April is National Car Care Month!

Car Care Month!

Car Care Month!

 

We are well into April, and that means spring has arrived, the weather is calling for picnics and long walks, and summer is just around the corner. April is also National Car Care month, and serves as a good reminder that our cars need a little TLC, too. This month, take time to get your car caught up on routine service, make necessary repairs, and get your car ready for the hot summer months.

According to the Car Care Council, vehicle inspections held at community Car Care Month events in 2014 revealed that a whopping 84% of vehicles required service or parts – that’s up 5% from 2013.

“Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of more extensive repairs or lost resale value. These results show that the majority of vehicle owners could save money by being proactive in the maintenance of their second largest investment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

This month, make an appointment with a trusted technician or check your car out yourself. Either way, things that should be checked include:

  • Belts and hoses
  • Filters
  • Windshield wipers
  • Tires
  • Fluids
  • Lights
  • Alignment
  • Battery

“Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, National Car Care Month in April is the perfect time to focus on your vehicle’s maintenance needs to make sure it is ready for the upcoming spring and summer travel season,” said White. “Following a routine maintenance program, like the free personalized schedule and e-mail reminder service the Car Care Council offers, can help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions.”

To find a Car Care event near you, visit carcare.org.

If you’re in need of a dependable used car, stop by Mama’s Used Cars today!

Traveling With a Dog: 5 Pointers to Keep Your Furry Friend Comfortable and Safe

Travelling with a Dog

Traveling with a Dog

Are you planning on traveling with a dog this spring or summer? If you are indeed taking your fuzzy friend on a road trip, check out Mama’s 5 tips to keep them happy and safe while out and about!

  1. Cage or no cage: If you are traveling with a smaller- to medium-sized dog, it would be wise to pack a crate. Especially if the dog is younger, carrying a crate or small cage could prove to be the best decision you’ll make when traveling with the little fuzz ball. Allowing the dog to be in a crate while traveling will make the trip much more comfortable for them since they feel a sense of security within the cage. Also, if your dog happens to have an accident while driving, cleaning out a crate is much easier than scrubbing your car seats.
  2. Leaving them in the car alone: Try not to leave your dog alone for more than 10 minutes at a time, and never leave your dog in a hot car. Keep the car running with the air conditioning on while you visit the rest-stop, or take turns watching the dog while others visit the restroom.
  3. Hotel accommodations: Plan ahead and find pet-friendly hotels. Check out this website if you’re having trouble finding a dog-friendly hotel – http://www.pet-friendly-hotels.net
  4. Keeping them comfortable: If your dog is used to having 3 blankets, 5 toys and a snack when they’re at home, make sure to bring all of it with you when traveling with them. It will make your dog feel as close to home as possible and can alleviate a lot of stress for you in the long run.
  5. Touring with a pet: If you plan on eating out while you’re on the road, search for restaurants that have patios, as they’re more likely to be pet-friendly. Check out some of the tourist spots in the area that are outdoors and others that allow pets ahead of time to save yourself a headache (and sad puppy dog eyes).

Lastly, we hope you, your family, and your dog enjoy all of your spring and summer road trips!

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month—a month where the focus is pretty self-explanatory. In 2009, 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted driving. That’s nearly 15 fatalities and over 1,220 injuries a day all as a result of someone busy doing something other than driving while behind the wheel.

Those numbers dropped for a few years, but now they’re on the rise again. In 2012, 3,328 (down from 3,360 in 2011) people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers. In 2011, 387,000 people were injured. That number increased by nearly 10% to 421,000 in 2012. Let’s get into some more statistics…

  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27% of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • Five seconds at 55 mph will take you the distance of a football field.
  • Five seconds is the average amount of time it takes to send a text.
  • Reaching for a phone, dialing, and texting makes it three times as likely a crash will occur.
  • 25% of teens respond to a text at least once when they drive.
  • 20% of teens admit to having extended conversations over text while driving.
  • 10% of parents admit to having extended conversations over text while driving.

Driving a 3,000-pound vehicle isn’t a game or joke. Every time you get behind the wheel and drive while distracted, you put your own life and everyone else’s at risk. Don’t be the person in jail for vehicular homicide. Drive safe—the phone can wait.

Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Find the Safest Used Cars on the Market Here at Mama’s

Safest Used Cars

Safe Drivers Are Happy Drivers

One of the great advantages of shopping for a used car is saving tons of money on a great vehicle. But just because a vehicle sports a cheaper price tag doesn’t mean it’s going to be a death trap. Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we strive to fill our inventory with the safest used cars on the market—and sell those great vehicles to you at affordable prices.

The safest used vehicles tend to be mid-size and full-size vehicles, which gives even more credence to the SUV and crossover boom of the last few years. According to a safety study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, vehicles like the Honda Odyssey, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Highlander all scored a death rate of zero. You can’t get much safer than that.

If you’re looking for a more upscale vehicle, the Audi A4, Volvo XC90, and Mercedes-Benz GL class also recorded death rates of zero. “The rise in the number of vehicles with zero driver deaths shows what’s possible,” said David Zuby, the IIHS executive vice president. Come see us at Mama’s Used Cars and find your next car, a car that will keep you and everyone around you safe for years to come.

Safest Cars for Teenagers

Safest cars for teenage drivers graphic

Safest used cars for teen drivers are found at Mama’s Used Cars!

Top Five Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

When you purchase your teenager’s first car, not only do you want to ensure that your vehicle is reliable, but you also want to ensure your child will remain safe out on the road. To make the choice of vehicle easier for you, Mama’s Used Cars has compiled a list of the safest cars for teenage drivers. The cars on our list combine the ability to handle well in emergency maneuvers with a variety of safety features that are sure to keep your teenager safer than any other vehicle.

2009-2012 Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu is comfortable, quiet, and offers a simple, yet sophisticated interior that is sure to appeal to drivers of any age. Responsive handling and precise steering makes it easy to stay in control of the car, while the straightforward controls ensure your teens won’t be distracted when fiddling with the radio.

2009-2011 Ford Focus

Not only does the Focus offer a compact size, but it is also fun to drive. The vehicle offers both a good view down the road and amazing, hands-free connectivity options. It also gets a respectful 29 mpg combined, making it easy for your teenager to afford gas!

2010-2012 Ford Fusion

If you are looking for a roomy interior with simple controls, the Fusion is your number one pick. It offers responsive handling and Sync Bluetooth connectivity with voice commands. This means your teen won’t have to take his or her hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

2006-2014 Hyundai Sonata

Comfort, silence, and luxury are the three words that come to mind with the Hyundai Sonata. Not only does the Sonata have a soft ride, but it also offers soft seats and straightforward controls. If you are looking to spoil your teen without going too overboard, the Sonata is your top choice!

2010-2011 Kia Soul

Funky styling, fuel efficiency, and a fun-to-drive ride are all aspects of the Kia Soul that make it the perfect car for a teenager. The safety features are abundant, as well, with Kia’s UVO connection system enabling hands-free calling and the upright driving position offering a clear view of the road.

If you are interested in checking out the top five safest cars for teenage drivers, don’t hesitate to stop in to Mama’s Used Cars today!

St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston, South Carolina

No matter what your heritage is, everyone can have lots of fun on St. Patrick’s Day. We’re all familiar with the traditions of wearing green, eating Irish food, and drinking as much beer as possible. But if you’re looking for some extra fun on St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston, you are in luck!

Every year in North Charleston there is a St. Patrick’s Day block party and parade. This year, the event will be held on Saturday, March 14th from noon until 7pm. The fun includes three stages of live music, vendors, bouncy castles for the kids, a mechanical bull, Irish food, and beer (naturally).

This year, Charleston will be holding a special event to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with man’s best friend, the St. Paddy’s Pawlooza. On Saturday, March 14th, head to North Charleston Wannamaker County Park with your dog from noon until 4 PM. There will be live music, beer, and food trucks. Be sure to dress both you and your furry friend in your finest green attire. Admission is $5 per person and all dogs must remain on a leash when not inside the off-leash dog park.

And if you didn’t have enough fun on Saturday, right here in Charleston there will be a St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17th. The festivities for this day start with a Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at 8am. Then the parade will begin at 10am outside of the church, head down King Street, and end at City Hall with the raising of the Irish flag at approximately 11:30am.

How will you be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston

End of Winter Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Spring

As winter slowly draws to an end, it may feel like the harshest months of the year for cars are behind us. The unfortunate reality is that all of the snow and ice from winter beats up vehicles over time, so it’s important to conduct a bit of pre-spring maintenance. Here are a few end of winter maintenance tips for your car:

  • Check all fluids, especially those that were used frequently to combat harsh conditions, such as windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze.
  • Inspect both the brake system and the exhaust system, both of which can become worn down over time.
  • Schedule an all-over check-up. It’s important to this frequently, but especially after a particularly tough winter.
  • Make sure all lights are clear and free of winter-gunk, to maintain visibility on the road.

Get these important steps out of the way, and help ensure a safe and enjoyable spring for you and your car.

Winter Maintenance Tips

Some of the Best Beaches on the East Coast

When it comes to beaches on the East Coast, to say there are a lot is a serious understatement. We all have our favorites, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new or mix it up. In the spirit of discovery, we’ve highlighted a few of the best beaches on the East Coast.

If you get a chance, check out Edisto Beach State Park in South Carolina. Fodors describes the beach there as “less costly” and having a “down-home” feel. The park also offers a lush and beautiful forest and marshland.

There’s also Nag’s Head in North Carolina, featuring Coquina Beach. There’s lot for the kiddies to do, like climb the sand dunes in the state park nearby.

In New Jersey, at Cape May, there’s Sunset Beach. Fodors explains how this beach is believed to be the oldest beachfront resort in the country. It’s definitely a National Historic Landmark. One very special feature of Cape May is that “pebbles of pure, rounded quartz” wash up on the shore regularly.

best beaches on the east coast

Reasons Why a Used Car Is a Good Buy

If you are in the beginning of your car shopping process and still waffling between whether you should buy used or new, perhaps we at Mama’s Used Cars can offer some insight as to why a used car is a good buy.

  1. Depreciation: When you buy a new car, you will lose a sizeable chunk of your financial investment to the vehicle’s decrease in value. That decrease begins as soon as the car leaves the lot and continues through the first couple years of the vehicle’s life. If you buy a used vehicle, you get to skip the initial bulk of that decrease in value.
  2. Reliability: New cars often offer new-fangled technology and engineering that seems appealing. However, if you purchase a used vehicle, there’s a much greater chance the kinks have been worked out of that cutting-edge technology, leaving you with a much more reliable product. That’s what we call letting someone else be the guinea pig.
  3. Interest Rates: Not only is the purchase price of a used vehicle less than buying the fresh-off-the-assembly-line model, but it’s likely your interest rates for a loan will be lower as well. The same can be true for your insurance, providing monthly savings that will add up over time.

Remember, buying used isn’t synonymous with “clunker.” In fact, most people likely won’t be able to tell the difference—except for you and your wallet. Happy shopping; we hope to see you here at Mama’s soon!

Traveling with your Furry Friend: Quick Safety Tips for Traveling With a Dog

It’s been a cold winter, and you might be due for a road trip! Break up the monotony of February and enjoy Responsible Pet Owners’ Month by taking your furry friend out on the open road. But be sure to make the wellbeing of your K9 companion a priority. Here are some quick safety tips for traveling with a dog.

Don’t leave home without confirming you have updated shots and ID tags for your best buddy. Also, it’s a great idea to have a current picture of him handy in the unlikely event he gets separated from you.

Make her feel at home. Pack plenty of water and her favorite blanket or toy. But don’t let her wander all over the car as this could cause driver distraction. Either bring a kennel in which she can travel, or purchase a seat belt strap to ensure she is safely secured while traveling.

Be sure to take plenty of rest stops while traveling with your pet. However, while walking in a winter wonderland looks nice, watch out for the ubiquitous road salt and antifreeze puddles. Salt can dry out your dog’s pads, and antifreeze may be a tasty treat for your pet, but is actually as poisonous to dogs as it is to humans. Keep him on a short leash and wash off those feet with water and towels or baby wipes.

Wherever your adventures may take you, we at Mama’s wish all of our readers a safe and happy Responsible Pet Owners’ Month!

tips for traveling with a dog