AskPatty Certified Female Friendly Logo

972 posts categorized "Around the Auto World"

July 15, 2015

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 5: Do Bring Your Kids!

Let your kids help with the test drive: Can they open the doors to get in and out of the back seat easily? Can they operate the controls to get in and out of the third row (if the vehicle has it)?

If you have small children, bring their car seats with you so you can make sure they attach easily and safely. Bring the stroller or other large items you normally carry to ensure it all fits into the trunk. If you're actually planning to buy at that time, be sure to also bring activities and snacks to keep them occupied while you're going through the purchase process.


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


July 13, 2015

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 4: Don't Rush Your New Car Purchase!

To save time, do your shopping during the week. It will probably be faster to get through the sales process on a slow weekday than on a busy weekend.

Keep a poker face, and don't let your excitement over a specific vehicle make you a victim. Be prepared to walk away. There is no such thing as “now or never,” and it's likely you can find a similar car on another dealer’s lot. If you don’t think you’re being treated well, you can ask for a different sales person. If that doesn't work, you can always find another dealer. Have a reasonable bottom line: the dealership needs to cover its costs and pay the salesperson’s commission, but if you feel they’re not being fair to you, you can most certainly find another car on another lot on another day.


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


July 10, 2015

The Worldwide Greening of General Motors

The_Worldwide_Greening_of_General_Motors-1_gm_shipping_crates_reused__garden_beds"We're developing a culture of sustainability along with creating customers for life," Mary Alice Kurtz told me recently at a meeting with top General Motors environmental executives.

An engineer who has worked at GM for 30 years, Kurtz is one of three execs in charge of the company's worldwide environmental programs. This all-female "green team" shares a passion for turning GM into a green company, and saving the company green dollars in the bargain.

Continue reading "The Worldwide Greening of General Motors" »

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 3: Do Know How Much You Can Afford!

Don't shop for a luxury car if you're living on a small-car budget.

The rule of thumb when buying a new car is to put about 20 percent down, try not to borrow for more than five years (60 months), and keep your monthly payment lower than 10 percent of your income. Don't forget to factor in such things as fuel costs and annual maintenance. If you know your average commute, you can figure out in advance what you are likely to spend on gas by comparing your mileage to the EPA Fuel Economy Estimates on the window sticker. Check websites like to learn costs of ownership you won't be surprised down the road.


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


July 09, 2015

Auto Service: A Pleasant Event? Or Nightmare?

Woman_with_mechanic-car_repair-iStock_000061256784_SmallYou need service help for your vehicle. Soon. What do you do? The service indicator light is on, or your car is pulling to the right, or you hear a thump or strange noise. Or you just know it’s time for an oil change, or at least some type of service. You have to do something right away. But you’ve heard horror stories about atrocities and being ripped off at auto repair shops or auto dealership service departments.

Continue reading "Auto Service: A Pleasant Event? Or Nightmare? " »

July 08, 2015

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 2: Do Your Pricing Research Ahead Of Time!

Manufacturer's suggested retail pricing is just a starting price. To get the best possible price, you need to learn as much information about the vehicle you are shopping for before you ever enter the dealership.

Dealer invoice pricing used to be a secret, but such information is easily obtainable from a variety of sources these days. Use online shopping tools at websites like,, and to help you know fair market pricing before you ever visit a dealership. TrueCar not only will give you retail and wholesale pricing, but will indicate fair and good pricing to pay, by zip code. On used car purchases, TrueCar will show what is being paid for similar models and mileage, and will indicate if the prices are above or below market value. Compare several sites against each other to know the best pricing before you start to negotiate at a dealership.


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



July 06, 2015

AskPatty's Car Buying Do’s and Don’ts 1: Do Know What Kind Of Vehicle You Are Shopping For!


Educate yourself ahead of time about the vehicles you're interested in, and know what kinds of options and trim levels are available.

Consider several vehicles and research the accessories, features, and trim levels available on each one ahead of time, so you know what trim levels interest you, and which ones you would not want to pay extra for. Knowing the cost of each trim level, options, and packages is very important because depending on the car, these add-ons can add up to the cost of a whole other new car! Keep in mind that most vehicles are packaged according to specific trim levels, and can’t always be purchased to specific requirements without a special order, so familiarize yourself with your vehicle by visiting manufacturer's websites where you can configure the vehicle ahead of time and learn the costs of specific trim levels and options.


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


July 04, 2015

Happy Fourth of July from AskPatty


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
~ Abraham Lincoln


Celebrate safely this Independence Day! Please don't drink and drive.


July 03, 2015

Tire Safety for Family Summer Road Trips

Family_road_tripSummer is here, which means that families across the country are starting to make plans for their summer road trip adventures. If you'll be taking an extended road trip in the next few months, we've got some safety tips to make sure your tires are ready to roll.


The first thing to do as part of your summer road trip planning is to check tread depth and tire pressure before you hit the road.

Tire Tread: Tires should be replaced when they’re worn down to 2/32-inch of tread. Tire traction is the key to good accelerating, turning, and stopping under any conditions, but especially on wet surfaces.  Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you won’t find rain along the way.

Continue reading "Tire Safety for Family Summer Road Trips" »

July 01, 2015

Three Fun Summer Driving Destinations in Southern California and What to Drive

Woman_driving_road_trip-iStock_000039319394_SmallSouthern California is full of some of the best driving roads around. Whether you enjoy a spirited run in the canyons or a comfortable drive on the freeway, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in So. Cal. for car enthusiasts.

These are some of the best destinations for quick road trips in Southern California. Schedule your travel times to avoid rush-hour traffic, and you can get to any of these places within just a few hours (depending on your starting point), making them perfect for day or weekend getaways!

Continue reading "Three Fun Summer Driving Destinations in Southern California and What to Drive" »

comments powered by Disqus

Find Cars For Sale

Car Advice

Ask The Experts!

Help Our Charities