Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

What is a vehicle history report?

Sunday, April 21st, 2019
Rows of cars on a car lot.

The Lowdown on Vehicle History Reports

If you’re shopping for a used car, you may have heard mention of a “vehicle history report,” and wondered just what that is. No, it’s not a high school essay on the origin of moving transport. A vehicle history report is a near-essential element of purchasing a used car. (more…)

Is a vehicle with a salvage title insurable in Austin TX?

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Two repairmen dressed in blue put a new bumper on the front of a car in the service shop.

Insurance Options for Salvaged Vehicles

You might find a great used car at a cheap price, only to discover that it was, in the past, totaled. This results in the vehicle being awarded (wink wink) what’s called a “salvage title.” In Texas, cars get a salvage title if the repair costs (not including repainting) are more than the vehicle’s Blue Book value before the accident. But will you be able to get insurance on such a specimen? (more…)

How reliable are vehicle history reports?

Thursday, April 11th, 2019
Two humans use electronic devices for unknown purposes while sitting on a couch. They might be checking Vehicle History Reports.

What CARFAX isn’t Telling You

When buying a used car, a highly recommended step is to get a vehicle history report. Ideally, this report lets you know all pertinent information regarding the past lives of the vehicle and whether or not it’s going to fall apart the moment you get it off the dealer’s lot.

The most common vehicle report service is CARFAX. Generally, a used-vehicle dealer will pay for a CARFAX report on the vehicle you’re considering, but you have to ask for it. We’re going to see if CARFAX is a fully reliable source for vehicle history. But first, lets look at what CARFAX does and how it does it. (more…)

Can you buy a car without a driver’s license in Texas?

Saturday, March 16th, 2019
Salesman shakes the hand of a man who sits beside a woman, with a car in the background. A green question mark floats in front of the man's face, indicating something in unresolved in his mind.

Though typically individuals wait to buy a car until after they have a driver’s license, a variety of situations may arise where someone wants to buy a car despite not having a valid license. This could range from reasons such as buying the car as a gift, to buying it for an employee to drive, or buying only for use on one’s personal property.

If you’re planning to do this yourself, you’re probably wondering: is it legal to buy a car without a driver’s license in Texas? (more…)

Tips for Buying Your First Car

Thursday, February 28th, 2019
Young man in background out of focus is looking at a car.

What to Think About When Buying Your First Vehicle

After graduating high school or college, you’ll likely feel the need for a vehicle to navigate your passage into the world of adulthood. Whether you’re continuing your education or starting a job, having a car is in many cases essential in American society. Buying your first car can feel overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of things to think about to make this process a little easier and help you find the vehicle that’s perfect for your needs. (more…)

Lifesaving Tips About Tires

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019
Seven tires together in a line on a white background.

Tire Safety Guide – What You Should Know

Here at Third Coast Auto, some people call us “tire-lovers.” And we’re fine with that. Tires are important. Without them, our whole vehicle would be rendered useless and immobile. But we don’t spend nearly as much time thinking about them as we should. To remedy that, here’s some helpful tips about tires- and they just might save your life. (more…)

What should you look for when buying a used car?

Monday, February 18th, 2019
Car salesman assisting couple in buying a car.

Used Vehicle Buying Guide

It can be hard to know where to start when shopping for a used vehicle. With this guide, we give you some tips that will hopefully shed some light on what your process should be to ensure you end up with the perfect ride. (more…)

What are the most common causes of car accidents in Texas?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019
Side view of two cars that collided with one another and their crumpled front ends.

Common Reasons for Car Accidents in Texas

An accident doesn’t just happen without a cause. Ideally, if every person follows the rules, there won’t be an incident, thanks to the way our traffic laws and systems are set up (although it’s also important to keep your vehicle in top condition to avoid mechanical failure). To avoid being in an accident, you should know the dangers- the common reasons that accidents occur. Additionally, always practice defensive driving as other people might not follow the rules as well as you do. Let’s take a look at the most common reason one car smashes into something it’s not supposed to in Texas.  (more…)

Why does my car smell weird?

Friday, February 8th, 2019
A man and woman plug their nose due to a bad smell in a vehicle interior.

Bad Car Smells That Mean Trouble

If you smell something unpleasant in your car, don’t ignore it; it usually means there’s a larger issue at hand. Hanging up one of those little trees from the mirror might help you avoid the truth for a while, but eventually you’re going to need to face it. Plus, it could even be a health or safety hazard. Read on to find out our recommended course of action for various unwelcome odors. (more…)

Why Is My “Check Engine” Light On?

Friday, January 11th, 2019
A dirty white gloved hand working on a car engine.

More formally known as Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), the “check engine” light is primarily monitors a car’s emissions system. But according to Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing for Edmunds.com, “the engine and the emission control system are so interlinked that the health of the emission control system is a good indication of the general health of the car’s engine.”

With this in mind, resist that common human urge to ignore the light. If your Check Engine light is illuminated and doesn’t turn off on its own in a short period of time, it’s best to get it looked at promptly; especially if the light is flashing, which indicates a more serious problem. Below we have the five most common causes for an illuminated Check Engine light. (more…)