Summer Road Trip Tips

Summer Road Trip Tips

Ahh Summer, the perfect time to gather friends or family up and head out on an adventure! Let’s go over some hacks and tips to help keep your trip stress free, whether you are traveling with children or just a group of friends, these hacks are sure to help out!

Grocery Shop Before You Leave

You may be thinking, why on earth would I shop and fill my house with groceries before we leave on a trip!? These groceries are not for your home! Go shopping for some essentials, water, bread, cheese, lunch meat, and snacks, and toss them into a cooler in the car! This will help save money on convenience store snack runs! And probably be healthier too!

Invest in a 5 Port Charger

End the age-old game of taking turns/fighting over the one or two charger ports your vehicle has. A 5 port charger can plug into one spot and supply 5 people with juice! Everyone is happy!

Set the Cruise

Whenever possible set your cruise control to help you save fuel. The slight fluctuations your foot makes can eat up much-needed fuel! Plus this helps with foot fatigue as well!

Cupcake Liners

While you are out shopping for groceries for your trip, pick up some silicone cupcake liners. No, you won’t be baking with these, well you could just be sure to pick up some extra for your car! Slip these liners into your cup holders and voila, you have an easy to clean solution for the always gross drink holders! This also keeps your car ones nice and clean!

Shower Caddy

Undoubtedly you will be stopping along the way and grabbing some drive-thru grub. If you have children, or even adults traveling with you, use a shower caddy to hold the fast food! These help to keep things contained and can be used to store many other car trip items as well! You can even put one in your trunk to store vehicle essentials such as oil, cleaners, funnels, etc. You can also use fishing bait, or craft storage containers, with the multiple cubbies, to fill with snacks for little fingers!

Tablet as a TV

If you have a tablet laying around, download some movies onto it while you are on your home’s wifi and then you can affix it to the headrest, or passenger visor for a makeshift portable TV!

First Aid and Car Sick Kit

This is a great thing to have handy, especially if you have little ones traveling with you. Just think, little Timmy gets car sick and loses his lunch all over the seat, no rest stops, no gas stations, what do you do!? Just by tossing some cleaning cloths and medicine in a baggie, you can be sure to handle this situation like a boss! First aid kits are great for any time, not just road trips, either invest in a pre-made kit or just toss some essentials into a bag and keep it in the trunk.

Download Apps

You may want to download some map apps, fuel apps, and even bring a paper map with you in case you have no service! The apps can help you find nearby food, rest stops, hotels, stores or fuel as well as help you get where you are going. Fuel apps can also help you find fuel but helps you find the cheapest station!

Spring Cleaning Your Ride

Spring Cleaning Your Ride

Let’s face it, sometimes our cars get a little overwhelmed with our busy lives! Many of us spend a good portion of our time in our cars, so keeping them clean and tidy will help add some organization to your busy life.

Let’s Start with the Exterior

When it comes to cleaning the outside of your vehicle, many of us just run it through a car wash. Which is fine, but every now and again you will want to give it a good once over yourself, that way you can look for any blemishes or spots that will need attention later on. You will also get a better clean by hand washing it. If you opt for the automatic car wash, make sure to try to use one that has an undercarriage wash, especially if you are in a climate that uses harsh chemicals on the roadways. Getting those rinsed off will help save the underside of your ride.

Here are some tips to help you streamline hand washing your ride.

  • Get the tires clean, use a scrub brush and get in there! Remember brake debris and road grime like to hide in your wheels, plus who doesn’t want clean shiny wheels?!
  • Rinse the car off, then use a two bucket method (if you are bucket washing) use one for clean soapy water and one for dirty water. Make sure you use a carwash product that is made for automobiles, make sure to read the label as well to see if there are any limitations on the product.
  • Get a good sponge and wipe the soapy clean water mix all over the damp exterior, making sure to get the top and in the fender wells.
  • When it is time to rinse, make sure you rinse from the top down , this is a much quicker way than chasing soap all over the car.
  • When drying your car, make sure to use a soft microfiber cloth or a cloth meant for this job. It helps absorb the water to prevent water spots as well as helps polish. You can add a wax product now if you want, just make sure to read the label as they all have different application methods.

Now for the Interior

You will want to get everything out of your vehicle before you start cleaning; floor mats, car seats, toys, trash, etc.

  • Depending on the type of material your interior is, you will want to find an automotive product that fits your needs. They make leather specific, fabric, shine, or a general cleaning product as well. Just make sure you get the right type for your application. Use that product on your dash, doors, armrests and steering wheel.
  • Getting a can of compressed air can help you get debris from the nooks and crannies, or you can use a detail brush.
  • If you leave the seats and floors for last, you won’t have to sit on a wet seat or track dirt onto your clean floors while you are working on the rest.
  • Starting from the top of your dash down, clean your screens (your vehicle may have come with a cleaning cloth for this), radio, buttons, and anything else until you are at the console where you will clean cup holders, shift knob, etc.
  • Now it is time for the seats. Vacuum them to get loose dirt off and to look for stains that may need further attention. Make sure to use a product made for this purpose. The idea is to use as little moisture as possible while still getting the area clean.
  • Now vacuum everything! Yes, even the seats you already cleaned, just in case you loosened any debris while scrubbing them clean. Plus it helps them dry.
  • Don’t forget the windows! Using a good window cleaner will help you see things a little better here!
  • Clean the floor mats that you removed, you don’t want to use a shine product on these, even if they look better with it, because it can get slippery if they get wet again. Same goes for foot pedals, you don’t want your foot slipping off of those!

Now you can put the essentials you removed back into your vehicle, and hopefully, enjoy the cleanliness of your ride for a few weeks!

Tips for Staying Organized

There are many products out there that help keep you organized while in the car. You will want to see what is available for your specific need, such as a cargo area storage bin for the back of an SUV, or a headrest rear seat organizer. All of these types of products help keep things where they should be and off of your floor!

If you have a lot of trash you collect in your ride over time, invest in a car trash can, plastic grocery bag, or a storage container with a lid that can sit in the console or on the floorboard to keep trash contained.

Organize your glove compartment! Have you ever got pulled over and ended up dumping the entire contents of your glove box on to the passenger seat looking for your registration and insurance card? No? Just me?! Get a receipt folio to help keep receipts, registration, insurance cards, etc all readily available.

What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference?

SUV or Crossover?

Is this your next family car? Most people consider SUVs or crossovers and maybe you’ve wondered, what’s the difference? Why are some models called Crossovers while others are known as SUVs? Aren’t they all the same?

The Frame Game Makes The Difference

For many car experts, the difference between the two is simple: A crossover is based on a car’s platform, while an SUV uses the chassis similar to a truck. The result is that crossovers use “unibody” architecture, meaning the body and frame are one piece, while SUVs use a “body on frame” design. In that case, the body is built separately from the frame and placed together later.

Here’s Where It Gets a Bit Tricky

While that definition is strictly true, it doesn’t always work in practice. For example, many shoppers refer to car-based, unibody vehicles as SUVs even though they’re crossovers by our definition. How often, for example, do you hear the Ford Explorer called an SUV? Or the Toyota Highlander? Or the Jeep Grand Cherokee? All use a car-based unibody design, despite their appearance and marketing vs. an Escalade or Tahoe for that sit on Full Frame construction. The new 2020 Bronco is scheduled for Full Frame.


The result is that the term “SUV” Sport Utility Vehicle is often applied to both Crossovers and SUVs. In the past, that was even more common. Before, “SUV” brought up negative associations with large size and poor gas mileage. That’s when many automakers started using the term “Crossover” to describe a vehicle that was “crossing over” from the practicality of an SUV to the drivability and fuel efficiency of a car. 

So, When Is It An SUV?

If you’re unsure whether your vehicle of choice uses a car-based unibody design or body-on-frame construction, the safest bet is to use the term “SUV.” That acronym is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance, so you’ll probably be safe. However, some Manufacturers today are making Front Wheel Drive SUV’s and calling them both Crossovers or SUV’s to complicate what you might know today. Then you have raised height AWD Cars and Wagons that can climb hills, jump dunes, or take you the back way to Grandmas house in a Blizzard. Not sure, just ask us and we will help!


For years, automakers cut costs by simply mounting different body designs over the same frame. Today, very few vehicles (aside from heavy-duty commercial vehicles, trucks, off-road vehicles, and some large SUVs) still use body-on-frame construction. This method allows for greater torsional flexing, preferred in off-road vehicles, and it can be more easily repaired, which is helpful for fleets. Traditional SUVs with body-on-frame construction are excellent for towing and hold a trailer with ease.

What Are Your Needs?

If you are looking for a large vehicle, or priorities include towing or off-roading, a traditional SUV may be a good fit. Also, if you are a consumer that prefers Trucks over Cars, an SUV would be a good choice. Otherwise, there is a myriad of options available in the Crossover segment that will fit almost every need while providing better safety and fuel-efficiency. Some people just like sitting a little higher in traffic and thats enough to seal the deal.

Spring Cleaning Just Ahead

Don’t Forget About Your Vehicle This Spring Cleaning Season

Friday, March 30th, 2018
Guess what time it is? Spring Cleaning Season! Here at Dallas Lease Returns, we know that you may have multiple projects going on, so we’re here to remind you about your car or truck!To ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape, we ask that you take a few moments each week to perform the following checks!

Trust us, this can save you from costly vehicle repairs and may also save your life.

Watch Out for Your Engine

Overheating, especially in hot weather, is the leading cause of preventable breakdowns and one of the main areas where prevention is much cheaper than the cure.

Trust us, your wallet does not want to replace a fried engine. If your antifreeze is more than a couple of years old, play it safe and replace it. Adding a coolant to your radiator also may reduce engine temperature by as much as 30 degrees and help condition seals to prevent leaks.

Maintain Your Fluids

Fluid levels are key! Check and top off all fluid levels, including engine oil, transmission, cooling system, power steering, brake fluid and washer fluid. These are what keep your car running, they are are the lifeblood of it! Purchasing high-quality fluids and regularly changing old fluids will improve your car’s performance and reliability.

Look at Your Tires

All tires should be properly inflated, including the spare tire. The sidewall of your tire will list its proper pressure level. Correctly inflated tires increase gas mileage, lengthen tire life and are much less susceptible to blow-outs.

Upgrade Your Oil

Another way to reduce engine heat is to upgrade to high-performance, synthetic motor oil. Synthetic motor oils reduce engine heat by dispersing the heat faster and having a lower coefficient of friction than mineral-based motor oils.

Check Your Belts

A worn or loose belt can cause the engine to overheat. A cracked belt or a hose that is unusually soft or hard needs replacement. Make sure hose clamps are tight and check the ends for cracks or corrosion. Extreme heat can often cause leaks and other damage, so keep an eye out for hard, blistered or spongy hoses. If any of these warning signs are present, replace the hoses immediately. It is also a good idea to keep spare belts in your trunk.

These spring cleaning tips will not only get your ready for the Texas summer, but they will also increase the life of your vehicle! If you’re tired of the car you do have, come trade it in! We have an awesome inventory full of great quality used cars! For more information, visit our website or call 214-960-1388 today!