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Car Culture, Car fun

Garage Organization & Cleaning Tips for Spring

March 26, 2020
Garage Organization Clip Art   “I can’t wait to use this pasta maker when I get home!” And there it sits, in your garage, unboxed and awaiting its opportunity to be the star of your family’s Spaghetti Night. Situations like this are inevitable if you’re a homeowner. What was once meant to be a season-long solution turns into 365-day storage, and before you know it, the unboxed, impractical appliances start piling up and limiting space for your vehicles. Let’s remedy that! Although winter cleaning is all the rage, spring is really the perfect season to clean out your cluttered garage and get organized. Here are a few tips to help kick your garage-cleaning project off the ground this spring, so your cars can keep a roof over their heads hoods. Continue Reading…
Auto News

My NAIAS Highlights

January 9, 2017
First of all, for those wondering, NAIAS stands for “North American International Auto Show.” Believe the hype about what you’ve heard, BIG things have been happening this year at the auto show in Detroit! A couple debuts have stood out in my mind, and I just had to share my favorites with you! Nissan’s Rogue Sport The Nissan Rogue has been Nissan’s #1 selling vehicle in America. SUV’s have been growing fast in popularity among car buyers. So, this was a smart move for them to expound upon their SUV lineup. This new Rogue Sport has a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and is 12.1 inches shorter in overall length when compared to the Rogue. With the second row folded down, it offers 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space and their innovative “Divide-N-Hide” cargo system. While smaller, it has a standard 141-horsepower! It offers available Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield technologies and Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD). Plus SO many more features to get you amped for the Rogue Sport. Enough about the specs, the smaller size helps to make the vehicle maneuver easier, especially for those in city traffic and hunting for parking spots. It will go on sale nationwide beginning in Spring 2017 with choices of S, SV and SL grade levels and I absolutely cannot WAIT! For those who love the space an SUV offers but aren’t always in need of a ton of cargo capacity, this is the car for you. The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport is more than an extension of the popular Rogue, which accelerated past the Nissan Altima sedan in calendar year 2016 to become Nissan’s number one selling model. While sharing the Rogue name, platform and numerous advanced safety and security features, Rogue Sport stands on its own as a stylish, nimble, fun-to-drive and affordable compact SUV. Toyota’s 2018 Camry The Toyota Camry has been America’s best selling sedan for years. But recently, car buyers have been showing increased interest in small SUV’s, so, Toyota took a smart move in unveiling an updated Camry in hopes to maintain its popularity against the competition. While it’s still newly 2017, Toyota took no time in planning for the future. The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry boasts a surprisingly sportier style inside and out. This is the 8th generation of the Camry, so Toyota had to maintain what people know and love while still making it exciting, new, and relevant. It comes with Toyota’s dependable, safe, and durable expectations but has been redesigned to take the Camry in a new direction. To simply state it, the 2018 Camry just looks fun to drive (and that’s a great first impression!) To break down some specs for you: the hood is 1.6 inches lower, dropping the occupants’ seating heights an inch in front and 1.2 inches in the back with resculpted front seats and dash. Thus, making the interior, while practical, more roomy and spacious with a sport-sedan feel, and a much more attractive look. Toyota has moved away from the monotone, classic mid-sized sedan, and put the Camry through an evolution. If that isn’t enough to get you hyped, there’s plenty more details to sell you on what’s to come for the 2018 Camry (and I cannot wait)! 2018_toyota_camry_xse_02_88961eaaee6ed5242af8ea35e3990da6c70f8a63  
Car Culture

New Year, New Car

December 23, 2016
Whoa! Can you believe we are already entering a new year?! I’m super excited! A lot of times we make New Year’s resolutions and goals, but aren’t sure how to even go about making those resolutions and goals happen. A big goal I hear often is getting a new car. Getting a new car is both exciting and fun, but can also be frustrating if you’re not sure where to start. I’ve gathered some tips for those of you who plan on doing it big this next year and buying a new car.
  • Research I cannot stress how important this step is. If you go car shopping without knowing exactly what you want, it can be overwhelming. Research online and ask questions so that you can narrow down to the top 2 or 3 cars. This will help eliminate stress and save a ton of time.
  • Apply for a Car Loan Once you apply and are approved, you can either begin to save up for a down payment, or narrow down your car choice to the one that best fits your budget. Not sure where or how to apply for a car loan? We can help you here.
  • Trade In If you are looking to trade in your current car for a new vehicle, then it is important that you know the value of your car. Getting appraisals from at least 3 dealerships will help you know the roundabout value of your car. From there you can either trade in for your new vehicle or decide to sell your car.
  • Test Drive Okay, so you’ve taken care of the most important things, now it’s time to put your desired car to the test. Even though the car may check out on paper, you have to see if the driving style matches your driving style. Going on a test drive will seal the deal.
  • Close the Deal! Congrats! You now have a brand new car! You’ve done your research, stuck to your budget, and found the perfect car for you! Now you can successfully cruise through the rest of the year.
Auto News, Car Reviews

Up and Coming: 2015 Nissan Murano

May 9, 2014

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It’s been awhile since I talked about a new up and coming vehicle. This week I want to spotlight the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano, that is coming late 2014.

Nissan has redefined the crossover. Again. They first introduced us to the Murano in 2002. A vehicle unlike any other, it was a combination of utility and style. stated in early April 2014, “(2015 Murano’s) bold new styling is bound to get you noticed in a way that few other SUVs will.”

Now they have made the Murano even better! I’ll let you in on some of the features it has to offer.


1. Safety Shield- I believe this is one of the coolest features. The Murano warns you of any blind spots, predicts forward collisions, carries forward emergency braking, and provides intelligent cruise control.

2. Heated steering wheel, which every person in Kansas City will need during those cold winter months! A cool thing about this heated steering wheel is that it can be turned on remotely. Talk about convenient.

3. Advanced driving assist display (ADAD)- This feature is practically the size of a mini tablet and has every feature you can imagine. It lets you know about your tire pressure, fuel stats, weather, traffic, and can even be an extra pair of eyes for you on the road.

There are so many features in the new 2015 Nissan Murano, check it out online and get ready for an amazing crossover!

“Introducing the All-New 2015 Nissan Murano Crossover.” Nissan USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2014.
Car fun

9 of the Most Outrageous Cars

April 11, 2014

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Thinking about changing the exterior of your car? Well I have come up with some great ideas for you! Try making your car the shape of your favorite animal; such as a whale, shark, or cheetah! If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then airbrush your favorite historical figure on your car. My personal favorite idea is changing your car’s interior and exterior into your favorite piece of fruit!

There are so many creative and talented people, and I hope they continue to create more interesting and outrageous cars!

What would you turn your car into?

Top 5 Gifts to Give your Loved One this Valentine's Day

February 13, 2014
This Valentine’s Day give a gift that your love will cherish, because he/she deserves something special. I’m talking about the love of your life, your vehicle! After you have given your flowers and chocolates to your significant other, find a fun gift to give your car! I have compiled a gift list for you, incase you can’t think of anything.

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1. Dashboard Windshield Car Mount for smart phones: Now days we use our smart phones for everything, even for navigation. Don’t drive recklessly with your phone on your lap, but attach it to your dashboard instead! This way you can keep your eyes on the road and get the navigation you need.


2. WeatherTech Floor Mats: During the winter months sometimes your car mats can get a real beating. Your car would appreciate a purchase of a WeatherTech floor mat. This will protect your flooring and you wont have to be worried about muddy shoes! Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 1.03.00 PM 3. Fuzzy Dice: Maybe you have a quirky and fun vehicle! Purchase something that reflects your car’s personality like red fuzzy dice! Mazda_CG_lock 4. CG Lock: Is your seat belt too loose for you when you’re driving fast? The CG-Lock turns your seatbelt into a performance driving advantage! Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 1.04.19 PM 5. Kurgo Bench Dog Car Seat Cover: Are you a dog lover, and sick of having to clean the fur off of your back seat? The Kurgo cover is easy to install and machine washable, so you don’t have to ruin your car’s interior. I hope these ideas will help you find the perfect surprise for the love of your life! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Under the Hood

What's that smell?

December 27, 2013
Keys in, engine running, you’re about to go on a fun road trip with your friends. As everyone piles into your new car, you begin to smell a horrible fragrance. Your new car smell is now replaced with a pungent odor of rotten eggs. “Where is that smell coming from?”, you ask you friends. Now you’re looking behind seats, and searching the glove compartment for leftover take-out. But to your dismay no rotten food is found. Scratching your head for an answer, you decide to ask the question online, “Why does my car smell like rotten eggs?” No need to fear, I have the answer right here! Clue number one, your engine was running when you smelled rotten eggs. Sulfur is found in gasoline, which could leave hydrogen sulfide residue in the exhaust. This could mean a fuel-injection problem, but often times it’s a failed catalytic converter. Being a car owner, you might encounter various problems with your vehicle. For all those that dreamed of being Nancy Drew or one of the Hardy Boys, this is your chance to shine! Check for all possible clues to figure out what is wrong, smell being one of them. Here are a couple of smells that could detect problems with your vehicle. 1. Maple Syrup- Ethylene glycol is leaking somewhere, perhaps the radiator or heater hose. If you smell the odor inside the passenger compartment then it probably means a bad heater core. 2. Gym Socks- Can you smell a yucky mildew smell? This is from moisture condensing inside your a/c evaporator. When you come close to your home, try turning off the a/c and running the fan on high to dry the system. 3. Gas Station- If you smell raw gasoline the there is something wrong with your vehicle. Usually it means there’s a leak from a fuel-injection line or a fuel-tank vent hose. 4. Burnt Paper- If you can smell something like burning newspaper, it could be your clutch facing burning off as the clutch slips. 5. Burnt Carpet- This happens when your brake pads are overheated. You could have a dragging brake caused by a seized-up brake caliper piston. Keep solving the mysteries of your car problems, but if you ever need a helping hand, feel free to ask me!
Auto News, Behind the Wheel

2014 Chevrolet Malibu Offers Hands-Free Texting

October 9, 2013
Check out the latest news from our friends at Chevrolet!
  • Segment-first standard stop/start technology drives 14-percent improved city mileage
  • New variable intake valve actuation and transmission enhancements also contribute to greater efficiency
  • New Text-to-Voice feature ‘read’ text messages over the audio system; allow hands-free responses via MyLink
DETROIT  New technologies help the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu deliver greater efficiency and connectivity, two of the most important considerations for customers of midsize sedans. “The midsize sedan segment is one of the most competitive in the industry and by improving the Malibu so quickly, we’re proving to our customers that we’re listening and acting on their needs,” said Chevrolet Global Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney. “The new and enhanced features make the 2014 Malibu a smarter choice, putting it at the heart of the strongest Chevrolet passenger car lineup in our history.” A new Ecotec 2.5L four-cylinder engine is the first standard engine in the segment with stop/start technology. It helps owners conserve fuel by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop, such as at stoplights, contributing to EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway – a 14-percent improvement in city mileage and 6 percent greater highway efficiency. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. It’s the industry’s most refined and simplest stop/start system, with no buttons to push or procedures to learn, for a seamless driving experience. Additionally, the 196-horsepower (146 kW) dual overhead cam, or DOHC, engine features variable intake valve lift control, or iVLC, which enhances fuel efficiency, while also enhancing low-rpm torque, for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds. It is matched with a six-speed transmission with improvements that enable additional fuel economy savings – and a more refined driving experience – compared to the previous model. New connectivity features support safer driving The available Chevrolet MyLink for the 2014 Malibu delivers enhanced connectivity and convenience, with the new Text-to-Voice feature for smartphone users and Siri for iPhone users. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity. Text-to-Voice converts incoming messages to speech, reads them over the audio system speakers and allows the driver to reply with preset messages such as, “I’m driving and will contact you later.” Users can create and save their own preset messages when the vehicle is in Park. The feature requires a compatible smartphone with Bluetooth profile and applicable text messaging features. Visit www.gmtotalconnect.comfor further information on phone and radio capability. Driver safety is General Motors’ first priority. A driver’s focus should remain on driving and texting can usually wait. So, only text and drive with this voice system and never text using a handheld device while driving. The 2014 Malibu is offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with pricing starting at $22,965 including destination, but excluding tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional features. All models include a two-year/24-month scheduled maintenance program, which covers four oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections. About Chevrolet Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at
Car Culture

Buying a Car 101

June 19, 2013
carbuying3 You know what always scared me about buying a new car? The commercials. You’d see this gorgeous car being driven down a closed course on your TV, showing off all the perks of the vehicle — a V8 engine, 271 horsepower, 490 mile range… whatever the works may be. Suddenly you’re envisioning yourself in this car, along with all the adventures you’ll have in it. Driving to the beach. Camping. A night out on the town. But five seconds into your daydream, the voice-over starts. A man is talking a mile a minute, and you catch words like “down payment” and “APR”; at the bottom of the screen is fine print that you’d need a a microscope to read. Your daydream comes crashing down. There’ll be no driving along the beach, no night on the town with your closest friends as far as you’re concerned — especially if it means deciphering the details on the bottom of your TV screen. But buying a car can’t be that bad, can it? Especially if so many people have them. I’ve come up with a little cheat sheet to help out all you newbies in the car-buying world. Today I’ll focus on buying a brand new car. 1. First off, think about your budget. While I don’t want to say settling is the only answer, you definitely don’t want to jump over the moon and buy the first bright red convertible you see. Have a price cap in mind and do not go over it. Self control is extremely necessary when purchasing a brand new car. 2. There are certain questions to ask yourself before purchasing a car: -Will you need to haul heavy equipment? -Do you need a family-sized car? -Will four-wheel drive be necessary according to your location? -Are you going to travel a lot? Be sure to mention all these points when talking to your salesperson. 3. Car price. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three prices you’ll deal with: average price, dealer price, and sticker price. I. The average price is good to know so you don’t end up paying way more than anyone else did. Ask away and keep that number in the back of your mind. II. A little trickier to get is the dealer price. If you are able to find it, negotiate up from that number rather than working down from sticker-price. *Keep in mind the dealer will add on dollars for options like air conditioning, CD-player, anti-lock brakes, etc. 4. Do your research. You are buying a car — ideally one that you will have for a loooong time, so you need to know what other people are saying and not just what the salesperson in front of you is telling you. Look at magazines and websites like MotorTrend magazine,, Automobile magazine, and
FUN FACT: Dealers profit from you buying cars (Way to go, Captain Obvious — yes I know… but wait for it). Here are the ways they profit from you: A. The negotiating price for the trade-in. B. The negotiation price for the new car. C. Scams in the business office post-negotiations.
5. Fundamentals — AKA bring your drivers license (particularly if you’re going to test drive). 6. Up next is credit history knowledge. I cannot stress this enough: make sure you bring your credit history, in the flesh, with you. All the flashy commercials you see on TV are generally ideal for people with stellar credit history. This doesn’t mean none of the deals will apply to you, but don’t expect to get a cheap-o car just because of something you saw on TV. Your credit score will reflect the car dealership’s faith in you. Simply put, the better your credit score, the easier the car-buying. 7. Another necessary document is your proof of insurance card. You’ll need this especially if you’re applying for a car loan at the dealership. If you don’t have full insurance on a vehicle before walking onto the lot, make sure you contact your insurance company immediately after the purchase, with the car’s year, make and model, VIN, and number of miles on the car. Once your company has received all the necessary paperwork, and you’ve made the payment, they can send proof of insurance to the dealership and you can take your new car home. 8. Itty-bitty details that’ll save you in huge ways: -Know the competition. Dealerships don’t like it when someone else sells the same car for a lot cheaper, so if you’re aware of any deals at other dealerships, toss your knowledge out there and see where it gets you price-wise. -They can’t run a credit history check on you without your permission. In fact, it’s illegal. -Don’t give the dealer your Social Security Number. -It’s best to buy a new car the last two weeks of December, or between July and October, so hold out for those dates and you’ll get the best price. -APR means Annual Percentage Rates. The low rates posted during commercials are, like I mentioned earlier, usually only for people with perfect credit, OR they only last for a certain period of time before they go up. -Most car buyers these days make an initial down payment (a nice chunk of money), and then finance a balance (AKA they make monthly car payments to pay off the rest). -Look for the best interest rate… seriously. And read the fine print. Some dealerships will only have a low interest rate for the first year and then it’ll shoot up. Keep an eye on these guys.