Category Archives: New Cars

How to Escape a Sinking Car

how to escape a sinking car

This is something we hear on the news from time to time. A car loses control, crashes through a retaining barrier and into a body of water. Would you know what to do if this happened to you?

This type of accident is rare, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Thinking back on what you know or what you’ve heard, do you think that you would have the presence of mind to recollect the escape tactics that you’ve “heard” about and not panic? For sake of argument, I’m going to say “no”, you won’t. That’s OK, because until I did a little refresher research, I would have fallen into the same category as you: Knowing the theory of escape, but that’s about it.

Check out the video for a visual refresher:

Here’s a website dedicated to this very subject written from a person who’s experienced being trapped in a submerged car first hand. It’s definitely worth looking at.

The bottom line is that you have to remember to stay calm and memorize this simple course of action:

Here’s one more thing to consider. There are small, inexpensive, and convenient-to-carry tools available to the public that are made specifically to shatter a car window to free a trapped victim. I suggest you look into getting one for your vehicle.


One is called a LifeHammer. It is only 7 ½ inches in length and weighs 4.9 ounces. It is shaped like a small hammer but with a dual conical shaped hardened steel point at one end. A strike with medium force will shatter a side window. I had my 10 year old daughter try it and she broke the window on the first try. The LifeHammer also has a seatbelt cutter built into the other end. The LifeHammer should be mounted in the vehicle either on the side of the console or anywhere it can be easily reached in an emergency. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “LifeHammer”.

The other tool is called ResQMe. It performs the same functions as the LifeHammer but it is only 3 inches long, weights just over ½ oz. and easily attaches to your keychain. One advantage of ResQMe is that it can go with you wherever you go as long as you have your keys. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “ResQMe”. The Life Hammer is a little more robust and can be used to clear out some of the shattered glass once the window is broken. I keep ResQMe on my key chain and a LifeHammer in my car.

Be prepared, stay calm and know your escape routes. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If you’d like to share any experience you may have had that is similar, tell us that too…you may save some one’s life one day with your information.

Everybody, drive safely.

Rain, Rain go away save your hail damage for another day!

Pretty clever title, huh?

Living in Texas, we are all too familiar with “Texas Weather”. To put it simply, it can and usually does change on a dime. Nice and sunny one moment and the next you are being pelted by penny to softball sized hail. I’d go as far as to say that the “Hail Sale” was invented here in Texas.

So what do you do of your poor new car gets pelted by an unexpected deluge ice nuggets and ends up looking like a golf ball? One of two things. You can watch the video below for a look at what it takes to get your ride back to it’s unblemished self. It shows the tools you’ll need and how you might want to go about prepping your dent removal project.

To keep it interesting, they challenged the tech to do 6 dents in under a minute. As a novice, I’d plan for a much longer amount of time for your project. Also keep in mind that this is just the hood. Chances are if you’ve sustained hail damage it will probably be on your roof and trunk as well…as this point, I’d really consider bringing it in to have a professional take a crack at it.

Check out the video:

As you can see, if you know what you are doing, restoring your car after a hail storm takes a little patience, the right tools and some mechanical ability (removing hoods, liners, paneling etc.).

If you’ve sustained any hail damage (it’s crazy weather season in Texas) and don’t want to tackle a dent removal project yourself, then don’t hesitate to give me a call and I’d be happy to help you get your pride and joy back too showroom condition.


Why Is Car Buying So Hard? Part 2: Trades.

In my previous blog, I discussed the three parts of buying a car price, trade and finance. The last time I talked about how negotiating the price really is the easy part.  What I’ll cover today in this post is trading in your car.

It goes without say, if you trade in a vehicle, your gonna want the best price for it. They key points to take into consideration is the year, make, model, mileage and condition of the vehicle you are looking to trade in. There are a couple of great resources for looking checking the value of your vehicle on sites like Kelly Blue Book or NADA guides to get a rough estimate before bringing it to their dealer. One thing to remember is that this is not an exact science, that these sites do have the tendency too mislead you into thinking your trade is worth more than it really is. Most dealers will assess your car and look for signs of any body repair, painting, misalignment, and flooding. Dealers often also run a car history check accidents.

Other aspects that affect trade-in value include whether the dealership has a strong used car operation, or if they have to sell the vehicle at whole sale.  This matters because a dealership that has a good used car operation will often need a wide variety of makes and models. This usually leads to a better price for the consumer market of the vehicle.  Fort Worth, if the dealer has to sell the vehicle for wholesale, it may be because the cost to repair the vehicle is not worth paying, or simply have no demand for the brand and model.

As I said, the negotiation of your vehicle is more difficult than pricing. When you buy a new car, do you trade your old car or sell yourself? How was your experience? What do you think the dealer could have done better?

We’re always trying to improve the value for our customers, so your feed back would be great!

Take active defense against car thieves

Nothing is fool proof. The bottom line is that if a car thief wants to get into your car, he’s going to get it.  Your responsibility is to make your vehicle less inviting to the opportunistic nature of the average car thief.

Watch the video below. You might feel that some of the advice is a no-brainer, like leaving your purse or wallet on the seat. Take a look at the video below for a quick reminder of what not to do and some hints on how you can make your car less attractive to a thief.

It’s not brain surgery. Take all valuables inside or put them out of sight. If you think you need alarm system, you should probably get one. The more  warning you can put on your vehicle to deter thieves, the more of a chance you have at dissuading a break in.

Your New Car…and an Indispensable Item

Let’s face it, if you drive you need insurance. There are no “if, and’s or but’s”At some point in your driving career, you are going to need it for a fender bender, cracked windshield or total car loss.

People spend a lot on new cars and they require proper care, maintenance and PROTECTION. Here is where new car insurance comes into play. New car insurance helps safeguard  you against costly vehicle repairs, most of which you probably never saw coming in the first place.

Insurance is a no brainer. Get it. Stay Protected…besides, it’s the Law. What does everyone else think about insurance? Has it paid off for you? Have you ever had to use it? Let me know!

New Car and Brake Safety…What to look for.

A lot of cars have been involved in accidents because of brake failures, one leading indicator is the feel of the brake pedal, so if your car pulls left or right when braking, or if the front end shakes, then these are definite signs of excessive brake wear. If the brake pedal in your new car begins to feel spongy, it could be a sign that air has entered the brake system or fluid is low. Do not ignore these warning signs!

A spongy brake pedal, together with a decrease in brake fluid, may also indicate brake wear, so when you check the brake fluid reservoir, make sure it’s topped off. If not, then brake fluid is most probably remaining at the wheel to fill the space caused by wear. Many vehicles purchased from car auctions experience this kind of problems because of being stocked for a long time in car garage or showrooms. Simply replacing the brake fluid and letting it flow throughout the wheel by pumping the brake pedal a few times before your run the used automobile helps in ensuring safety for you and your passengers.

Many new cars have ABS (Automatic Braking System) which initiates a rapid- fire pumping sequence to the brakes, keeping the car straight during sudden or hard braking. If the ABS light illuminates on your instrument panel, then it’s likely that the wheel sensors have detected excessive build-up of metal particles from the brake system. Most cars are designed to shut down the ABS when excessive particle build-up occurs, but a shutdown ABS does not prevent you from stopping, it just means that the ABS feature isn’t working.

Wheels should be pulled and brakes checked once a year by an experienced brake specialist. These guys have experts who can fit your new car with high quality, high performance braking components. Whether it’s used car or not.

An inspection typically includes the rotors, calipers, drums, pads, pistons and brake lines. Brake systems should be flushed and brake fluid replaced every two years.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture in the system and becomes acidic after about two years. Check your owner’s manual or ask your technician to see what kind of brakes your car has and how they are adjusted. .

Remember, how and where you drive will greatly influence when your brakes must be replaced. If you have any questions about your brakes, come and see me.

How Much is Your New Car Worth in 5 years?

What I’m about to tell you is nothing you don’t already know. Buying a car is a “Catch 22” meaning, you have to have one, but for the most part, they are bad investments in terms of recouping your money. Their value isn’t really based on how much you can get for it when you want to sell it, but how much you get from it you while you own it. But of course, we want a good trade value for our old stuffs. Though old and used, we surely had bought it in a good price, so we also expect a better deal.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but unless your daily commuter is a high-end sports car or luxury suv, you aren’t going to recoup all of your money. No problem, we already knew this. So, what can you do to help add some value back into your vehicle? take a look at the video:

Have any other hints on keeping the value of your new car intact? Let me know!

A Great way to Improve Gas Mileage in Your New Car

The differences can be extreme

The average driver spends little time considering how an automobile engine works or even how important it is to protect it’s moving parts. They just get into their cars and drive. At the same time, most drivers do consider a vehicle’s fuel economy both when purchasing and driving. Some go to great lengths to find ways of improving gas mileage such as purchasing different exhaust and air intake products, fuel additives, and tires. With the only exception being the vehicle’s transmission, the engine is the most intricate and vital component of that car’s ability to be useful. It is also, often, the most expensive to repair. It’s internal components are subject to extreme heat and friction which wear on these parts over time. They are constantly exposed to temperatures nearing 200 degrees and moving thousands of times per minute. Even with regular servicing and preventative maintenance, the wear on these parts is inevitable and adversely affects an engine’s efficiency over it’s lifespan. It’s the efficiency of an engine which consumers often overlook when considering fuel economy.

Synthetic oil, as compared to traditional petroleum based oils, has a stronger viscosity or stickiness. It also takes longer to break down in extreme temperatures and is less subject to evaporating. Substituting synthetic oils for traditional oils when servicing a vehicle protects these parts better and, in turn, leads to greater engine efficiency. It’s efficiency directly affects the amount of fuel being used or wasted in the combustion process. Therefore, one of the most considerable ways of improving gas mileage is to protect the efficiency of a vehicle’s engine over it’s lifespan with a synthetic lubricant.

With the rising prices of gasoline in our present day economy, a greater portion of the population is in need of finding practical ways to improve gas mileage. Using a synthetic oil for engine lubrication is one significant way a consumer can improve fuel economy and save a substantial amount of money over time. It will also better protect internal engine components longer which will save money in engine repairs and rental cars. It will protect one of the biggest and most important financial investments one can make in today’s society.

Does your New Car Need to Be Handicapped Accessible?

I think this is brilliant!

Now this post is specific in nature, but we all know someone where the simple act of getting in and out of the car isn’t as easy as opening the door, jumping in and speeding away. The modifications to new cars, trucks and vans vary depending on the nature of the disability. For users of wheelchairs and scooters, a method of loading necessary equipment is an essential feature. Smaller minivans tend to have ramps, while full size and conversion vans usually have lifts. These can be located at either the side or rear of the vehicle. Unoccupied lifts raise the chair or scooter by itself for easy stowing. Occupied lifts accommodate those who unable to lift themselves into the vehicle. They allow the passenger to remain in his or her wheelchair and to fit comfortably inside while still leaving room to accommodate additional ambulatory passengers.

Alternatively, provisions can also be made for those wheelchair users who are able to drive themselves. Vans designed with this in mind enable the disabled to navigate his or her wheelchair right up to the driver’s seat and lock it in place. Hand controls can be used operate the gas and brake pedals.

For individuals who retain partial mobility but still may need a little extra help entering and exiting the vehicle, another option is a seat assist. With the pull of a lever the seat spins to face the van door and then extends and tilts for ease of boarding. Similarly, assist steps can be mounted underneath the door to extend and retract as needed.

Additional modifications can include:
• raised ceiling
• lowered floor
• widened entry
• steering wheel hand grips

Just as no two humans are exactly alike, no two disabilities require identical assistance. It is important to consult an experienced and knowledgeable disabled dealer who can help determine your unique needs and guide you through proper installation. In addition, it may be helpful to seek advice and wisdom from fellow disabled persons and experts in related industries.

The necessity for handicapped accessible vehicles is growing and at the same time becoming more advanced. If you have any questions or suggestions, or need help finding the right vehicle for you, please leave a comment or come by and see me.