What to Do When Caught in Severe Weather in Your Car

severe weather in your car

Despite what the evening forecast is, weather can be an unpredictable factor in some climates. Rain can quickly turn to snow and vice versa, causing two incredibly different driving situations. Sometimes things can go from bad to worse and severe weather can strike unexpectedly. Here’s what to do if you get caught in severe weather in your car from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.

  • Stay in a Safe Place: In the event of a thunderstorm drivers should stay in your vehicle and don’t get out for anything. Those not in or near a vehicle or building should head for lower ground. Avoid sitting or standing near metallic objects and, if in a group, spread out.
  • Protect Yourself: If one is caught in a tornado, stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls and take care to protect your head. Many buildings have predesignated shelter areas. If you’re on the road, head to a ditch and cover your head and neck with your hands.
  • Beware of Water: Flash floods can come from seemingly nowhere which makes them much more dangerous. If there’s a flash flood warning or it’s raining, avoid going near water sources. Drivers should avoid attempting to ford more than a foot of water, depending on their vehicle. If water rises over the road and the vehicle can no longer move, exit and head to high ground.

Remember, if you have damage to your car after being in dangerous weather, come to Mama’s at Palmetto Ford Lincoln and we’ll fix you up!

Weather Tips: Dealing With Flooding And Your Car

Dealing With Flooding

Flood waters can severely damage almost every part of a vehicle but it might not be too late to salvage it. If your car has been covered any higher than halfway up the wheels, it’s time to take a damage assessment. Not sure what to do first? Don’t worry! Here’s what to do if you’re dealing with flooding from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.

  1. Don’t Be Curious – Generally speaking, curiosity is a good thing but it isn’t something you want to let take the wheel when performing a damage assessment of your drowned vehicle. Avoid starting your car as any lingering water could damage the engine beyond repair.
  2. Call Your Insurance – Flood damage is usually covered by comprehensive insurance which is something most drivers have. Don’t wait too long to call or you could find yourself waiting days or weeks for an adjuster.
  3. Consider a New Car – A flood-damaged car can experience problems down the road so if the adjuster brings up the possibility of totaling the car, it might be worth considering. If the flood waters ruined the interior or you’re having problems with the electrical system, odds are it isn’t worth fixing. At best, some flood-damaged cars could be cleaned and sold with a salvage title.

If you have lasting damage to your vehicle, give Mama’s a call and we’ll see what we can do for you!

Is Car Insurance Important?

Is Car Insurance Important?

If you’re a new driver or have never been in an accident, you probably are on the fence about car insurance. When you’re a confident driver, is car insurance important? In short, the answer is a resounding yes. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few reasons why car insurance is important, especially if you’re on the road every day.

  1. Peace of Mind – Even if you’re the most confident driver on the road, there’s always the chance someone else will hit you. If you’re both uninsured, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Even if you aren’t injured, shelling out the cash to fix your car can still be a huge hit to your wallet. With car insurance, you can drive confidently with peace of mind.
  2. Required By Law – In many states, having a minimum amount of car insurance is required by law. Not having car insurance could lead to a suspended license, fines, or worse. Some states may even take your car until you can prove you have car insurance.
  3. Save Money – According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of an accident in 2013 was $9,300 in property damage alone. Once you add in accidents that caused disabling injuries, that number soars to over $80,000. If you don’t have that much cash, car insurance is a necessity.

Ford Autonomous Vehicle Testing to Start This Year

Ford autonomous vehicle testing

Calm down Jr. They’re working on the autonomous cars, ok?

With testing already going on in Michigan at Michigan University’s Mcity facility and on public roads in Arizona, Ford autonomous vehicle testing will also start in California in 2016. The Silicon Valley Ford testing and innovation center will allow for a wider array of tests thanks to California’s year-round mild weather, since rain and snow make testing autonomous vehicles more difficult.

Recently approved by the California DMV, Ford will test a new Ford Fusion on California roads, allowing testers to observe how the autonomous Fusion will react to the different environment and different traffic laws, like motorcycles that can legally split lanes.

Silicon Valley is the perfect place for autonomous testing thanks to the abundance of tech knowledge in the area. Ford hopes to develop lasting partnerships with the local companies like Google, Uber, and Baidu, all of which are testing autonomous vehicles around the country. Ford will also draw on its existing partnership with the University of California Berkeley and other local colleges.

If you can’t wait for an autonomous vehicle, you might want to try a used car from Mama’s Used Cars! We’re located in Charleston, South Carolina, and we’re waiting for you to visit!

Tips for Handling Driving Emergencies

driving emergencies

Do you ever look at traffic and think how miraculous it is that the situation is as consistently predictable as it is? The truth is that for the most part, everyone knows what is at stake. And for the most, people practice the golden rule on the road. Yet despite our best efforts, driving emergencies do happen.

# 1 – Tire Blowout

This emergency occurs most often when a tire is underinflated on the highway and the temperature is hot. According to Edmunds.com, “The repeated flexing of an underinflated tire causes the failure.”

The first thing to do is not brake, and then try to get off of the road as quickly as possible. Maintain as much of a straight line as possible while allowing the vehicle to coast toward the side of the road.

# 2 – Going Off the Road

The problem comes about when there is little shoulder and particularly when your left tires are on the pavement, the left tires are off, and the pavement is slightly elevated.

Here’s the plan: “release the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, allow the vehicle to slow on its own and smoothly steer back on the road.”

# 3 – Sudden stops

To help you prepare for the time you may need to stop suddenly, you should know more about ABS.

Anti-lock brakes are required by law and have been since 2012. And yet they only work when you use them properly. When a vehicle skids, steering is unavailable. ABS pumps the brakes so you don’t have to, allowing you to also steer as you brake. Here’s another thing: you need to stomp on the brakes to engage the ABS.

The best way to plan for an emergency is to expect them. Then you will never be surprised.

Summer Travel: Getting the Best Gas Mileage

 

Best gas mileage

Have you noticed that your mileage is quickly getting worse? Better read our tips on how to fix it!

There are other ways to save money on a road trip aside from shortening your trip and heading home early. You can modify the way you drive to get more bang for your buck. We at Mama’s Used Cars thought that we would share some of our tips for getting the best gas mileage as you plan to hit the road this summer.

Before You Go

  • Before you head out on your next adventure, it is important to make sure your vehicle is prepared. Keeping up with routine maintenance such as oil changes, replacing the air filter, checking tire pressure, etc. are important in getting the most efficiency out of your vehicle, no matter what model year it is.
  • Also, when you fill up your tank before setting out on your trip, choose the coolest time of day. Gas is most dense when it is cooler, so your savings can be immediate.

During Your Trip

  • When driving, it is important to stick to the speed limit. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of interrupting your trip with a speeding ticket, but it will also reduce the amount of time you spend starting and stopping. According to the experts at com, the closer to the set speed limit you travel, the more likely you are to sail through green lights rather than constantly stop at red lights.
  • Speaking of starting and stopping, using cruise control on the highway takes away the need to continually press on the gas pedal and helps to improve efficiency.
  • Though we all like the feel of the wind in our hair, rolling up your windows will reduce added resistance to your vehicle and increase your gas mileage by up to 10%.

We hope you find these tips helpful in increasing your vehicle’s efficiency during your summer traveling. Do you have any other tips to add? We would love to hear them in the comments below.

No More Sneezing Behind the Wheel: Making an Allergy-Proof Car

Allergy-proof car

Dominate your allergies with these tips on how to make your car allergy-proof!

 

For some people springtime can mean only one thing: allergies. Whether you get a case of the sniffles or you break down at the sight of dust, there are a few ways to help beat the allergens this time of year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ways to make your vehicle an allergy-proof car.

According to How Stuff Works, the best thing to do is clean regularly. By vacuuming out crevices in your car every two weeks or so, you’ll prevent debris build-up. Make sure the carpet and vents are especially dust-free, and make sure to get rid of any possible moisture.

If you have an older car, one major thing to check is the weather stripping around the doors. If these are even slightly damaged, moisture can get into your car. One of the most prominent allergens you’ll find in a car is mold – get rid of moisture, plain and simple.

Our last tip is to consider is going au natural. Chemicals found in some cleaners and air fresheners can be extremely volatile, causing allergies to go berserk. Consider buying all-natural products or ones that are labelled hypo-allergenic to prevent you from having any problems.

With these tips in mind you should be one step ahead of the allergens this year.

“Why Should I Rotate My Tires?”

Why should you rotate tires?

If your maintenance does not include tire rotation, it’s time to talk to your service technician about the importance of your tire health.

You might’ve heard from your friends or family that you should get your tires rotated, but when it comes to car maintenance tips, not everyone is always so thorough as to explain the answer to, “Why should I rotate my tires?”

And sometimes, it can be a little embarrassing to ask questions about something everyone else already seems to know about. “Why should I rotate my tires?” one might wonder. “Don’t tires already rotate when you drive the car?”

But there’s no shame in it! We were all newbies once. So here’s what tire rotations are all about.

As you probably know, tires get worn with use. Unfortunately, they don’t wear out evenly. Front tires lose tread more quickly than the rear tires because of the extra force exerted upon them by steering, and sometimes the tires on one specific side can get used up faster too.

Rotating your tires doesn’t refer to spinning them in place—that would be pointless. Instead, it means moving them from one wheel to another, allowing the wear to spread out and extend the life of the tires. In turn, that means less visits to the tire shop for new treads.

If you’ve got more questions about cars, just ask us Mama’s Used Cars and we’ll give you our best answer.

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