Category Archives: Car Tips

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It’s a common predicament—you have a car that runs, but it is outdated in safety, performance, and features.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.

How to Change Your Wiper Blades

How to Change Your Wiper Blades | Richard Karr Motors | Waco, TXThere’s nothing more annoying than a streaky, blurry windshield during a rainstorm. But, this poor visibility isn’t just obnoxious—it’s outright dangerous. This is why, at Richard Karr Motors, we recommend that you change your wiper blades at the start of every spring season for optimum visibility.

Fortunately, changing your wiper blades is easy and inexpensive. All it takes is the right pair of blades and five minutes of free time. You can purchase replacement blades from an auto parts store or a dealership like Richard Karr Motors. They will just need the make, model, and year of your vehicle to find the right kind.

Once you have your new blades, it’s time to take the old ones off. Lift the wiper arms so that they are vertical, then turn the blades perpendicular to the arms. You will see a small hinge where the blade connects to the arm. Pop this open, then pull the blade down and out of the arm. At this point in the process, the arms are unprotected, and if they snap down they can damage your windshield. Be cautious of this and consider lowering the arms while you prepare the new blade.

The new blades will go on same as the old ones. Slip them through the arms, and put the arm through the appropriate hole on the blade. Line up hook to hinge and press it closed until it snaps into place. Once you’ve repeated this on the other side, you’re all set for some safe, rainy weather driving.

Tips for Handling Highway Driving

Tips for handling highway drivingFor some people, driving on the highway can be intimidating. That’s understandable, considering the traffic and high speeds. So, here are some tips for handling highway driving to calm your nerves.

Keep Your Distance

The closer you follow to other cars on the highway, the easier it would be to get in an accident. Leave at least two to three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Think About Lane Changes

The best way to ease your anxiety about lane changes is to plan them ahead of time. Think about what exit you’ll be taking so that you’ll know where you need to be and have time to get over to the lane. That way, there’s no last-minute panic about getting into a lane.

Learn Left from Right

Know when to stay in what lane. Stay in the right lane if you’re going slow (the speed limit or under) and use the left lane to pass. The middle lane is great for maintaining a speed and passing when you need to.

Stay Consistent

As much as possible, try to keep a steady speed. Don’t worry about other drivers; they’ll pass you if they need to.

If you need any more highway driving (or other driving) tips, just ask us at Richard Karr Motors!

Buick’s Smart Driving Secret

When you get behind the wheel of a Buick, you’ll have tons of smart technology on your hands. That’s because starting with the 2015 model year, Buick vehicles are available with an OnStar subscription plan that helps you with smart driving.

Part of OnStar’s subscription plan includes a Smart Driver system that makes you and Buick quite the intelligent team. While you drive, OnStar will track your driving habits so that you can see how your drive on the road. It’s hard to monitor yourself while you’re driving, which is why OnStar does it for you! Some of the information that OnStar smart driving gives you are the total number of hard braking/hard acceleration occurrences, your average mpg, high-speed driving percentage, and more.

Not only will be safer with these features from OnStar, but you’ll also save money. When you have OnStar Smart Driver and access to your OnStar Smart Driver Score, you can get discounts off of your car insurance, up to 30% off of your regular rate. Basically, you’re losing nothing! You have a chance to improve your driving skills all while getting lower rates on your insurance.

Are you ready to get behind the wheel and get smart? Come down to Richard Karr Motors today and ask about Buick’s Smart Driving system.

Health Benefits of Singing in the Car

It’s happened to everyone. You pull up to a red light, peek over and see the person in the car next to you singing. They see you but they don’t stop. “How bold!” you think. Not only may these automotive crooners be bolder than everyone else, they may be happier people too.

Health Benefits of Singing in the Car | Waco, TX

Why? People who sing are high on life. Or to put it more appropriately, they are high on singing. A piece by The Huffington Post cites a number of revealing research studies that highlight the health benefits of singing in the car (or just singing in general).

Singing releases endorphins and oxytocin, hormones responsible for reduced stress and anxiety and overall “good feels.” It also reduces stress and improves our immune system by decreasing cortisol levels.

Every single year, the average American commuter spends the equivalent of an entire week in traffic. That’s plenty of time to work on your pipes! You can even get CDs or mp3s that are designed to teach you how to sing properly.

But do we really need research data to tell us something we already know. For anyone who has ever done it, singing along to one your favorite songs in the car is unquestionably uplifting. For anyone who has never tried it—your commute must be so boring.

Safe Driving Tips

As driving is something that many of us do on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall into complacency about safety. However, the truth is, driving is one of the more dangerous things that people do on a regular basis. Here are a few basic safe driving tips to keep in mind when you’re out on the road.

Safe Driving Tips | Waco, TX

Avoid Speeding

Speeding is one of the worst decisions that you can make. Not only does it not save you as much time as you may think, it increases your odds of being in an accident significantly. Slow down and remember that speeding will only get you to your destination a couple of minutes faster than you would otherwise.

Keep Your Distance

Tailgating is so common that many people forget that they are actually supposed to leave multiple cars-worth of distance between themselves and the car in front of them. Slow down, allow the car in front of you to gain distance, and don’t tailgate just because other people do it to you.

Drive Sober

This doesn’t need much explanation. If you aren’t sober, let your friend drive or call an Uber.

If you follow these simple safe driving tips, you will keep yourself and those around you much safer.