New Year’s Resolutions for Your Driving Habits

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions so they can jump into the coming year strong and focused. We think it’s a great idea to extend such resolutions to your driving habits. Here are some New Year’s resolutions we suggest to make your driving even more safe and efficient next year.

  • Be timely: Rushing through your life is never the best idea, and that includes rushing to drive somewhere. This adds stress to your day makes you less careful. This year, slow down and try to leave early so you can arrive on time without the haste.
  • Don’t use your phone while driving: Luckily, recent innovations in vehicle technology make it so you’re never tempted to touch your phone while driving, but some of us still retain the bad habit of checking our phones. This year, commit to not touching your phone while driving.
  • Increase your efficiency: Change your driving habits to be more efficient, such as reducing sudden acceleration and staying near the speed limit. You will save money on fuel that way. It also makes your ride a little more eco-conscious, which is an added benefit.
  • Stay up to date on car maintenance: Having your vehicle routinely serviced is the best way to preserve your vehicle in the long term, so stay on top of routine car maintenance this year.

These steps can help you reach your other New Year’s goals,whether it’s arriving at the gym on time or decreasing the stress in your life.Mama’s Used Cars can help reduce your stress by providing you with a reliable,affordable car.

New Years

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

A Guide to Choosing a Used Car

So, you’ve made the wise choice and decided to purchase a used car. However, since this will be one of the biggest purchases of your life, you want to make sure it’s a good one. Here are a few suggestions on choosing a used car.

  1. Create a budget. Keep track of all your expenses so you know how much of a car payment you can afford. Don’t forget items like insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.
  2. Make a list of models. Decide what your preferred makes and models are. If your top choice is a something like a Honda Accord, consider competing brands, like a Ford Fusion, and you can still get a great car and potentially save thousands.
  3. Check market value. Use online tools like KBB.com or Edmunds.com to research used car prices to know what the model is worth.
  4. Take a thorough test drive. Don’t just drive around the block. Check every aspect of the car you can, including heating and air conditioning, the sound system, engine noises, brake power, transmission shifting, and technology.
  5. Check its history. Get a vehicle history report to check for any accidents, see how many owners it has had, etc.
  6. Get it inspected. Hire a mechanic you trust to inspect the car for you to check for any mechanical issues.
  7. Negotiate a price. With all of the information you’ve gathered on the car, you should have a good idea of what it is worth. Give a reasonable offer and show your research.
  8. Drive away. Once you’ve made the deal and signed the paperwork, enjoy the fruits of your hard work while driving away in your new car.

Come see our excellent selection of used cars here at Mama’s Used Cars.

Guide to choosing a used car

 

St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originally began as a religious feast day, but have quickly become a full-on celebration of Irish culture. Communities around the United States, including Charleston, South Carolina, put on an event that attracts visitors from around the state. The feast day has a long, interesting history and there’s nothing quite like a St. Patrick’s Day in Charleston.

St. Patrick, born to a Roman-British army officer, was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Ireland. He spent several years in prison before receiving a message from God. Shortly after, he escaped and made a journey to France where he joined a monastery. After 12 years in training, he returned to Ireland to convert the population, establish monasteries and schools, and preach to the masses.

Four-leaf clovers on the forest floor

St. Patrick’s Day

Judging by the widespread celebration of Irish culture, St. Patrick was successful in his efforts. While the legends surrounding the saint, who was likely born around the year 400, continue to grow, so do the celebrations of Irish culture.

The St. Patrick’s Parade and Block Party brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Three stages of live music, street vending, local vendors, and a Kid’s Zone make Charleston a great place to celebrate Irish culture with the masses.

We here at Mama’s Used Cars hope to see you at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

EPA Declares Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank: 312; Far Surpassing Tesla Model S

Toyota Mirai Miles Per Tank

When Toyota announced it would produce a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to rival the likes of Tesla’s Model S when it comes to low emissions, we knew that the model would be a game-changer.

Now, Toyota has released the official stats on its incredible Mirai fuel cell vehicle, which received an EPA rating of 312 miles per tank, with zero emissions. Comparatively, the Model S, which was previously the longest-range electric car, gets a mere 270 miles per tank.

The EPA also releases information on “MPGe,” or “miles per gallon equivalent,” which aims to fairly compare the gas mileage of traditional cars to newer, more innovative models. The Toyota Mirai received an astounding rating of 67 MPGe.

Plus, one of the Mirai’s greatest advantages over EVs is that its fuel cell engine can be refueled very quickly—just like how a gas tank can be filled up in minutes—unlike EVs, which take a while to charge entirely.

What do you think of the impressive Toyota Mirai miles per tank? Let us know in the comments.

Flying Car Companies Release Plans for 2017

Flying car

A flying car may be your next vehicle! Sure, it may take a few years, and a few hundred thousand dollars, but it’s a FLYING CAR!

Sometime in the distant future, we’ll have flying cars. Well, maybe not that distant. In fact, several new companies have recently released details about plans to produce, sell, and deliver several flying cars within the next few years, some as early as 2017. The future is finally here.

So, like the Jetsons, right? The flying cars companies like Terrafugia, AeroMobil, Moller International, and PAL-V are developing are basically small engine planes with foldable wings. Nonetheless, they work as both cars and planes, assuming you can find an airstrip nearby.

What are the advantages to having a flying car? Aside from being able to say you have a flying car, there aren’t many pros to owning one of these cars, unless you fly everyday of course. According to CNN, the regulations and red tape involved in these vehicles are the biggest hurdles, especially because they have to pass both FAA and automotive safety regulations.

How do I get my hands on one? Right now, companies like AeroMobil are only targeting the wealthy, with the cheapest flying cars coming in around $300,000. Whether you like it or not, flying car companies may always remain a thing of the future.

Since it may be awhile before you can get your flying car, maybe you should stop by Mama’s used cars to try out our more “grounded” models!

Auto-Related Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Ok, our tips are great, but if you just can’t bear a trip to the store, just let dad have a nap!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, a perfect opportunity to show dad how much you really care. While neck ties are a tried-and-true gift to get, believe it or not there are other gifts out there. We’ve put together a list of (car-related) Father’s Day gift ideas to help you get the perfect present.

  • According to AutoGuide.com, one of the best things to do is grab some tools and get to work on an old car. Working on cars has brought fathers and sons (and daughters!) together for generations, and there’s nothing quite like fixing a car with someone you care about.
  • If you and your dad are looking to avoid manual labor, consider going to an automotive museum. There is a car-related museum in virtually every state, a perfect opportunity to learn something new and spend some quality time with dad. Plus, if you have to drive a few hours, you can get in a mini-road trip.
  • Although they can be a bit pricey, going to a driving school with dad can be a memorable experience. There are tons of these schools, ranging from basic to high-speed exotic cars, which let you get behind the wheel and burn some rubber.

Last but not least, make something homemade. This is great way for kids to show their appreciation by making a key lanyard or rear-view mirror decoration. What better way to say you care?

If these ideas don’t do it for you, check out the selection at Mama’s Used Cars for some amazing Father’s Day deals!

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.