Spring Has Sprung in Irving

If the harsh Texas heat tends to keep you indoors near an air conditioner in summer, spring is the best time to make the most of the outdoors in DFW. When the last winter chill is gone, Irving celebrates the arrival of spring with a few events and festivals to get you out and about.

Dallas Blooms

Spring in Dallas

Image via Flickr by Big 3 News

(more…)

Can You Sell a Car With an Open Recall?

An alarming 46 million cars in the United States have an open recall that’s never been fixed, according to a report by Carfax. Electrical faults, overheating, defective airbags, and engine problems are common issues. The highly publicized Takata airbag debacle saw faulty airbags exploding and injuring over 100 people and causing the deaths of 11. It also put the spotlight on the issue of motor vehicle recalls.

How Do Open Recalls Impact Dealerships?

Can You Sell a Car With an Open Recall?

Image via Flickr by automobileitalia

(more…)

5 Green Cars for Irving Drivers

More and more people in Irving, Texas, are starting to invest in green cars. These vehicles have much less of an impact on the environment, meaning Irving’s beautiful surroundings won’t be spoiled in years to come by excess pollution. While green cars used to give you pretty poor mileage, all that has changed, thanks to the latest developments in energy-efficient technology. Because of that, you’ll find they are kind to your wallet as well as the planet.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

First up on our list is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a car that gets quite frankly incredible mileage — the equivalent of 126 mpg in the city and 99 mpg on the highway. That makes it a great option, whether you’re cruising through the streets of Irving or exploring some of the farther-flung parts of Texas. For just 90 cents per 25 miles, it’s extremely affordable to run, making it the perfect choice for those who want a green car on a budget.

Chevy Volt

Gas-powered cars use a huge amount of fuel for relatively little power. The Chevy Volt, on the other hand, uses an average equivalent of just 0.4 barrels of fuel per year. It also gets a pretty great mileage out of that low usage too. When operating in electric-only mode, you’ll get the equivalent of 94 mpg. Definitely not a figure to be sniffed at!

Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius - Green Cars for Irving Drivers

Image via Flickr by mariordo59

(more…)

The Cars That Flopped in 2016

As in any industry, product engineers don’t always get it right the first time. We’ve reviewed some of the lowest-selling cars in 2016, and considered which of their features were not well-liked by the public. Here are the cars that flopped in 2016, along with the possible reasons why.

Volkswagen Golf R-3947

The sleek and compact Volkswagen was well-liked in Europe but certainly had less success here in the US. Only 4,000 were sold here in 2016. Some complaints were about the price. More than likely, however, it’s a matter of competition: other cars in the industry were either too similar–while being lower in price–or just slightly more compelling.

Alfa Romeo 4C-457

Its engine roars loud enough to wake the neighbors, and it has dual-clutch transmission, too. Sounds great, right? Sadly, there were many overlooked problems that held back this suave ride from succeeding. In America, only 457 of them were sold. One reason could be that although it’s known as a supercar in training, it still has a 4-cylinder, turbocharged 1.7-litre engine, which puts it behind its competitors. Plus, it has a 42 mpg average fuel consumption, which is less than impressive.

Ford Fiesta

No car sold better in Europe than the Ford Fiesta. Therefore, it came as a surprise that it didn’t fit the bill elsewhere. 45,000 have been sold in the US, but that’s still low in comparison to Ford’s typical numbers, and especially given its sales abroad. What are the downsides of the Ford Fiesta? Firstly, it hasn’t been known to have the ideal resale value, so the public may assume that if they’re going to invest in a car, it is best to skip over the Fiesta and buy one they can change their minds about in the future. Also, there’s no all-wheel drive system, which can prove a problem for those who journey through snow and need all their wheels engaged.

Chevrolet SS

2016 Car Flops - Auto USA

Image via Flickr by ilikewaffles11

The Chevrolet SS looks beautiful, sleek, and steady. It has rear-wheel-drive and is V8 powered, making for an intense and efficient trip. It also sports six speeds and magnetic ride control. Still, it didn’t fare well last year in the US. One downside of the Chevrolet SS is that, despite its impressive force, it comes in sedan model only. Even though it’s a tempting automobile to have, there are no options for a sleeker look.

Mini Cooper

The sleek and sexy Mini Cooper has, in fact, grown in size over the years, mostly due to increased safety requirements worldwide. Unfortunately, it is still small enough to feature only two doors, which was its look in 2016. That being said, the chief complaint about this classy, tiny ride is its high cost of maintenance. Although the initial fee is reasonable, any trip to fix what’s broken can cost a bundle. Given that it’s smaller than most rides, many customers simply looked elsewhere. What makes a car sell well or poorly? As you can see, even the greatest car manufacturers can’t always predict that. These are some beautiful cars. Hopefully, despite their 2016 downturn, their upcoming models will take the US by storm.  

See Irving in Winter

Winters in Irving offer a wealth of activities that you can enjoy. From festive celebrations to cultural attractions, there’s something to entertain residents and visitors of all ages. Check out these winter picks.

Experience the 12 Days of Christmas

From November 6 through January 8, you can celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This exhibit is on view from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the regular daytime admission. The exhibit features elaborate gazebos standing 25 feet tall with music, characters, and animals that embody the spirit of each day of Christmas, from the bejeweled pear tree to the 12 drummers.

See the Trains at Northpark

The second level of Northpark Center features a stunning train display that runs from November 19 through January 8. These trains roll across 1,600 feet of track as they zip through miniature cityscapes of Dallas, New York City, the Grand Canyon, Route 66, and more. The exhibit covers more than 4,000 square feet. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and free for kids under two.

Catch a Dallas Stars Game

dallas_stars_hockey

Image via Flickr by texas_mustang

The Dallas Stars hockey team has a packed schedule for the winter season. You can catch it at home playing against the Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, and more. The Dallas Stars play at American Airlines Center, where you’ll find enough space for more than 18,000 hockey fans, including 112 luxury suites, 22 theater box suites, and two party suites for up to 50 people.

Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 15 at the Irving Arts Center. This annual observance highlights the achievements of this revolutionary man. It will include live musical performances, theatrical presentations, and a radio show tribute. Listen as pre-recorded radio callers receive answers to their important questions between excerpts from Dr. King’s speeches. The event begins at 6 p.m. and is free to the public.

Celebrate Frost Fest

The end of the holiday season doesn’t have to mean the end of winter fun. Irving’s Frost Fest takes place on January 28, with a host of exciting winter-themed activities to enjoy. Head to Cimarron Park between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to enjoy ice skating, train rides, and snow tubing. Stop by the petting zoo to say hello to the reindeer, or explore the park to find live characters from popular children’s movies. A giant snow globe makes the perfect spot for a family photo at this exciting event.

Enjoy First Friday at the Modern

When the weather is still a bit chilly, indoor activities are a welcome find in the Irving area. Head to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on the first Friday of the month for cocktails and live music performances. At 6:30, you can enjoy a 20-minute guided tour of the galleries for a deeper appreciation of the museum’s pieces. Hop in the car and head out to one of these area highlights to make your winter an unforgettable season in Irving.  

5 Aspects of Basic Car Maintenance

Owning or renting a vehicle requires responsibility. By completing simple tasks, you prevent major breakdowns from occurring that could cause extensive financial problems, harm to the auto, or worse, your passengers. Schedule time to inspect and maintain your automobile daily. It will only take you a total of a few minutes a day, and it will save you endless hours at the mechanic and thousands of dollars.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Checking Tire Pressure - Auto USA

Image via Flickr by State Farm

(more…)

A Teen’s Guide to Getting Your Driver’s License in Texas

Getting a driver’s license is a significant milestone in any teen’s life. But before celebrating by hitting the mall or your favorite drive-thru joint, you must understand Texas rules and regulations. All that legalese can be confusing, so we’ve taken out the jargon to create a simpler guide to getting your driver’s license.

Getting Your State of Texas Instruction Permit


As a teen, you must successfully complete two phases of driver education as part of the State of Texas Graduated Driver License Program. First, you’ll work toward the State of Texas Instruction Permit, commonly called a learner’s permit. You must be at least 15 with a completion certificate from an approved driver education course to qualify. (more…)

5 Great Cars for College Students in Irving

Everyone knows that college is hard financially, and luxury is anything above the minimum needed to survive. The problem is, sometimes a car is essential, especially if you don’t live or work on campus. The DART fares in Irving, Texas, can really start to add up, and public transportation isn’t always convenient. Affordability isn’t the only imperative reason when buying a vehicle, however. This list incorporates affordability and safety to help you find the car for you.

2007 Volvo S80


Although it’s the smallest of the vehicles on the list, the Volvo S80 has some of the best safety ratings. Bluetooth capabilities, heated seats and mirrors, and a built-in compass add to the comfort and benefits. It has a low price of only $5,800 but also has a lower gas mileage of 16 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway.

(more…)

The New Federal Laws on Autonomous Cars

As more and more automakers join the race to produce viable self-driving cars, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) realized a need to establish guidelines for these vehicles. Learn what this new autonomous car policy covers and how it keeps up with the pace of technological development.

Why the DOT and NHTSA Accelerated Their Timeline

Only a few short years ago, the NHTSA director stated that basic guidelines issued in 2013 would direct the development of autonomous vehicles for at least the subsequent decade. After several automakers made rapid advances in this field, however, the DOT and the NHTSA accelerated their proposed timeline quickly. The agencies began developing more concrete policies in early 2016 and announced guidance for autonomous vehicle development and deployment in September 2016.

What the Autonomous Vehicle Policy Covers

Autonomous Vehicle Policy - Auto USA in Dallas

Image via Flickr by Melody Kramer

The new federal policy lays out guidelines for the design and distribution of self-driving cars. These four-part guidelines highlight distinct areas.

Vehicle Performance

These guidelines are geared toward automakers, tech companies, and other developers. They include a 15-point safety assessment that outlines methods for designing, testing, and releasing highly automated vehicles (HAVs). The agencies request that manufacturers sign and adhere to this assessment in order to ensure that automated vehicles are safe for public roadways.

State Policy

While the NHTSA has provided federal guidelines for vehicle development and deployment, states will continue to regulate licensing and other local concerns. Along those lines, several states have already enacted autonomous vehicle legislation. For example, a gubernatorial order in Arizona established a Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee, while Virginia’s governor has announced a research partnership and the creation of automated corridors.

Existing Regulatory Tools

The policy covers several existing tools that the NHTSA can deploy to ensure the safe development of self-driving cars. These regulations enable the agency to prevent unsafe automated vehicles from using public roads.

New Regulatory Tools

Finally, the policy addresses new tools that the NHTSA could devise to keep automated vehicles safe as they continue to evolve. These could include encouraging the development of lifesaving technology and creating standards for more revolutionary automated designs.

How Autonomous Cars Could Change the Future of Driving

The primary reason that the DOT and the NHTSA fast-tracked their autonomous vehicle policy is that this technology could alter the future of driving substantially. The agencies have proposed that thoroughly tested and thoughtfully deployed autonomous vehicles could significantly improve driving across the nation. Self-driving vehicles could also lend greater mobility to elderly and disabled people as well as lower the cost of transportation for families from coast to coast. With more efficient vehicles and less road congestion, autonomous cars could even pave the way for more sustainable transit options. While the DOT and NHTSA guidelines cover several aspects of autonomous vehicles, the agencies still have extensive work to do. They intend to solicit feedback regarding the new guidelines, release best practices for autonomous vehicle cybersecurity, and work with cities across the country to launch initiatives that reshape the future of transportation.  

4 Vehicles That Will Keep You Comfortable in Dallas Traffic

While Dallas has many wonderful traits, neither visitor nor citizen has ever gushed over sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the city’s highways. While the traffic can sometimes seem to go on forever, modern vehicles have enough comfort and entertainment built in to you keep you comfortable during touch-and-go traffic. We’ve listed our four favorite vehicles to keep you and your passengers as comfortable as possible — read on to discover our favorites!

Hyundai Elantra


Hyundai Elantra - Auto USA

Image via Flickr by RL GNZLZ

(more…)