Spring Driving Tips

While spring is a beautiful time of year with flowers and trees in bloom, it comes with a few dangers as well. Here are some spring driving tips to help you along the way.

  • Potholes. Every spring, the potholes of winter make their appearance. The bigger they are, they worse they can affect your car. Drive around potholes, if possible, so you don’t knock your car out of alignment.
  • Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Fully inflated tires can help decrease damage caused by potholes.
  • Puddles. Spring is one of the wettest times of the year due to the rain. This leads to slick road conditions. When the roads are wet, leave more following distance between you and the car ahead of you. In addition, try to avoid driving through large puddles. They could be hiding large potholes and the water could cause you to hydroplane or hamper your braking power.
  • Pedestrians. Warmer temperatures will bring more people out on the road. Be on the lookout for pedestrians as well as motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  • Animals. Along with people, animals become more active in the spring. Watch for animals crossing the roads. Be especially alert at dawn and dusk.

Here at Mama’s Used Cars, we want everyone to travel safely this spring.

Spring driving, wet tire

How to Increase Your Trade-In Value

If you’re in the market for a new car, odds are you’re also looking at trading in your old model as a down payment. That’s an excellent idea but it’s best to make sure you’re getting the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle. There are a few steps you can take to pay less for your next car. Here are a few ways to increase your trade-in value from us here at Mama’s Used Cars!

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Tires – It’s no secret that car dealerships want to knock a few bucks off the trade-in value of your vehicle and tires are an excellent excuse to do so. Don’t give the sales staff that opportunity when you’ve reached that point. Keep your tires properly inflated or get a new set, assuming you can find some cheap.

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Clean – Make sure to clean the car inside and out before you head to the dealership. A spotless interior and polished exterior ensure that you’ll get the most possible out of your trade-in vehicle.

Increase Your Trade-In Value

  • Document – There are few better ways to prove a car has been properly maintained than documentation! Gather the service records, receipts, and any other documents that show how well you’ve taken care of the vehicle. It could make a major difference in how much you pay for your next vehicle!

Car Care for First-Time Owners

Car Care for First-Time Owners

There’s a lot that goes into owning a vehicle, ranging from general care to keeping an eye on every part of the vehicle for defects, damages, and more. That can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time car owners. Fortunately, here’s everything you need to know about car care for first-time owners from us here at Mama’s Used Cars.

  • Washing – Skipping a weekly wash and wax can be enticing but it could be devastating to your car. Washing and waxing the paint helps preserve its pristine look from common road hazards like grime, salt, and bugs. Most waxes only last a few weeks to a month so be sure to wash your vehicle often!
  • Owner’s Manual – Often referred to as a guide to your vehicle, the owner’s manual will be able to answer almost any question you have about your car. If you don’t have a manual, odds are you can find it online for free. Make sure to mark the page with the service schedule for easy access later on!
  • Flat Tire – Despite the rise in roadside assistance, knowing how to change a flat tire could save you time and money. Spend some time in the garage or driveway making sure you know how to remove and replace a tire. You’ll thank yourself later on!

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.

Parking Lot Safety

Parking Lot Safety

There were over 2,000 work-related deaths on company parking lots between 1993 and 2003. That’s a large number and it doesn’t include supermarket or mall parking lots. Parking lot safety is a major concern for both drivers and pedestrians. We here at Mama’s Used Cars have a few tips to keep you safe in the parking lot!

  1. Caution – As a driver, you should always keep your eyes open for other cars and pedestrians in the parking lot. Follow the set speed limits and turn around corners slowly, especially if you can’t see around them. If you’re a pedestrian, walk on the sides of the lane and avoid walking behind vehicles taller than you. Try to stay in the view of drivers so they can see you as well as you can see them.
  2. Dress Properly – If the parking lot is likely to be icy, come prepared with proper footwear. The last thing any driver wants to see is a pedestrian slip and fall in front of them. Making sure you can stay on your feet is a necessity in the parking lot.
  3. Pull Through – As a driver, you should avoid reversing, especially out of spaces. When possible, pull all the way through so you can drive forward when you’re ready to leave. If you have to reverse, go slowly and have your lights on. Doing so will give other drivers and pedestrians a chance to see you and possibly avoid an accident.

Pamper Your Car on Valentine’s Day

pamper your car

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which if you’re single may mean you are more aware of this than many of your friends who actually have a significant other. But, even if you do celebrate February 14th as Singles Awareness Day, you can still show some love to a very important “person” in your life—your car.

Just think about how much you appreciate your car—it gets you to wherever you need to go, gives you some great entertainment, and keeps you cool, comfortable, and safe on your travels.

Here are a few suggestions on how to pamper your car this Valentine’s Day.

  • Make it feel beautiful. Give your car a good wash, inside and out. You can even let your car spend a day at the “spa” by getting a professional detailing.
  • Fall in love again. Remember how excited you were when you first purchased your car. You probably couldn’t wait to sign those papers and take it out for a long drive. Reignite that spark by heading out on a long road trip just so you can enjoy driving again.
  • Clear up any contention. If your car has been giving you trouble in certain areas—any squeaks, stalls, funny sounds, or behaving strangely—take it in for a checkup and let a service professional give your car a good tune up.

Will you be taking care of your car this Valentine’s Day?

Benefits of Buying a Used Car

buying a used car

Buying a used car can be fun, we promise! Just read on to find out. 

Buying a brand new car might seem like a great idea, but don’t discount the benefits of buying a used car—often, if you get something from the last few years, used cars are very similar to new cars but with some cool perks.

First off, used cars are, overall, cheaper. They have a lower initial cost, lower monthly payments, lower car insurance, sales tax, registration fees. If you’re on a tight budget, used cars are the best way to go. Plus, if you want to sell your car again down the line, you get a better return on your investment—the value of a car depreciates the most in its first three years.

And sure, you won’t get the very latest technology on a used car, but not everyone needs that. A lot of slightly older cars will still have cool features like navigation systems. Plus, newer used cars in good condition are often put through a certification process by dealerships, so if you get a certified pre-owned car you’ll end up with something like new but cheaper and with some handy warranties.

Buying used is the right choice for a lot of people, so definitely think about it! Then head down to Mama’s Used Cars to pick out your favorite!

 

The Importance of All-Wheel Drive Vehicles in Winter

All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

When winter rolls in, drivers need to start thinking about what preventative measures to take in order to get themselves safe and their vehicles functioning properly. Things like performing routine maintenance, swapping out all-season tires for winter tires, and making sure your HVAC system is working properly are all crucial elements to preparing for winter. But other drivers may take it a step further and wonder if all-wheel drive vehicles are more suitable to the slippery roads of winter.

The number one benefit, and possibly the most obvious one, is that AWD comes with increased traction over other modes of driving. AWD allows all four wheels to spin independently, so if a one or two wheels lose traction or slip, the other wheels can still pull the vehicle forward. This comes in handy on icy roads during hazardous winter storms. Modern technology also calls for innovations in AWD systems; many AWD vehicles now function on computer systems that allocate more power to wheels with better traction. Additionally, AWD makes for excellent resale value, so someday when you need to sell your vehicle, it will be worth more.

As with any extra, beneficial features, all-wheel drive vehicles typically cost more than other types and lower the mpg of a given vehicle, but many drivers find that the added peace of mind that accompanies AWD systems pays off in the end. If you are in the market for a new car with the winter months coming up, you may be better off looking for a car with all-wheel drive.

December Car Sales Make it the Best Month to Buy

December Car Sales

2015 is drawing to a close as we move into the last month of the year, and people are in the midst of spending lots of money on a variety of different things in preparation for holiday festivities. However, the end of the year is also a great time to buy cars, as dealerships are knocking down prices to clear the outgoing models from their lots and in the hopes of fitting in as many sales as possible before the New Year begins. December car sales make right now one of the best times of the year to buy a new car.

The year-end sales rush causes many manufacturers to dramatically slash sticker prices by the thousands with the intent of clearing inventory of outdated products and ushering in the new. 2016 models that have already launched may also see impressive deals as dealerships try to attract buyers to updated models. However, demand around this time of year also falls drastically, so even used car dealerships will offer great deals in an attempt to bolster sales as fewer people are looking for new vehicles during the holiday season.

Though December car sales may attract you, keep in mind, too, that dealerships operate on what is known as the US Sales Reporting Calendar. This calendar, unlike the public one, ends on January 4th as opposed to New Year’s, so buyers may find even better deals during the first few days of January when car dealerships are fitting in a few extra sales before the Sales Reporting Calendar ends.