?

3. Height – Riding high above everyone else on the road just gives you an unmatched sense of power, excellent visibility, and a command over the highway. You can kiss the blues goodbye when you are riding up in the cab of your pick up.

Please visit Bob Pulte to read the rest of this article.

Trucks Are Better!

Keeping Kids Happy on Road Trips

Keeping Kids Happy on Road Trips

There is nothing that spoils a road trip like an unhappy child – cooped up, cranky, bored and the kid’s aren’t too happy either. If you are going over 50 miles with kids under 12 you are going to want to have a game plan and load the car with plenty of kid friendly gear, food bribes, and fun activities. These tips are sure fire tools for success.

Comfort. At this point in parenthood you probably don’t need to be told to make sure the kids empty their bladder before leaving but just in case you need the reminder this is #1. If they say they don’t need to go, don’t trust them…MAKE THEM GO! After that is out of the way, be sure and dress them comfortably and cut out some of the complaining by putting them in loose, comfy clothes. Avoid tight waist bands, collared and buttoned up shirts, and anything that doesn’t support total comfort.

Snacks. Next you are going to want to pack snacks – Preferably items that won’t completely destroy your vehicles interior. Nothing sticky, oozing, or hard to clean.  Dried fruit, fruit snacks, pretzels, goldfish, and  juice boxes. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are also must have items. Let them pack some items they want to have along for the ride-grab a small backpack or basket that will fit in the backseat and let them choose items like crayons and paper, their favorite book, doll, or handheld game ( don’t forget the headphones). Dollar store cookie sheets make great activity trays for the road, throw on some magnets and you have a busy board that will keep kids from toddlers to tweens busy.

Music and Movies. Let them have a turn choosing music and the movies if you have portable dvd players in the car.  Keep in mind that it is their trip too and allowing them to have some say so will lead to increased cooperation.

Please visit East Hills Jeep to read the rest of this article.

Safety Tips for Family Road Trips

Tips for Family Road Trips

Travel season is upon us and we want to make sure you and your family are safe while on the road-whether you are traveling 50 miles from home or 500. Following a checklist with a few safety precautions can help you have a safer and therefore more enjoyable trip.

1. Check car seats and seat belts – Before you even begin loading the car check to make sure that all car seats and seat belts are in good working order. Check online for child restraint laws and recommendations to be sure you children are in the proper car seat, booster, or seat belt.  Review your car seat manual for correct installation.

2. Check tires – Verify that all your tires have the recommended amount of pressure for your vehicle. Check the tread, look for separating from the wheel, inspect all the way around and make sure that there are no punctures, nails, or other objects in the tires that could cause a flat or blow out while on the road. If you will be traveling in snow, ice, or through rocky terrain be certain you have the right tires for the job. Don’t forget to give the spare tire a good going over as well.

3. Brake lights and blinkers – Check brakes and turn signals for functioning order. If lights are blown make sure you change bulbs, if they are still not working check for blown fuses, or loose wires.  Non working lights can often be the cause of accidents while traveling, a few minutes of inspection can save you headaches later.

Please visit Pomoco Chrysler Jeep of Hampton to read the last four tips five tips (I had to add just one more!).

Organizing Your Car

Organizing Your Car

Before kids my car was always spotless, okay most of the time…… Okay, sometimes. Anyways, after kids my car became the keeper of books, sports gear, sippy cups, gold fish crumbs, and McDonald’s toys. You to? Well no worries! I am here to help! I have some great tips and ideas to help you keep your vehicle clean, organized, and clutter free.

Let’s start with the sports gear, whether it be your sports gear, or the kiddos, chances are it gets thrown randomly in the trunk. Then when you head off to the the grocery store the grocery bags get thrown on top of the sports gear, then 2 weeks later when you are off to Tennis you find a random can of Spaghetti O’s under your tennis racket that feel out of your grocery bag.

Please visit Pomoco Chrysler Jeep Dodge to read the rest of this article.