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October Doesn't Have to be Scary with these Fun and Helpful Tips from AskPatty

Published Oct 6th 2016, 6:00am by Brandy A. Schaffels in Featured Articles

AskPatty-Halloween-doesnt-have-to-be-scaryOctober is our favorite time of year! Yummy pumpkin recipes abound! Nature’s color palette warms up to our favorite shades of gold, orange, and red, and the weather changes from summer’s blistering heat to more comfortable temperatures before winter arrives.

But October’s also known for Halloween hijinks, with witches and ghosts hiding in scary dark corners! Don’t worry: AskPatty has identified some scary automotive goblins, and we’re sharing some tips to make them less scary.

Whether you’re shopping for a new car, selling a used car, trying to decipher dashboard lights, or understand squeaky brake sounds and creepy car noises, we’ve got tips here to make those things less scary!


AskPatty-01-Buying_a_New_Car_Can_Be_ScaryBuying a New Car Can Be Scary

It doesn't have to be! You can save yourself both time and money at the AskPatty Auto Buying Service, where you can research new and used vehicles and request a Guaranteed Savings Certificate from your Certified Dealer to get your negotiation-free Guaranteed Savings (available in most states) and streamline the buying process.

We’re hoping this free service will change the way you feel about car buying so you can enjoy the great parts and excitement when shopping for a new car.

Here are just a few of the benefits of the free AskPatty Auto Buying Service:

• Guaranteed Savings:
Get your Guaranteed Savings (available in most states) on new cars or view dealer-guaranteed prices on used cars before even visiting a dealer. Savings also apply to leasing and there is no obligation to buy.

• Powerful Research Tools:
Access free unlimited Price Reports, plus compare features, see pictures, and read reviews.

• Incentives Built In:
No more searching around for incentives, applicable incentives are listed for each vehicle and included on your Certificate.

• Trusted Dealer Network:
Prescreened dealers are dedicated to a high level of customer service so you can enjoy a better car buying experience.

• Great Savings:
Our users have saved an average of $3,279 off MSRP

See the AskPatty Auto Buying Service for more details.

On top of this, when you use the AskPatty Auto Buying Service, and purchase through a Program Dealer, you are eligible for Buyer's Bonus benefits at no additional cost.

• Auto Repair Expense Reimbursement:
Reimburses 20% of the payment, if any, made to repair the vehicle purchased through the car buying program. Covers up to a $500 reimbursement on repair (parts included) two times a year (service not available in New Hampshire or New York). AskPatty buyers can go to any Certified Female Friendly location for repairs, the program is not limited to any particular network.  The Buyer’s Bonus package is administered by Cynosure, which handles the claims and payments.

• Auto Deductible Reimbursement:
Reimburses what you've paid, if anything, for your insurance deductible when you file a claim. Covers up to $500 two times a year (service not available in New Hampshire or New York).

• Auto Expert Opinion:
Talk directly to a mechanic to discuss questions you might have on recommended repairs and cost, sounds your car is making, etc. Unlimited use.

Learn more about these additional benefits here at AskPatty.


AskPatty-02-Selling_a_USED_Car_Can_Be_Scary-02Selling a USED Car Can Be Scary

Have you decided that it’s time to part ways with your beloved (or not so beloved) used car?

Perhaps you're ready to get into something better or maybe you’re moving and you just can’t take it with you. Whatever your reason, there are a few things you’ll want to know as you’re getting ready to sell your car.

Start your research online and gather objective data about its value. Next you'll want to decide whether to trade your car in to a dealer or sell it to a private party. Finally, you'll want to gather all the important paperwork you need to make the sale, including maintenance records, warranty information, bill of sale, an “as is” statement, and a release of liability form.

Check out our blog that shares helpful tips to help you sell your used car here at AskPatty. Remember, you can easily ruin your chances for success if you post scary photos of your car. It doesn't matter how great your car actually looks in real life, if you want to attract a buyer for your car, you need to ensure your photos look great. Be mindful when posting photos of your car, and if you need guidance, check out our blog on how NOT to sell your car!


AskPatty-03-Getting_a_Flat_Tire_is_Scary-03Getting a Flat Tire is Scary

A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of drivers on the road today have experienced a flat tire, and the majority of Americans (68 percent) indicated that changing a tire on the side of a busy road is the biggest safety hazard of a flat tire.

Even if you have a roadside assistance program, it's always a good idea to practice changing a tire, so you're prepared in case of emergency.

Traditional automotive maintenance recommendations suggest changing all four tires at once when they reach the end of their useful life. But sometimes, a driver may only be able to change two; when that happens, where do you install the better pair?

Do new tires go in the front or rear? Find out more here at AskPatty.


AskPatty-04-The_TPMS_light_is_Scary-04The TPMS light is Scary

Do you know what this dashboard light means? It is your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) telling you that one (or more) of your tires is dangerously under-inflated.

If you see the light, don't be scared! But you should make an immediate effort to check the pressure in all four tires manually using a tire pressure gauge, or swing by a local tire shop and ask them to check it for you. Many shops, including Firestone Tire and Auto, will perform this service for you and inflate them to their correct pressure as a courtesy.

Under-inflated tires are estimated to cause thousands of car crashes and hundreds of deaths each year, yet 42 percent of drivers still can’t identify the TPMS vehicle dashboard icon, and 1 in 10 surveyed admit to having intentionally ignored a TPMS warning and continued to drive.

Don't be scared! AskPatty is reminding you that it’s important to regularly check your tire pressure and review your tires’ wear so that you can keep your car -- and your passengers -- at their safest.

Find out more about your Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) here at AskPatty.


AskPatty-05-Check_Engine_Light_is_Scary-05Check Engine Light is Scary

One of the most vital components to a properly functioning vehicle is the 'Check Engine' light. It alerts the driver to a variety of potential problems based on the vehicle's onboard diagnostic system, and can seem like one of the most mysterious lights on your dashboard. When the 'Check Engine' light comes on, it means that some system in your vehicle, including ignition, fuel injection or emission control, is not operating at peak performance, even if your vehicle appears to you to be running normally. The warning light generally indicates that the engine management computer has detected a malfunctioning fuel, emissions component, or a system failure.

Don't be scared if you see the light: According to the Car Care Council, a glowing 'Check Engine' light doesn't mean you have to immediately pull the car over to the side of the road, but it does mean you should get the car checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring the warning light could severely damage engine components and incur additional repair expenses.

Learn what to do if your check engine light comes on here at AskPatty


AskPatty-06-Headlight_Out_Is_Scary-06Headlight Out Is Scary

Did you know? October is Headlight Safety Month! The seasons are changing and days are growing shorter so it's especially important that we all ensure our cars are safe and visible before setting our clocks back on Sunday, November 6. This is particularly relevant because according to statistics from the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council, limited visibility is a factor in 2.8 million accidents, 23,000 fatal crashes, and 2,300 pedestrian deaths!

Don't drive at night with a headlight out! It's not scary to replace a headlight bulb yourself, and replacement bulbs are easily found at your dealership or local auto supply store.

Learn more about Headlight Safety here at AskPatty


AskPatty-07-Squeaky_Brakes_and_Creepy_Car_Noises_Are_Scary-07Squeaky Brakes and Creepy Car Noises Are Scary

While wary ears may be scanning for the spooky sounds of Halloween this time of year, the sounds coming from beneath your hood should be taken just as seriously. While it's not likely that your car is possessed, invistigating these sounds right away can keep a truly terrifying maintenance bill out of your future. Whether its squeaking, grinding, whirring or screeching, read this guide to understanding the sounds your car makes, so you won't be spooked by creepy car noises.

When it comes to driving safely, it's easy to take your vehicle's ability to stop for granted - until you really need it. Your brakes can tell you a lot, if you'll just listen carefully to what they're saying when they squeak, squeal, or groan.

Sometimes, brake squeaking simply indicates your pads are worn down and their squeaking wear indicators are doing their job. Other times, these sounds are telling you something important. Listen carefully to what your brakes are telling you when they your brakes when they make noise, pull, judder, or feel soft. Addressing these symptoms promptly enhances your safety and may save time and money in the long run. 


AskPatty-08-Getting_into_a_Fender_Bender_Is_Scary-08Getting into a Fender Bender Is Scary

Don't be scared, be prepared! During the minutes after a crash, it can be hard to think logically and calmly. The most common mistake is not collecting the right information, so let us teach you what you need to know in case of a fender bender. Read our guide so you will know ahead of time what to do to stay calm and reduce your stress after a fender bender or a major car accident.


There’s nothing more stressful than getting in a car accident and then having to deal with the fallout with the insurance agents later, but you don't have to be scared! Our attorney's guide to talking to insurance agents after an accident will walk you through the things you need to know after an accident. Remember that it’s the insurance agent’s job to help you, so be prepared, and take it easy.


AskPatty-10-Halloween_Trick_or_Treating_Is_Fun-10Halloween Trick-or-Treating Is Fun!

According to and the CDC, children are more than four times as likely to be killed by a car while trick-or-treating on Halloween night than at any other time of the year. Halloween is a dangerous night, but it doesn't mean you should be scared to let your kids out of the house as long as you help them  understand how to be a safe pedestrian.

Halloween is a lot of fun for the kidlets, but be sure to review these important pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children:

  • Look both ways before crossing the street. (Ideally, you should look right, left, and then right again.)
  • Only cross at street corners, stoplights or crosswalks. Never cross against a green (or yellow) light.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a stopped car and wait for them to wave you on. Stick to the sidewalk between houses. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
  • Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.

We've got even more Halloween trick-or-treating safety tips for both pedestrians and drivers here at AskPatty.


AskPatty-09-Drunk_Driving_Is_Scary-09Drunk Driving Is Scary

We're deadly serious on this one: Don't even think about getting behind the wheel if you've been drinking! Even just one drink can be enough to impair your driving and lead to devastating consequences.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

Of those, 6,391 were drunk drivers and the rest were either their passengers or other innocent people they hit (1,511 were their passengers, 1,241 were occupants of other vehicles, and 824 were pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonoccupants). More than two-thirds (64 percent) involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. If you can’t do math in your head, that’s 6,391 deaths directly attributable to so much celebrating as to be over the national legal limit.


If you plan on celebrating with your ghoulfriends this Halloween, please be responsible!  Hand over the keys, call a cab, or get a designated driver.




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