Holiday

5 Mother’s Day Tips To Get Your Car Ready For A New Baby

April 18, 2019
Happy Mother's Day from Lauren Wants to Know

This year, it’s your turn to revel in being a mother on Mother’s Day. Congratulations! That new baby in your arms has changed you from being the one buying the gifts and cards into the one receiving them. Of course, being a mother isn’t all about sweetly sentimental presents. In fact, there’s a lot of stress involved in your new role, too! That’s why I’ve rounded up five tips to make life with a new baby in the car safer, easier, and more enjoyable.

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Money Matters, Under the Hood

How To Avoid Buying A Flood-Damaged Used Car In Kansas City

April 11, 2019
flood-damaged-used-car

It’s already plenty nerve-wracking buying a used car. You might wonder if there’s an underlying mechanical problem or worry about the after-effects of a previous accident. Now, with the recent flooding along the Missouri River, there’s one more thing to worry about: whether or not the car you’re considering has been damaged by a flood. It’s an unfortunate reality for some shoppers, as thousands of cars from all over Kansas City have been damaged by water, then cleaned up for sale. How do you spot one of these vehicles?

Signs of Flood Damage in a Used Car or Truck

A few specific signs can indicate an issue with past water damage:

  • Water lines or condensation in the lights. Unless the lights were completely replaced, you may be able to detect the faint signs of water lines or condensation on the lens or reflector of the front or rear vehicle lights. These are hard to clean completely.
  • Damp, musty carpets & mats (or brand-new carpeting). The carpets can give you a great clue about past water damage. If they were not removed right away and carefully dried, they’ll still smell like dirty water or mold. Check underneath the floor mats for any sign of unusual grime or mud. Obviously, if carpeting was just replaced, you might inquire as to why, as this is not normal.
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Under the Hood

7 Uncommon OBD-II Codes & What They Mean

March 29, 2019
Uncommon-OBD-Codes

Who’s down with OBD? Yeah, you know: Me!

When DIY mechanics troubleshoot a car problem, they rely on experience, their guts, and what their code scanners spit out. But what do all those OBD-II codes mean? With help from some friendly Kansas City service technicians at McCarthy, here are 7 of the most uncommon OBD2 diagnostic errors they’ve encountered, plus a list of symptoms, causes, and potential fixes for each.

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Under the Hood

87, 89, 91: What’s The Difference Between Fuel Grades?

March 15, 2019
Fuel-Grades-Explanation

When you pull into a gas station, you use the same ‘level’ of fuel each time. Have you ever wondered why there are so many to choose from? Have you ever wondered what it all meant? Have you ever wondered what the purpose of life is?

Well, a young gentleman tweeted recently, asking this very question. So, after speaking with the friendly technicians at a friendly Kansas City auto service center, I’m ready to give you some answers to two of those three Qs (you can guess which ones). Here are some of the key differences between 87, 89, 91, and other fuel grades.

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Behind the Wheel, Car Culture

Headlights FAQ: “What’s Wrong with My Car’s Lights?”

February 28, 2019
Headlights-FAQ
Having problems with your car’s headlights? Millions of car owners around the world are right there with you, shoddy headlamps and all. But if you’ve got questions related to your vehicle headlights, I’ve got answers—and solutions—that should put those problems in your rearview.

Why are my headlights so dim?

You’re in some automotive Twilight Zone episode, sitting between “headlights quit working” and “headlights are too bright” dimensions. Fortunately, getting out of this paranormal predicament is fairly simple. Although bad headlight switches and alternators can cause issues with hazy headlamps, dim headlights are usually caused by either old-bulb filaments or corroded ground wires.

  • To diagnose your headlight ailment, open your headlamp assembly and inspect the bulb. Notice any gray, brown, or black residue inside? If so, purchase new lights from your dealer or at a headlight store, and replace those suckers.
  • If your headlight bulbs look clear, check under the hood. Follow your headlight’s wires back to where they connect to the vehicle. With a wrench, unscrew the ground cable from its point of connection. Use a wire brush to scrub away any corrosion or dirt. Reconnect the cables and inspect your light’s brightness.
  • If neither solution solves your problem, consider taking a trip to your auto service center. They’ll help.

Why are headlights so bright?

If you feel like car headlights are getting brighter each year, you’re not crazy. With LED, halogen, HID, and xenon technology becoming a new norm, high-intensity headlights on the road today can cause temporary blindness, or “road dazzle,” putting other drivers at risk. Continue Reading…
Car Culture, Local Events

The Best 2019 Car Shows & Events in Kansas City

February 12, 2019
Kansas City Car Shows
Auto shows rev every car lover’s internal engine, scratching that itch for all things automotive. Luckily, Kansas City car aficionados are in for a treat this year, as there are a number of excellent car shows on tap. Here are a few of my favorites.

59th Annual World of Wheels

When: February 22-24
Where: Kansas City Convention Center, 301 West 13th Street, Kansas City
Tickets: Adults – $19 / Children 6 to 12 – $7 / Children 5 and under – FREE Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

4 Vehicle Maintenance Skills Every Car Owner Should Learn

January 30, 2019
DIY-auto-maintenance
Tinkering with the car is a favorite pastime for some individuals. But most of us just want the car to start when we turn on the engine, stop when we hit the brakes, and get us to where we are going with no hassle. Owning a car requires a little more from us if we want to avoid frustrating delays, total dependence on road service, and being stuck in sticky situations. Here are the most important car maintenance skills anyone can and should learn.

  1. Check Tire Pressure

Checking your tire pressure is a critical skill to have. Regular pressure checks are the best way to ensure your tires are running at the optimal PSI and are not leaking air, which would obviously mean a flat tire is in your future. Continue Reading…
Behind the Wheel

Where to Report Curb Damage Near Kansas City

January 16, 2019
Curb-damage-Kansas-City
Potholes cause approximately $3 billion in vehicle damage per year, but let’s not forget about what curbs can do to tires, rims, and suspensions. One round with a busted curb has the potential to cause some serious damage to your vehicle. We’re talking about misaligned wheels, perforated mufflers, broken tie rods, pierced transmission cases, punctured tires. Do you really want to deal with those problems? I think not!

If you’re concerned about a specific pesky curb damaging your car in Kansas City or a neighboring city, it’s in your best interest to report it pronto. Here’s a HUGE list of official contacts and websites to submit street repair requests in Blue Springs, Sugar Creek, and everywhere in between. Continue Reading…
Money Matters

What Factors Affect the Resale Value of a Car?

December 21, 2018
Car-Resale-Value
I heard through the grapevine that you’re considering selling your car to a dealership or private buyer. Congratulations! But although you may be ready to grab a new set of car keys, the real question remains: is your vehicle ready to be sold? To get the most money out of your car, it’s important to understand the factors that go into determining its resale value.

Vehicle Brand

Brand reliability and dependability plays an important role in deciding vehicle resale values. Most people who are looking for a used car opt for brands with great reputations, such as GM, Toyota, and Hyundai. These automakers typically design models that have few technology defects, require little maintenance, and are rarely recalled (see “Recall Rates” section below).

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Auto News

Time to Buy an Electric Car Before EV Incentives Get Axed?

December 13, 2018
EV-Tax-Credits
Earlier this month, the White House announced their intention to eliminate electric vehicle incentives and rebates. If you’d planned on buying a new EV soon-ish, this move would all but take $7,500 out of your pocket! Even if the tax credits aren’t immediately shuttered by the government, the phase-out period for tax credits for most EVs – including GM models like the Chevy Bolt and Volt – is looming, which would also prevent you from cashing in on the full, sweet federal EV tax credit.

To put it simply: Now’s the time to buy your electric car. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today! Continue Reading…