6 Scary Things People do to Their Cars


6 Scary Things People do to Their Cars

Here are six major things that many motorists do – or fail to do – that can harm both their cars and their wallets:

Ignoring the “check engine” light
This practice can result in serious engine trouble and costly repairs. At the very least, this warning may alert you to a problem that is negatively impacting fuel economy.

Failing to change fluids and filters
Many different fluids are required for the operation and protection of vehicle systems and components. Regularly checking the levels of fluids, along with the respective filters, will help ensure that your vehicle runs dependably and will also extend its useful life.

Neglecting your tires
Your vehicle’s tires should be checked frequently for inflation and tread depth. Underinflated tires can wear out more quickly, requiring early replacement, and can negatively impact safety, gas mileage, and performance.

Failing to follow a service schedule
Because the majority of car parts and components wear out or become damaged over time, vehicles need to be routinely serviced to maintain optimum performance. Regular inspections and timely repairs will keep your car running efficiently and will help you to avoid more expensive repairs down the road.

Keeping a dirty car
Allowing your car to go too long without a wash leads to buildup of damaging chemicals and dirt, increases the potential for rust from road salt, and interferes with the proper visibility that’s needed for safe driving.

“Severe” driving
Whether it’s stop-and-go traffic, extreme weather, rough roads, or heavy loads, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid severe driving conditions. However, you can drive smarter and improve fuel economy by observing the speed limit, avoiding aggressive driving (including quick starts and stops), not hauling unnecessary items, and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.

Because auto care isn’t always a top priority for car owners, many might not realize when they’re doing things that can adversely affect the performance, safety, and value of their cars. Routine maintenance can go a long way toward saving money, avoiding headaches, and protecting your vehicle investment.

If it’s high time to schedule a service appointment, please give us a call at (866) 822-9314.

When Should You Stop for a School Bus?

When Should You Stop for a School Bus?

The videos are startling: drivers running through school bus stop signs, creating close calls and tragedies. Many drivers are confused about just when they are supposed to stop for a school bus, so here’s a quick refresher.

Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop when the bus displays flashing red lights and extends the stop signal arm.

Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red warning lights are turned off or the school bus driver waves the vehicles on.

Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are required to stop when the bus displays red flashing lights and extends the stop signal arm. The exception is a roadway that has four or more lanes with at least two lanes traveling in the opposite direction and a median or painted 5th lane in the middle – then you do not need to stop from the opposite direction. If there is no median or painted 5th lane, then you do need to stop.

Please use extra caution around stopped school buses at all times



Why You Should Stay Out of the Left Lane at Night

Why You Should Stay Out of the Left Lane at Night

Did you know that most wrong-way drivers get on the freeway and go straight to the far right-hand side? They think they are in the slow lane but since they are going the wrong way, they are actually in the fast lane.

Staying out of the fast lane late at night may help you avoid an intoxicated driver traveling the wrong direction.

Here’s another tidbit I didn’t know: look out for red road reflectors.

If you see a vehicle coming towards you and wonder for a split second if it is you who is the wrong-way driver, quickly check the reflectors on the road. If they are yellow or white, you are driving on the correct side of the road. Many road reflectors are dual colored-with white on one side and red on the other. If you see red reflectors on the road, it is a warning that you are the wrong-way driver and you need to get off the road as soon as possible.

Another helpful tip is to always look ahead.

Driving, especially on roads that you know well, can become almost automatic. Most drivers don’t pay as much attention as they should or scan further than a few hundred feet in front of them. If you are always looking ahead and scanning the road in front, you will be able to spot any oncoming danger and deal with it before it is too late.

Get Cash Back On Your Leased Vehicle


How to Get Cash Back When Returning Your Leased Vehicle

If the end of your lease is coming up, you may have more options than you realize, including an opportunity to put some additional money in your pocket. Here’s how:

At the end of a lease, most people think they have only two choices: purchase the vehicle at the price stated in their lease or walk away from it.

But there’s also a third option: bring your vehicle in to our dealership so we can do a quick appraisal and let you know its current value. If it’s above your stated purchase price, you can “sell” the vehicle back to us and use the difference toward a newer vehicle – or walk away with the cash.

We can usually make an appraisal of your car in about 15 to 20 minutes. For details, or to schedule an appraisal appointment, please give us a call at (866) 300-4805.

Locksmith Scam Alert

Locksmith Scam Alert

The recurring locksmith scam is on the rise again. The scam starts with a customer being quoted an extremely low price for a locksmith service over the phone. Once the service is performed, the scammer charges a much higher price, usually hundreds of dollars more. If the customer does not pay, the scammer then engages in threatening behavior to intimidate the victim into paying.

The Better Business Bureau recommends these seven tips when hiring a locksmith:

Critique their advertising
Look closely at their advertisements. Is the specific name of the business clearly identified? Does the ad look similar to other ads but have a different name? Does it appear that the dealer actually operates under several names? If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like “locksmith services” rather than a company-specific name, be wary. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the person refuses, call another locksmith.

Ask questions
Most consumer complaints concern fees that were not disclosed when they called the locksmith. Ask about the cost of a service call, mileage and parts before you agree to have the work performed. Get an estimate before any work begins, including emergency service. If the on-site estimate doesn’t match the price quoted on the telephone, have the job done by someone else.

Check identification
Most legitimate locksmiths will arrive in a clearly marked vehicle. The locksmith should be able to show you with their identification along with their business card.

Does the lock have to be damaged?
In the case of a home lockout, be wary of a locksmith who insists on drilling the lock to open it. A professional locksmith should be able to open most locks without having to replace it, unless it is physically damaged.

Demand an invoice
You can’t dispute a charge without proof of how much you paid and what you paid for. Insist on an itemized invoice that includes parts, labor, mileage and service charges. The invoice should also include the business name and address.

Find out about insurance
Ask if the locksmith is insured. If your property becomes damaged during a repair, insurance is important to cover your losses.

Use a safe payment method
Use your credit card to pay for locksmith services for added security. Credit cards carry the most protection should you need to dispute the charge later.

If you have a complaint against a locksmith or any other professional or business, file a complaint at http://bbb.org.

The best locksmith advice? Do your homework first – when it isn’t an emergency. Check with the BBB today for a reputable locksmith, and then keep their telephone number as a contact in your cell phone or in your purse or wallet.

If you are locked out of your car, call your auto insurance or roadside assistance company first. It may have a list of recommended locksmiths or may offer locksmith services as part of the service

The Perfect Gift for the College Bound


The Perfect Gift for the College Bound

School is almost back in session and students across the country will soon be packing up their cars and heading off to college. If you are searching for that perfect gift for the college-bound kid in your life, why not put together a roadside emergency kit?

“A roadside kit is easy to assemble, not too expensive, and could be a life saver in the event of an emergency,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council. “While it’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected while on the road, the best option is to avoid breakdowns and car trouble wherever possible. Performing basic maintenance and observing a regular service schedule can help avoid unforeseen road emergencies.”

Some suggested roadside emergency include:

– Jumper cables
– Emergency flares
– Flashlight with batteries
– Blankets and extra clothes
– Non-perishable snacks and bottled water
– First aid kit, including essential medications
– Portable USB charger to keep the cell phone running even if the car is not
– Ice scraper, snow brush and small shovel for driving in areas with winter weather

Of course, another great gift idea is an upgraded car from Honda Oakland. For information on our pre-owned vehicles, please give us a call at (866) 300-4805

Why Car Batteries Fail


Why Car Batteries Fail

The average life of a battery is four years. Here is a quick cheat sheet on what causes battery to die and signs your battery is getting ready to fail.

The top three reasons a battery dies:
– Old age (the most common reason)
– Heat
– Corrosion

The most common ways batteries are drained are due to:
– Leaving your lights on
– A faulty alternator

If you turn the key to start your car and:
– Nothing happens
– Cranks slowly
– Lights dim
These are common signs that your battery is dead or having trouble.

If you have questions about your battery or need to schedule a service appointment, please give us a call at (866) 300-4805.