New Year’s Auto Resolutions: Save Money and Improve Resale Value in Lubbock, TX

Service - Lubbock, TX

Many people have already made their New Year’s resolutions. But it’s not too late to consider making some auto-themed goals for 2019. By adopting some of these auto resolutions for your vehicle, you can improve its reliability, resale value, and overall condition.

According to Green Living, you should start by getting your car’s body in shape. For example, you can measure tire pressure to maintain properly-inflated tires, schedule regular tune-ups, and change the oil approximately every 5,000 miles.

Next, try being a fuel-efficient driver. Not only can you reduce your carbon footprint by driving more slowly and cautiously, but you can also save money at the pump. It turns out that speeding can lower fuel economy by up to 35 percent. Try not to make hard stops, and avoid accelerating too quickly. Additionally, clean out your vehicle’s interior, if you haven’t in a while. The extra weight might affect gas mileage.

Don’t warm up your car — no matter how inconvenient a cold vehicle interior might seem. Idling your vehicle increases the risk of theft. It also increases the wear and tear on the vehicle’s engine as well as other key parts (like the tires, transmission, and bearings).

Finally, check the tire pressure regularly. Tires typically lose pressure when its cold out, which means your car might be riding on low tires. By maintaining optimum tire pressure, you can extend the life of your tires and improve the vehicle’s fuel economy.

Jumpstart your New Year’s auto resolutions by calling us at Pollard Used Cars to schedule a maintenance appointment.

The Importance of Checking Tire Pressure

Tires - Lubbock, TX

Tires are an important vehicle part to maintain. Besides checking the tire tread, you should also check the air pressure regularly. Because air pressure changes with temperature shifts, seasonal changes may mean your tires are over- or under-inflated.

According to U.S. News & World Report, you can find the right tire pressure for your car on the driver-side door jamb behind the seat. There should be a chart that lists optimum tire pressure. It’s important to note that this may vary from the number listed on the tire itself. If there’s a discrepancy between the two numbers, follow the chart on the door jamb.

For every 10-degree drop in temperature, the air pressure will drop by 1 psi. The opposite is true in warm weather; the hotter the temperature, the more pressure. Tires may also simply lose pressure over time.

You can easily check and fill pressure with a tire-pressure gauge, but many new cars will also automatically alert you when the tire pressure is low. Most gas stations will have air pumps, if you don’t have one yourself. It’s important to fill tires because underinflated tires will tend to cause added friction, leading to blow outs and reduced fuel economy. Overinflated tires can ride improperly, also causing blowouts or uneven wear.

If you need help with tire maintenance, contact us at Pollard Used Cars to schedule a service appointment for your vehicle.

Is Kelley Blue Book Accurate?

Kelley Blue Book in Lubbock, TXWhen buying or selling a car, two questions we tend to ask are “how much is my car worth” and “how much should I be paying?” One of the sources to turn to is Kelley Blue Book. But should you take Kelley Blue Book’s word at face value?

Websites like Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA have car value estimators that claim to give you an accurate estimate of how much your car is worth. These websites are a good starting point, as they’ll give you a ballpark number for your vehicle’s value. However, they shouldn’t be the only estimators you rely on.

While they provide estimates for your vehicle, it’s not a guarantee. Kelley Blue Book tracks prices of cars being bought and sold in order to determine the value of an identical car. However, this calculator does not account for the issue of supply and demand. The calculators also don’t consider the true condition of a car, which doesn’t always fall neatly into categories like “Excellent” or “Fair.”

In order to get the most accurate estimate of your auto’s worth, it’s best to get an additional opinion from a reputable dealership such as Pollard Used Cars. Visit us at your convenience so one of our experienced staff members can appraise your vehicle.

5 Best Cars for New Parents

Buying a car for yourself is one thing, but buying a car for your family is another. Often you have a different set of concerns than if you were simply buying for yourself, including space, safety, and functionality concerns. To help you choose the perfect car for your family, here are our top five cars we recommend for new parents.

  1. Honda CR-V: Honda CR-Vs excel across the board and routinely leads its segment. It offers safety, reliability, and great cargo space to families.
  2. Nissan Murano: The Murano is as stylish as it is family-friendly, offering great power, space, and high-quality construction that will withstand the wear-and-tear of families.
  3. Chrysler Pacifica/Pacifica Hybrid: The Pacifica has been making waves since its release, offering tons of features and space that families desire. The Pacifica Hybrid will take your environmentally-friendly lifestyle to the next level, as it offers a 33-mile all-electric driving range and 84 MPGe on the highway. This vehicle also gives your family room to grow.
  4. Chevrolet Malibu: The Malibu is sleek, roomy for a sedan, and offers great performance. It easily doubles as a family and professional vehicle.
  5. Subaru Crosstrek: Subaru has gained a loyal legion of fans thanks to its standard all-wheel drive, high-quality equipment and performance, and modern tech. The Crosstrek gives you a bit of everything.

Stop by Pollard Used Cars to find your next family-hauler. We’ll be happy to set you up with test drives of these five models as well as other well-rounded, safe vehicles for transporting your children.

Best Cars for New Parents (2019 Chevrolet Malibu pictured)

*Pacifica Hybrid: 33-mile total electric driving range: EPA estimate with fully charged battery. Actual mileage may vary. 84 HWY MPGe: EPA estimated miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). Actual mileage may vary.

How to Rotate Your Tires

It’s extremely important to keep your vehicle’s tires in the best shape possible, to ensure that your vehicle keeps on operating smoothly and safely. One way of doing this is to routinely rotate your vehicle’s tires.

Why rotate your vehicle’s tires?

Tires wear down at different rates. For example, front tires typically carry more weight than rear tires, wearing down more quickly. Drivers also tend to turn one way or another more quickly, which leads to uneven wear over time on one side. Rotating the tires ensures your car’s tread wear down more evenly, which will extend the life of the entire set.

How often should you rotate the tires?

Rotate your vehicle’s tires a few times a year, or every 5,000 miles if you do a lot of driving. An easy way to remember to perform this service is if you rotate the tires each time you get the vehicle’s oil changed.

How to rotate your vehicle’s tires

Rotating your vehicle’s tires is easier than it may sound. Here are some basic steps to carry out this upkeep.

  1. Engage your car’s parking brake for safety
  2. Loosen all wheel lug nuts
  3. Lift up one wheel with a jack and remove the tire
  4. With jack or cinderblock in place, lift opposite diagonal tire and swap it with the already raised tire
  5. Repeat for the two remaining tires
  6. Remove all blocks and the lower vehicle

If you’d prefer to leave the tire rotation up to a professional, simply contact us at Pollard Used Cars. We’ll be happy to schedule a maintenance appointment for your vehicle.

How to rotate your tires

Tips for a Better Used-Car Shopping Experience

Whether this is your first time buying a car or you’re a seasoned professional, everyone can benefit from learning how to make car shopping more fun and less stressful.

According to CU Insight, one of the first things you should do is online research. Start with the type of vehicle you’d like to buy (SUV, pickup, sedan, hatchback), and narrow it down to the make, model, and year if possible. You should also create a list of your top picks, so you have a range of options to choose from.

Next, shop during the week rather than on a weekend or during a holiday. It will also likely reduce the time you spend at the dealership, since there will be less time spent waiting for the staff to finish serving other customers.

Don’t be afraid to bring a friend. You may want a second opinion before buying, so having a friend with you may prevent buyer’s remorse. Bring someone who will be honest with you, but also someone that won’t slow down the process.

Bring the title and other paperwork from your current car if you plan on trading it in. Coming prepared with paperwork will ensure a prompt vehicle application and financing process.

Call your insurance ahead of time. It’s illegal to drive off the lot without proper insurance, so if you’re buying a new car, you may need to let your insurance know ahead of time. Although some insurance companies might be able to fax or email you a new insurance card the day you buy, others will require more time.

Budget beforehand. Calculate your monthly income and expenses, and then decide how much you’re able to spend on a monthly car payment. Before committing to buy any vehicle, consult with the dealership’s finance department to make sure that you can afford it.

Get plenty of sleep the night before you visit the dealership, and bring water with you the day of the visit. You may be shopping for a while, so it’s important to stay rested and hydrated. This will keep you optimistic and engaged during the purchasing process.

If you have any questions about financing your next vehicle, stop by Pollard Used Cars.

better used-car shopping

How to Care for Your Vehicle’s Headlights

Most drivers have a good understanding of basic DIY car care. Regular maintenance — even seemingly small and simple things like changing windshield wipers — can make a big difference. Learning about headlights and what they need for optimum performance is one DIY maintenance niche you don’t want to ignore!

When to Replace Headlights

Did you know that your headlights dim naturally over time? And as they do so, your nighttime visibility suffers. The lifetime of a headlight depends on the type of headlights. For instance, xenon high-intensity-discharge lights last longer than halogen headlights. If you notice your headlights dimming, you should replace them for best visibility. If not, consider always having a spare set of headlights on hand in case yours burn out.

How to Replace Headlights

You can check your owner’s manual to find which headlights your car needs. Pollard Used Cars sells all brands of cars, and each will have its own requirements. Employees at an auto parts store will also be able to look up your vehicle by make and model to find the right fit.

The owner’s manual will also help you find instructions for changing your vehicle’s headlight, which is a process that also varies slightly. You’ll access your headlights under the hood, and may need to remove a dust cover and/or a clip holding the bulb in its place. Gently wiggle the bulb from its place, holding it on the housing rather than the glass, and replace with the new headlight bulb.

Other Tips

Even if your headlights are brand new, it won’t matter much if they’re dirty on the outside. Get in the habit of cleaning off your headlights along with your windshield every time you’re at the gas station.

For more tips on car care, stop by Pollard Used Cars; our dedicated service professionals will be happy to help you ensure your car is running at its highest potential.

care for your vehicle’s headlights

Car Cleaning Tips for a Like-New Car for the New Year

For many, New Year’s Resolutions usually involve kicking bad habits or shedding a few pounds. However, you might consider taking better care of your car this year. In addition to regular service and maintenance, you can also resolve to clean your car more often. That’s why we at Pollard Used Cars have created a list of car cleaning tips for the New Year.

A clean car feels like a new car, especially when you do a thorough job. According to Family Handy Man, one of the best ways to clean the interior is to get your hands on a brush to get the dirt, dust, and mold out of the vents. With the vacuum hose next to your brush, knock free any dust from the inside of the vents. This will help your car smell like new.

Next, get a clay bar kit. Clay bars lift some of the grit and dirt that collects in the paint that can’t be removed with a simple wash. After washing, rub your car with a special clay bar kit (e.g., Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit) in a back and forth motion. This will give your car a glass-like finish.

Finally, deep clean carpets and upholstery. You can condition leather if you have it with special lotions found at any auto parts store, but you may need to buy or rent a small carpet cleaning system (e.g., Rug Doctor) for deep cleaning fabrics. With this tool you can lift years of dirt and stains from seats and the floor. These are just three things you can do to really clean your car in 2018.

car cleaning tips

Holiday Travel Tips

Flying during the holidays can be a rough experience, especially if you have connecting flights to make. Crowds and, as a result, delays can make for a stressful travel experience, but there are several things you can do to make your holiday travels easier in the coming weeks. Here are a few helpful holiday travel tips.

Make a Plan

Making a plan and sticking to it is crucial to ensure everything goes smoothly this holiday season. Stopping to shop at the airport or seeing the sights when you’re already on a strict schedule won’t do you any favors. By making a plan, you’re essentially ensuring you can make your flight.

Leave Some Time

While making a plan for the holidays is important, it shouldn’t be air tight. A minute-by-minute plan could be ruined by a short delay. Instead, leave blocks of time to account for any delays or distractions. Doing so will help reduce your stress as you travel to your destination this holiday season.

Utilize Technology

Streamlining your holiday travels is as easy as getting an app on your smartphone. Many airports have maps and layouts that can help get you to the proper gate as quickly as possible. Some airlines even allow passengers to access their ticket information through an app as well.

We here at Pollard Used Cars of Lubbock wish you Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Holiday Travel Tips

What is a Trim Level and Which One is Right for You?

If you’re looking to buy a car, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of options out there. Even if you’ve narrowed it down to a specific make and model—a Toyota Camry or a Honda Civic, for example—you’ll still have to decide on what trim level you want. But what is a trim level, anyway, and how do you decide which one is right for you?

A trim level is a set of features that come on a car. Generally, models are broken up into multiple trim levels, each with a particular set of features. “Higher” trim levels typically cost more but include additional or upgraded features while “lower” trim levels have fewer features and are more affordable.

Automakers use different names for various trim levels. For example, if you’re interested in a Chevrolet, the LTZ trim will always include more than the LS. For Honda, the EX trim will always be higher than the LX.

Different trim levels aren’t necessarily “better” or “worse.” Rather, having the option of multiple trim levels allows you to find the balance of price and features that work best for you.

To learn more, stop by Pollard Used Cars today and find the car that’s just right for you!

What is a trim level - Honda Civic