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July 31, 2015

Coastal California Travel Adventure in a Mitsubishi Mirage

When given the opportunity to take a fuel-efficient Mitsubishi Mirage on a road trip, my goal was to see how far I could take the little car and how little gas it would use during the trip. The road trip wasn’t intended to be a hypermiler’s high-mileage challenge, but a real-world driving experience: I wanted to see how the car performed on a variety of roads to give it a fair and reasonable evaluation, but I also wanted to have some fun myself.

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July 30, 2015

July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day

National_Heatstroke_day-heatstroke_awareness-it_only_takes_ten_minutesNothing is more heartbreaking than hearing about the death of a child accidentally left in a hot car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a child dies from heatstroke about once every 10 days from being left alone in a hot vehicle. In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatality for kids 14 and younger.

All day on Friday, July 31, 2015, AskPatty will be joining NHTSA in a national day-long social media campaign to share messages with the hashtags #heatstroke #heatstrokekills #checkforbaby to raise awareness of the dangers of heatstroke. As of July 27, 11 children have died so far this year as a result of vehicular heatstroke, according to More than 30 died in 2014, and more than 40 died in 2013; sadly these tragedies are 100% preventable. Please watch our Twitter and Facebook feeds to share these messages yourself.

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July 29, 2015

Taking the 2015 Lexus NX 300h on a Texas Road Trip

Scenic Lake TravisBy Jo Ann Holt

I recently drove from Dallas to beautiful Lake Travis, west of Austin, for a return visit to some of my favorite people and scenery.  Spring rains in Texas brought the lake back up to where it should be, and it’s great to see sail boats, motor boats, and personal watercrafters out enjoying the bright, sunny weather.  

Like most Texas “lakes,” Travis is a man-made reservoir. It stretches 65 miles, and was formed in 1942 with the construction of Mansfield Dam on the Colorado River.  The only natural lake in Texas is Caddo Lake in East Texas, but that’s another story for another road trip.

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AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 11: Do Join a Club!

If you're a member of an organization that offers an auto buying program -- like Costco, Consumer Reports, USAA, or American Express, or even your insurance company -- use it!

These affinity groups work with a network of dealers who provide incentives and offer exceptional guaranteed pricing and service if the car is purchased through that group. These pre-negotiated discount programs have been arranged to help group members save hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars off the purchase price: check to see if you belong to any and let their buying power reduce your purchase price!


Get all 11 Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts here at


July 28, 2015

Who wants to win a Ford Mustang GT customized by Chip Foose?

Win_a_ford_mustang_modified_by_chip_fooseWe all know the Ford Mustang GT is an awesome car: In stock form, the 2015 Mustang GT comes from the factory with a powerful 435-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, race-ready Recaro seats, and stylish aluminum wheels. It's a high-performance car that's got a lot of swagger.

Car customizer Chip Foose, the host of the "Overhaulin' series on TLC and Velocity TV, has taken that car and added his own personal touches, including a Bama Supercharger system powered by a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger, Magnaflow Competition cat-back exhaust, a Vogtland Sport lowering springs kit, Foose custom wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires, and special exterior design styling to create an amazing prize car that boasts stylish looks and a whopping 800 horsepower! How awesome is that?

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July 27, 2015

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 10: Don't Base Your Purchase On Monthly Payments!

Instead, consider the total purchase price after sales tax, and then evaluate the monthly cost.

Once you know your total price, financing the car should cost about $20 a month for 60 months for every $1000 financed (for buyers with good credit), so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the bottom line. Most car pricing services also offer pricing estimators to help you know ahead of time what it will cost to finance your purchase. If you have quotes from other dealers, use them as leverage in your current negotiation. Having a target transaction price in mind before you visit the dealership is important, and where your advance research will help the most.


Get all 11 Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts here at



July 24, 2015

Ten Simple Tips To Prevent Your Car From Being Burglarized

Prevent_car_burglaries-iStock_000020243692-LjupcoThe car of one of my neighbors was burglarized recently, and the thieves stole a nice car stereo and back-seat DVD entertainment system. According to a report at,  $1.25 billion in personal items and accessories are stolen from vehicles in about 1.8 million thefts each year.

My neighbor had -- stupidly -- left his car unlocked. Did he have an alarm? Yep, but it wasn't activated, either. He mistakenly thought, because we live in a small, gated neighborhood, that his car was safe. Law enforcement officials say that finding unlocked cars is still the number one way thieves are getting in. Luckily, this form of theft can be easily prevented with a little common sense.

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AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 9: Don't Trade In A Car That's Worth Less Than You Owe On It!

When that happens, the balance of your old loan will be rolled into the new car's loan amount, combining the debt of two cars into one, larger, loan.

Save discussions about trade-ins until the end of your negotiation process. The price of the car should not be determined by the vehicle you have to trade in, so consider that a separate transaction. Only after you settle on a purchase price should you start negotiating the terms of a potential trade. Price your car ahead of time using services like,, or, so you have a good idea of what it should be worth ahead of time. Remember, if you don't like the trade-in value you're offered for your car, you might get more for it by selling it yourself or taking it to CarMax.


Get all 11 Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts here at


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