Category Archives: Car Tips

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.

How to Choose a Used Car

Purchasing a car is one of the most significant financial decisions that you will make this year. Choose the right car and you can drive hassle-free for years. Choose the wrong car and you may have to sink a whole lot of money into it over the years. Here is how to choose a used car.

Set Your Budget

This is the most important step. Do not choose a car that you cannot afford. While looking at all of the shiny expensive cars is very tempting, decide what you can afford and stick to it. Do not be afraid to negotiate with the seller, and do not let the seller talk you into buying something that you know you shouldn’t buy.

Choose Between Private Seller and Dealer

You don’t always know what you’re getting from a private seller. They could tell you that the vehicle is in great condition and then a month later, you are replacing the transmission.

how to choose a used carThe advantage of going to a dealer is that they are generally more reliable than private party sellers. Most dealerships offer warranties on their vehicles and will fix any problems that may arise.

Whatever you choose, do your research first. Avoid making a hasty purchase, and utilize our team at Richard Karr to get the answers you’re looking for!

How to Exercise in Your Car

In this increasingly fast-paced world, there isn’t always enough time to complete everything in our schedules. Unfortunately, exercise is often one of the first things to go when we’re pressed for time. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is how to exercise in your car on your daily commute.

Wrists and Forearms

To exercise and strengthen your wrists and forearms, keep a grip strengthener in your car. They are small and can fit in your center console or glovebox, and they are relatively inexpensive. Spend 15 minutes on each hand during your commute.

Biceps

While you aren’t going to become a bodybuilder in your car, you can do bicep curls with light weights to tone your arms. A five to ten pound weight shouldn’t take up too much space in your vehicle.

Core

In addition to strengthening your wrists, forearms, and biceps, you can also focus on your core. While you’re driving, lift your hips off of your seat. Repeating this will help you strengthen your core.

how to exercise in your carAlthough it isn’t a complete replacement for regular exercise, these simple exercises on your daily commute are much better than not exercising at all. Once you’re in the habit, you can translate this to exercise at home as well.

Thanksgiving Driving Tips: Staying Safe During the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays of the year, especially when it comes to travelling. That’s why we here at Richard Karr Motors have put together a list of Thanksgiving driving tips to help you make the most of you holiday. From transporting food to staying safe, there are several things to keep in mind.

According to the Huffington Post, one of the best tips to remember is to plan your trips carefully. Traffic tends to be the worst on Sunday afternoons—be sure to read ahead on traffic updates leading up to the holiday. You should also plan trips when you are most awake. Driving between midnight and 6am is a high-risk situation—try to drive during the late morning or afternoon if possible.

Thanksgiving Driving Tips Are Easy If You're Behind The Wheel Of A BuickAlways be sure to buckle up, especially on long trips. You should fasten your seatbelt every time you get behind the wheel, because buckling can reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 45%. If you have a car seat, make sure that it fits properly. Children under two should be in a rear-facing seat, and anyone under 12 should likely use a safety seat of some kind.

Finally, don’t drink and drive. Holidays can be fun get-togethers; however, you should always have a designated driver if you plan on drinking. If you plan on going out to the bars, consider downloading Uber or some other vehicle service app before you head out, and be sure to go with a responsible group.

These are just some of the most important Thanksgiving driving tips to keep in mind.

Check Out These Basic Ways to Get Better Gas Mileage, Every Time You Drive

Whether gas is expensive or cheap, it’s always a good idea to try to increase your gas mileage. Not only will this save you money, but also, you can lower your personal impact on the environment.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some easy ways to get better gas mileage:

  • Keep your car well-maintained, which will allow it to offer the most optimal performance possible.
  • Slow down, within reason. The slower you drive, the more fuel-efficient your vehicle becomes. Avoid going over the speed limit.
  • Check your tire pressure. If your tire pressure is too low, you may be wasting energy. You can find out just how inflated they should be by consulting your owner’s manual.
  • Empty out the back of your vehicle or the trunk. The heavier a car is, the worse its gas mileage becomes.
  • Lastly, stop idling your car. This pointless practice contributes to lower fuel efficiency and can also cause long-term damage to your engine.

Get Better Gas MileageAnd of course, the easiest way of all is to invest in a vehicle that gets excellent gas mileage to begin with, including many of the vehicles we have here at Richard Karr Motors. Visit us anytime to take one out on a test drive!

Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions

People talk about driving a stick shift these days with fear in their voices—unless they can drive stick, and then they’re probably making fun of everyone who can’t. Regardless of the Great Divide between manual and automatic drivers, the truth is that there are benefits and drawbacks to both, and which one you decide to drive depends entirely on your driving habits.

The pros of automatic transmissions are obvious. They’re easier to drive. You don’t have to worry about the clutch, and your car will very rarely stall. They’re also more abundant—most cars that have manual transmissions are sports cars or slightly less expensive versions of already less expensive vehicles. For the average driver, automatic probably makes more sense.

manual vs. automaticBut there are definitely reasons to drive stick, too. Driving enthusiasts—the ones driving the manual sports cars—tend to prefer it because manual gives you more control over the drive, which provides more driving fun. Plus, those cheaper versions of cheap cars can make them more accessible to drivers with limited budgets, and they’re easier and less expensive to maintain.

It’s not like it’s a bad idea to learn to drive stick, so if you ever have the chance, give it a shot. You might need that skill in the event of a zombie apocalypse, once everyone’s taken the automatic cars and you’re left to scavenge through the manual Camaros.

Understanding Your Tachometer: What Does It Do?

New cars comes with all sorts of bells and whistles, replacing many of the gauges we once depended on. In many models, especially those with automatic transmissions, the tachometer is going to the wayside, leaving many to scratch their heads when they see it in other cars. Understanding your tachometer is not difficult, but it is something every good car owner should know.

According to National Public Radio’s Car Talk, the tachometer is essential, even for those that don’t drive stick. Also called a “rev-counter” or “RPM gauge,” the tachometer measures the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the engine’s crankshaft. In lay terms, the tachometer tells you how much your engine is working. When idling, it will sit between 0.5 and 2.0 (x1000) RPM, while at top speeds it may “red line.”

Understanding your Tachometer in a 2014 GMC Sierra DenaliFor those with manual transmissions, the tachometer lets you know when your engine is in its peak power output, showing you when to shift. This varies depending on driving conditions, and should be different if you climb a hill, accelerate onto the highway, or go off-road.

What about an automatic transmission? A tachometer lets you know when your car is not performing properly. For example, if your car is idling at high RPMs, that can be a serious sign for concern. Also, if you drive in low gears or tow, it is important to pay attention to your engine’s output.

Read About: The History of Cadillac

Easy and Basic Dog Hair Cleaning Tips for the Inside of Your Car

 

Dog Hair Cleaning TipsYour dog may love its trips in the car, but it’s less than likely that you’re loving all that dog hair trapped in the seats. So, in honor of National Dog Week, we offer you these dog hair cleaning tips for cars:

  • Prevention is the best solution here, so be sure to keep your seats covered with a sturdy, washable tarp before bringing in the pooch.
  • A basic kitchen rubber glove can be a great tool for removing dog hair; all you have to do is rub the upholstery until the hair combines into larger clumps.
  • Another, slightly more surprising, household object that could help you out is a balloon. Inflate the balloon and use the force of static electricity to make the hair stand right up.
  • Lastly, Velcro hair curlers are a classic for a reason, easily picking out all the hair you are targeting.

How do you keep your vehicle dog-hair-free? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.