Car buying tips for this Memorial Day

1. Know what you’re looking for. If you go to a dealership without an idea of what type of car you’d like, it might be easier to get yourself sold into a vehicle you’re not excited about. Know what year, make and model you’re interested in before you head to the dealership.

2. Always shop online to search for used cars or new vehicles before going into the dealer. Get a sense of the market value of your ideal vehicle to avoid getting marked up. Consumer websites like Kelley Blue Book allow you to search for both the private party and dealer value of a car.

3. Look for safety and reliability information on your desired vehicle. Independent organizations like Consumer Reports can provide ratings of new and used vehicles. If you find that the car you’re interested in has low reliability or safety ratings, consider a different vehicle.

4. Always ask to test drive the exact car you will be buying before making a purchase. Often the exact vehicle you want will not be immediately available. While you wait for the car in your chosen color or with the exact features you want to arrive, you may be offered to drive a comparable car. Just make sure not to sign until you’ve driven your car.

5. Pick the right dealer. Choosing a reputable dealership can be just as important as picking a safe and reliable vehicle. Look for customer reviews on Google Places, Yelp,, and If the majority of consumers have had unsatisfying experiences, you should consider using a different dealer. Traveling extra distance for excellent customer service is worth the trip.

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Summertime car safety tips!

Texas has the highest number of deaths due to leaving children in cars. Most parents don’t think about forgetting a child in the car but we have all seen it on the news especially in the summertime. If you have a car checklist consider leaving yourself a cue where you will be looking. For instance I always look in the rearview mirror to make sure I don’t have food in my teeth so I could put a sticker on my mirror to remind me. There are also huge sticky notes that you can keep on your steering wheel if you like to have a visual checklist. These are just a few things to help you remember when you are in a hurry.

Here are a few things to keep in your car in case of emergency…

Items You Should Have in Your Car
Common sense says that you should always have a spare tire and a first aid kit. Here are some additional items that you might not think of if you aren’t used to living in a hot climate.

  • Extra water, for drinking and/or for the car.
  • Steering wheel cover. A cloth cover (not leather) make allow you to comfortably handle the steering wheel after the vehicle has been standing in the sun. You can also use a small towel or handkerchief. If you don’t have a windshield sunshade, place the small towel on a leather seat before you leave the car so you can get in and sit down when you return. If you’ve never had the experience of sitting on leather when you’re wearing shorts, and that car has been outside in 120 degrees for a couple of hours….ouch!
  • Snacks, such as granola bars or small bags of crackers.
  • Cooler or insulated shopping bag. If you are shopping and you have a bit of time before you can get home, a cooler with an ice pack or insulated shopping bag will keep those frozen items from melting, or that fresh fish safe, before you get there.
  • Cell phone, so you can call if you get lost or get into trouble.
  • First aid kit. Items you should consider include ice packs, ace bandages, wrist brace, sunscreen, tweezers, x-acto blade, batteries, (girl stuff), and various meds like Benadryl or Motrin.
  • Emergency kit. Items you should consider include a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, blanket, extra clothes and gloves, paper towels, and some basic tools like wrenches, a ratchet and sockets, screwdrivers and pliers.


Items you Should Not Have in Your Car
Think about it–does it make sense to buy a milk chocolate candy bar and leave it in your car in the heat? Believe me, no matter how smart we all think we are, at one time or another we’ve been dopey and left something we shouldn’t have in the car. Hopefully, there wasn’t a large cleaning bill as a result.

  • Milk and other dairy products.
  • Anything packaged under pressure, like hair spray or soda pop.
  • Tapes, CDs, or DVDs.
  • Sunscreen in a bottle. Buy little packets or towelettes.
  • Crayons, candy, gum, lipstick.
  • Credit cards or other cards with magnetic strips on plastic.
  • Cleaning solutions with alcohol or ammonia.
  • Anything that didn’t have a decent smell before it reached 115 isn’t going to smell any better after it’s been left exposed in direct sunlight all day.
  • After shopping, check your trunk carefully to make sure nothing has fallen out of the grocery bags. You really don’t want to find those eggs or that salami a week later.