Category Archives: Car Tips

Optimize Your Commute with Infotainment

Optimize Your Commute

Imagine you could take your long commute and turn it into a productive, enjoyable time. With Buick and GMC Infotainment technology, you can. Check out these tips on how to use your car’s infotainment systems to make the most of your regular commutes.

Enjoy hands-free phone capabilities

Both the Buick and GMC infotainment systems come with Bluetooth® hands-free phone capabilities. This tool lets you place and receive calls and text messages without taking their hands off the wheel. With this feature, a commute becomes an opportunity to catch up with a friend or family member — or just get work-related calls out of the way while on the road.

Charge your devices

The Buick and GMC infotainment technology includes USB ports that can not only sync a device with the system but can also charge the device while you’re on the road. Multiple available USB ports provide additional charging opportunities for passengers throughout the cabin.

Link with your media

With Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto capabilities, Buick and GMC infotainment lets drivers sync their compatible devices with the in-cabin touch screen. This brings things like personal playlists and podcasts to the touchscreen, where media options are easy to access and navigate. With this feature, it’s easy to spend your commute listening to audiobooks or enjoying your favorite podcast.

Want a vehicle with the latest infotainment features? Check out our inventory at Richard Karr Motors.

Ways To Save Money On Summer Road Trips

Save money on summer road trips

Road trips are a fun, affordable way to take a family vacation, allowing your family to spend some quality time together in the car and on the open road. Although road trips are already more affordable than air travel, there are several ways you can cut the costs even further. Here are some ways to save money on summer road trips.

  • Set a budget: It’s a good idea to sit down and make a budget before you hit the road. Calculate gas costs and set aside money for food and lodging. You should also determine what sightseeing spots you want to visit and calculate any associated costs. Setting a budget beforehand will help keep you on track money-wise.
  • Pack snacks: A simple way to save money on food is to pack snacks rather than relying on off-the-road food stops.
  • Opt for toll-free routes: Rather than spending money on tolls, check to see if there are any reasonable toll-free routes. Sometimes, these toll-free routes offer a more scenic drive.
  • Have your vehicle serviced before setting out: A breakdown on the side of the road will cost you quite a bit of time, energy, and money, so it’s a good idea to have your vehicle checked and serviced before departing.

Does your vehicle need a checkup before you hit the road? Have it serviced at Richard Karr Motors.

How to DIY Repair Chipped Car Paint

chipped car paint

Got a bad case of chipped car paint? Thankfully, these minor damages are easy to fix. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to repair paint chips yourself.

Evaluate the Chip

The best way to tell if you can do it yourself is to look at the size and status of the chip. If it’s larger than a quarter or in the process of rusting, save yourself time and effort by taking it to a shop.

Wash and Prime

When repairing chipped car paint, it’s important to start with a clean and primed foundation. Use soap and water, then sterilize the surface with denatured alcohol. Next, apply a layer of paint primer. Let the paint dry for at least half an hour.

Paint

Once you’re sure you have a matching color (you can test this on a sheet of paper), apply a layer of paint to the chip. Let it dry for an hour, and then apply a second coat. After a few days, add a layer of polishing compound to the chip and rub the surface.

Wash and Wax

Washing your vehicle then following it with a fresh coat of wax is a habit that will protect your car from future paint chips.

Contact us at Richard Karr Buick GMC to schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle, whether you need help repairing a paint chip or need to address a more major issue.

Everything You Need to Know About Tires

While we all can’t be car gurus, it is important to know key things about our vehicles — what different dashboard lights mean, how to change a flat tire or the oil, etc. To help you out, Richard Karr Buick GMC proudly presents everything you need to know about tires.

When to rotate and replace them

You should rotate your tires every time you get your oil changed (so roughly every 5,000 miles) or at least every other time. When you bring your vehicle into Richard Karr Buick GMC for service, we’ll rotate your tires during your oil change.

When the tread depth wears away so much that your tires fail the penny test, it is time to replace your tires. You may also want new tires if you find yourself losing traction frequently in rain or snow when traveling north.

What kind of tires you need

For drivers in Texas, all-season tires generally work fine. If you will be spending extensive time up north in the winter, you may consider switching to snow tires for better grip. If you drive a performance vehicle, you might want summer tires, which will enhance your speed and agility.

Have more tire questions? Bring them to our service professionals at Richard Karr Buick GMC.

everything you need to know about tires

What Is a Trim Level?

The process of buying a new car can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know too much about the industry or the products, like what is a trim level. Our Richard Karr Buick GMC website arms you with research about all of the vehicles we have in our inventory, which is a good place to start.

But even then, you might find yourself asking questions like, “What does torque mean, and how much do I need?” or “What is a trim level?” The staff at our dealership will be happy to help you with questions just like these when you stop by, but we thought we’d take care of one for you now: What is a trim level?

Simply stated, trim levels help us offer different features on the same car, truck, or SUV. There might be some cool features, like all-wheel drive or remote start, that someone in a cool climate might want, and other features, like a more powerful engine or off-road suspension, that someone who enjoys performance driving might want.

The base trim level of a model will have the most basic features and will come at the cheapest price. As you go up the ladder of trim levels, you will see newer, more advanced features — related to technology, safety, performance, and convenience — added; in some cases, they might replace a feature on a lower trim. The price for these higher trims will also increase.

Still have questions about trim levels? Contact Richard Karr Buick GMC for more information.

what is a trim level

How Often Should You Buy A New Car?

It’s a common predicament—you have a car that runs, but it is outdated in safety, performance, and features. Should you keep your car until it will run no more? When is it reasonable to buy a new car?

The truth is cars that have been built in the last 10 years or so are set to last for a long time. These cars should perform well and safely for a long time. If your car is that recent, you may have no need for a new car if you’re just in need of something safe and reliable. Keeping the car that you have will save you from starting the financing process from scratch, and could ultimately be more convenient.

However, there may come a point when you realize that there are new safety features or gadgets that you really can’t live without. At that time, you should consider the cost and effort of investing in a new vehicle versus hanging onto your old one. You should also factor in that a new car will have a warranty and that peace of mind could be worth your money, too.

Many people will decide it’s time to buy a new car when they face a change in lifestyle. If you start a family or suddenly obtain a hobby or job that has towing needs, you’ll need something other than your trusty compact sedan. Whatever your needs may be, we have plenty of options on the lot at Richard Karr Buick GMC that are sure to please when you decide it’s time to make the move towards a new car.

buy a new car - 2018 Buick Cascada

How to Change a Tire

Roadside assistance comes complimentary on most new cars, but odds are you can be back on the road quicker with the right skills. Changing a tire doesn’t take a long time to do and is fairly straightforward. Here’s a quick guide on how to change a tire from us here at Richard Karr Buick GMC.

  1. Pull off to the shoulder. Avoid hills and curves, otherwise drivers may not see you until it’s too late. Set the parking brake and exit the vehicle. If you have wheel wedges, place them either behind the rear tires or in front of the front tires.
  2. Remove the hubcap to expose the lug nuts. It’s easier to remove the hubcap prior to raising the vehicle. Prying the hubcap off with a lug wrench will work on most vehicles. Consult your owner’s manual for more information for your specific make and model.
  3. Loosen the lug nuts until you can turn them by hand. Don’t remove them entirely just yet.
  4. Consult your owner’s manual for proper jack placement. Raise the car around one foot off the ground.
  5. Finish unscrewing the lug nuts and remove the flat tire by pulling straight out. Place the spare tire on the lug bolts and push it all the way in. Begin tightening the lug nuts by hand.
  6. Lower the vehicle until it’s slightly off the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts with the wrench.

Lower the vehicle onto the ground and replace the hubcap.

How to Change a Tire

Fuel Efficiency Tips for Getting More Out of Your Tank

Is your gas budget a little bigger than you’d like? Here are some fuel efficiency tips for improving the fuel economy of your vehicle.

Accelerate Less

The more you accelerate, the more your vehicle burns through fuel. It doesn’t matter what speed you’re at—maintaining steady speeds uses less gas than stop-and-go traffic. Try using more highways and accelerating slower.

Brake Less

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. The more you brake, the more you have to accelerate. Try coasting up to stoplights instead of racing to the white line. This gives the traffic light a chance to turn green before you get there.

Check Tire Pressure

Did you know improperly inflated tires are a major reason for lower-than-optimal gas mileage? Make sure your wheels are up to snuff by regularly checking tire pressure.

Service Your Car Regularly

Cars consist of many little mechanical parts, and if any one of them is malfunctioning, it can reduce your fuel economy. Your oil, oil filter, and air filter can play major roles in this, so make sure you keep up to date with routine maintenance.

We at Richard Karr Buick GMC just want everyone to get the best fuel economy that they can; follow these fuel efficiency tips to get the most out of your car.

fuel efficiency tips

How to Get Your Car Ready to Trade In

The better shape your car is in when you trade it in for a different model, the more money you’ll get out of it. So it’s important to do what you can to get it cleaned up and working great before you take it to the dealer to be inspected. Here are some tips on getting your car ready to trade in.

First, do a deep, thorough clean. Vacuum out all the crumbs from the carpet and the seats, scrub the dashboard, clean off pet hair. You also want to remove all your personal items from it—the less work they have to do themselves, the more money you’ll get from it. Wash the car and give it a wax to make it look as shiny and new as possible.

If there are little problems you can fix yourself, like dings, scratches, headlights that are out, or low fluid levels, take care of them. These are all easy maintenance tasks that take minutes and that you can look up how to do online. Don’t bother fixing major mechanical issues, though—whether you lose money fixing them or lose money on the trade-in because of them, you’re still losing money.

Make sure you have any extra parts, like spare keys and special badging, to get the full value of your car applied to your trade-in. For more information on how to get your trade-in ready, call us today at Richard Karr Buick GMC!

car ready to trade in

Fun Summer Activities

Getting out and having fun in the summer weather may start in June, but the fun keeps on rolling until later August. That’s a lot of time to fill which means you might run short on fun activities for friends and family. Fortunately, you’re not alone in your summer adventures. We here at Richard Karr Motors know of some fun summer activities to take part in this season!

Take a Road Trip

Packing up your truck or SUV and hitting the open road opens up the potential for a fantastic memory-making road trip. Even singles can hit the road and experience something new that they may have never seen or heard of before. There are plenty of interesting places around the United States that are best explored in an off-road-capable truck, like the GMC Canyon. Best of all, a truck can double as a bed with just a few accessories!

Have a Picnic

Whether you’re alone or with friends and family, having a picnic at a local park is a great way to spend a summer day. Pack a basket with your favorite foods, like sandwiches and cookies, grab a blanket, and set out for a wonderful day under the summer sun.

Sit Outside

Most people are fully aware of just how hot it can get under the summer sun. Sometimes it can feel too hot to engage in any activity. Fortunately, just sitting around outside is a great way to enjoy the day until the temperature drops in the evening.