Electric golf carts have become the most fun, popular mode of transportation for locals at home and on vacation, not just on the golf course but also on main roadways within cities, around beaches, and even on farms. While these electric vehicles offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around, safety should always be a top priority. In this Ask Mike edition, we will explore some essential precautions that can help operators avoid injury and property damage when using electric golf carts in various settings.


  1. Familiarize Yourself with Local Regulations:

Before venturing out onto public roads, beaches, or even just around the corner, it’s crucial to research and understand the local regulations governing electric golf cart usage. Many areas have specific rules and speed limits for these vehicles, and compliance with these regulations is essential for safety.


  1. Always Wear Seatbelts:

Safety gear isn’t just for motorcycles or automobiles. Wearing seatbelts can significantly reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident, especially on rough terrain, uneven pavement or crowded roadways. Buckle up! 


  1. Maintain Your Golf Cart:

Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your electric golf cart operates safely. Although our carts are maintenance free, it’s a good idea to give your cart a thorough checkup from time to time as you would any vehicle. Check the brakes, tires, lights, electrical connections, and steering regularly. Keep the cart’s batteries charged but never leave your cart plugged in overnight. Replace them as needed to avoid sudden power failures or mechanical malfunctions.


LEARN MORE ABOUT ELECTRIC CARTS in Ask Mike’s April 20th Edition


  1. Use Proper Signaling and Lighting:

Whether on city streets, at the ocean or lakefront, always use turn signals and headlights when driving your golf cart in low-light conditions or when making turns. Proper signaling helps other drivers and pedestrians anticipate your actions, get it into a habit. 


  1. Be Cautious on Main Roadways:

When using your golf cart on main roadways, be aware of the surrounding traffic. Keep to the right, obey traffic signals, and avoid abrupt lane changes or sudden stops. If the roadway or traffic seems questionable, use your better judgment. Respect the speed limits and yield to faster-moving vehicles.  


  1. Stay Off Busy Highways:

Electric golf carts are not designed for high-speed travel. Avoid using them on highways or busy roads where they can pose a danger to both you and other drivers. A golf cart may only operate on a secondary highway or street for which the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less.


  1. Mind the Terrain:

In some areas where you and your cart may venture, you could encounter uneven challenging terrain. Slow down when navigating rough terrain and be cautious of steep slopes or loose sand. Quick, sharp turns with unbalanced cargo could cause an accident harming you and others, as well as your cart. Stay within the recommended speed limits and use common sense when cruising.


  1. Respect Pedestrians and Wildlife:

When driving near beaches, crowded streets or through rural areas, be mindful of pedestrians and wildlife. Slow down or stop when necessary to avoid accidents. Protect others and the environment.


  1. Secure Your Cart When Not in Use:

Prevent theft or unauthorized use by removing your carts key and securely storing or locking your golf cart when not in use. This precaution can also prevent accidents involving unsupervised children.


  1. Educate Passengers:

If you have passengers on your electric golf cart, ensure they also understand the importance of proper operation, safety rules, and proper behavior during the ride.


Electric golf carts are a convenient and eco-friendly means of transportation, but they require responsible use to ensure safety on main roadways within cities, around beaches, waterfronts, and even on farms. By following these precautions and respecting local regulations, you can enjoy the benefits of your carts while minimizing the risks of injury and property damage in 2023 and beyond. We love our carts, follow these best practices people and stay safe.


 Which TM Auto Cart is Best for You? I have a cart for most any budget and lifestyle. How do you plan to enjoy yours!   

Call TM Auto and I’ll get you cruising!

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, let me show you how easy a cart buying experience can be. 



Today, there are more than 2 million carts in the US

They can be found on golf courses, resort towns, and even on the streets of major cities. You must have noticed all the golf carts zooming around these days! From the farm to the beach, carts are taking over. It’s become the fastest growing local transportation and everybody wants one! So what’s the big deal? I mean it’s just a golf cart right? No.. this is not your typical golf cart. CARTS have come a long way and they’re here to stay. 



I don’t play golf, but I love my golf cart and its many uses! Our family began using a cart on camping trips, then on college campuses, and soon we were taking it to the beach. With gas prices constantly testing our limits and parking lots getting smaller everyday, it’s a relief to scoot around town on a charge and park just about anywhere! You may not realize what carts are capable of today. I’m sure you can dream up a few other uses in addition to these! 


  • Transportation to outbuildings, stables, and swimming pools.
  • College campus transport/security patrols.
  • Farm and commercial property maintenance.
  • Gardening and spreading mulch.
  • Off-road vacation property and camp ground vehicle.
  • Cardio and lower extremity limitations or disability transport.



The first electric golf cart was manufactured in 1932, that’s right they’re not a new thing but… they’ve been continually upgraded ever since and offer loads of benefits! Today, electric golf carts produce zero emissions, they’re an eco-friendly, sustainable alternative to gas-power, and they have STYLE. Do your part to lower greenhouse gasses and pollution without breaking the bank. 

Driving a golf cart can be easier than trying to navigate a full-size car or truck to the beach. Many beach towns and beaches are golf cart friendly and it’s easy to find a space to park them. While it might have taken you half an hour or more to get your whole crew down to the beach while walking from a hotel or cottage, it’ll take only a few minutes with a golf cart. Oh, and you and your crew are out of the sun! Surfboards, coolers, toys, and towels all pack up easily. Get all your gear to and from the beach in the shade while enjoying the breeze. 

Gas prices? Forget about it, we simply plug in where ever we go and charge while we hangout! No smelly fumes, no noisy engine, and best of all… no gas prices.



Is it time for an electric cart in your driveway? Everyone agrees, golf carts are fun, on top of all the obvious benefits there are a couple more! Electric carts are quieter than gas, produce no emissions, and are more affordable than gas carts due to the gas powered cart’s repairs and maintenance expenses. No gas prices or smell make electric carts the obvious alternative. EV technology is cool like that, just plug them into a 110 outlet for a few hours and roll. Freedom to travel lite, inexpensively, almost anywhere, and yes… get a parking spot while everyone else circles like vultures lol!  



Q: Top speed for TM Auto EVOLUTION carts? 

TM Auto: 25 mph


Q: Do I need a driver’s license to operate a golf cart on public roadways? 

TM Auto: The driver must be 16 or older and have a valid driver’s license. 


Q: What makes a golf cart street legal in VA?

TM Auto: The standard requires low-speed vehicles have a “Low Speed Vehicle License Plate” displayed and to be equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, mirrors, windshields, seat belts, and vehicle identification numbers when traveling. In addition, DOT windshield and seat belts are required.


Q: Reasonable distance on a full charge? 

TM Auto: Rated for 15-20 miles


Q: Battery life? 

TM Auto: 15 years 


Q: Where can I charge? 

TM Auto: Any 110 outlet, but an extension cord can’t be used to charge your cart. 


Q: How long does it take to fully charge? 

TM Auto: 4 hours from 48% to full, 6hrs give or take for a full charge. Ask Mike for details


Q: Will terrain change my cart’s battery life and performance? 

TM Auto: Yes, ask Mike for details


Q: Does air temperature affect the battery performance? 

TM Auto: May affect performance depending on how low the temperature is. Won’t charge if the cart is below freezing, must be in a warm environment. 


Q: There are several battery options, what are the primary differences?

TM Auto: Size matters, twice the battery means more travel time\ distance. A model 205 will last quite a long time and is often used for commercial applications. Ask Mike for details. 


Q: Will different batteries change the cost of my cart? 

TM Auto: Yes


Q: Are there reasons to own a gas cart vs an electric cart?

TM Auto: Gas powered carts tend to pull heavier loads, run faster, and its quicker to refill the tank.


Q: Are there reasons not to own a gas powered golf cart vs an electric cart?

TM Auto: Excessive carbon footprint due to fuel, smell, noise, cost more due to repairs and regular maintenance. Read my article on EV’s here! Electric Cars – Friend of Foe


Q: Can I custom order my cart from TM Auto or only pick from TM Auto In-stock carts? 

TM Auto: Either, ask Mike for more details. 


Q: Are the weather enclosures easy to install, do they work well? 

TM Auto: They take a bit of time to properly install, not the quick solution to bad weather. 


Q: Are stereo’s stock in all TM carts? 

TM Auto: No


Q: Maintenance? 

TM Auto: None 


Q: Warranty info? 

TM Auto: Battery comes with a factory 5 year warranty and your cart has a 2 year.  Carts are test driven and given a thorough inspection before delivery. 


Q: Is financing available? 

TM Auto: Yes, ask Mike for details. 


Q: Accessories? 

TM Auto: Lots, ask Mike about all of your options. 


Q: TM Auto cart delivery process? 

TM Auto: We Deliver! Carts can be delivered with license plates or no license plates. 


Q: Which TM Auto Cart is Best for You? 

TM Auto: I have a cart for most any budget and lifestyle. How do you plan to enjoy yours!   

Call TM Auto and I’ll get you driving!

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, let me show you how easy a cart buying experience can be. 



Pendleton Bia California Business Journal “3 Things To Consider When Buying A Golf Cart” https:// www.calbizjournal.com Web. Retrieved from:   https://calbizjournal.com/3-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-golf-cart/#:~:text=A%20golf%20cart%20is%20a,what%20you%20are%20looking%20for.

Marose Tim “Gas Cart vs Electric Cart – Which Is Better” PUBLISHED/UPDATED: MAR 9, 2023 Web. Retrieved from: https://aecinfo.org/gas-vs-electric-golf-cart

revel42.com “Why You Should Rent A Golf Cart For Your Next Vacation” www.revel42.com PUBLISHED: FEB 4, 2021 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.revel42.com/blog/why-you-should-rent-a-golf-cart-for-your-next-beach-vacation–31406#:~:text=It’s%20Easier%20%26%20Faster%20to%20Get,a%20space%20to%20park%20them.


When your customer asks the question, how do I decide what to buy? It’s go time, this is kind of what we car dealers love! Recently I had the opportunity to share my insight with a first time buyer. One of the perks of being in this business for over 16 years is experience, so I jumped at the opportunity. For first time buyers this is a huge event and can be stressful. The more equipped they are today, the better! 




At 27 they had driven their current car, new in 2015, to 4 years of instate college, used it for work across the entire eastern seaboard, to their new home over 1500 miles away, and now shared it with their spouse. It was a gift so they had not made payments nor established credit through an auto loan. A couple things were clear to me. Their car had been maintained relatively well to keep up with their pace and they’re decision to begin looking was most likely a good one 🙂 

First, I told them that their car appeared to have been a good one so… I had a few questions for them before offering my expert opinion. Establishing if they “need” a new car is a good place to start and gives me some idea of what their next car should be. 


How many miles does your current car have on it? 

Have you properly maintained it? 

Is it failing in some way? 


The answer to whether they needed to begin their search for an upgrade became clear. They had driven it 150 ‘000 miles. Their maintenance was “so-so” and several parts had started to fail, all expensive ones! 



The “need or want” process is an important part of being a successful and reputable car dealer, don’t sell them what they don’t need. Next, if it’s a need, provide the best options possible. There are some basic guidelines for establishing where to begin the search and why it could be time.  I knew from experience that their car was not known for performing well with high mileage so they were flirting with disaster. Poor maintenance means anything could fail from this point on. After further discussion it appeared they were not equipped to afford expensive repairs or the cost of a NEW car payment. 



How far is your daily commute?

Do you have cargo or just yourselves? 

Will you be towing? 

Are you a “point A to point B” or a “enjoy driving” person?

Fuel type? (Diesel, Gas, Electric)

Space costs extra, really need more? 

Plan to improve your maintenance practices or not? 

Cost of insurance?

What is your budget? Be honest


Where To Buy Options 

Within the first year of owning a new car, it could be worth 20% less than what you paid the dealership. Within 5-6 years it may be worth just 60% of its original value. So used cars have an obvious appeal to value / cost conscious customers. There are a couple of options. 


Buy from a dealership ~ Safer 

Buy from a private seller ~ Cheaper 


Why the dealer option is better for first time buyers. The main reason is that dealerships are responsible for disclosing problems the vehicle might have or repairing those issues before selling it. By providing a Carfax the buyer gets the facts. 

Buying from a private seller can be a little cheaper but no disclosure is required, buyer beware. Find the most reputable dealer who is willing to work with you on financing and you’re off to a good start. 




Cash down always helps negotiate a better interest rate which will provide a better monthly payment for a shorter time. Buyers may even negotiate on a longer term loan option with lower rates. By making regular monthly payments on time, credit is established for next time! If the dealer can’t provide a suitable load scenario, your neighborhood bank may be able to help. This is another way of building a credit history and a strong credit relationship. 


Don’t Be Scared, Be Educated 

When it comes to making a first time purchase of any kind it’s a little scary, it’s perfectly normal for a first time buyer to be apprehensive about purchasing their first car. The smart shopper does homework first and reaps the benefits. 

Have questions? I have answers, give TM Auto a call and let’s get you driving!

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, let me show you how easy a car buying experience can be. 



Joe D’ Allegro “Thinking about buying a car? Here’s what auto experts say you need to know” www.cnbc.com PUBLISHED: APR 9, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/09/thinking-about-buying-a-car-heres-what-experts-say-you-need-to-know.html 

“First time car buyer’s guide: What to know before you buy” www.pnc.com PUBLISHED: APR 27, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.pnc.com/insights/personal-finance/spend/first-time-car-buyer-guide.html

Electric Cars – Friend or Foe

The question of electric cars pops up a few times a week with my customers nowadays. Though TM Auto deals in used cars and most EV’s are new, they’ve been on the road plenty long enough to be considered a used car option. Do they have the same horsepower? Will it really save me money? Are they really better for the environment? How about charging stations? There are lots of questions and as many doubts about electric cars as with any emerging tech. Honestly, I love my truck’s raw power and still get a charge from that familiar chug of a V8 engine. I also understand that change is sometimes a good thing so let’s take a look. 



The first electric car was manufactured in 1891. The rise in demand and popularity led to Baker Motor Company in Cleveland, OH becoming the largest electric car maker in the world (Jay Leno owns a “1909 Baker Electric”).

Jay Leno in his 1909 Baker Electric

The Baker Electric could travel 50 miles on a charge, had reusable batteries compliments of Thomas Edison, had a top speed of 23 mph, a key start unlike the Model T’s somewhat dangerous crank start, and filled the NYC streets. At an estimated cost of $1000 to $2500 there were about 15000 in the city at the time. Then as now the charging station became one of the centers of debate and by 1916 they were ousted as oil became increasingly available.


The electric car flourished early on but eventually fell prey to our beloved combustion autos, soon EV’s were pretty much forgotten. Well over 100 years ago the need for lowering noise and air pollutants was strong and today it’s still a heavily discussed topic. The kicker now is that oil isn’t the perfect forever source of energy as it appeared to be then and then there’s the environmental impact argument, so what do we know to be true and almost true 🙂 


The EPA’s “Truths” about EVs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes a pro EV view, providing the following facts as proof. 


Electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging. “The amount varies widely based on how local power is generated, e.g., using coal or natural gas, which emit carbon pollution, versus renewable resources like wind or solar, which do not. Even accounting for these electricity emissions, research shows that an EV is typically responsible for lower levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) than an average new gasoline car.” 


The greenhouse gas emissions associated with an electric vehicle over its lifetime are typically lower than those from an average gasoline-powered vehicle, even when accounting for manufacturing. “Some studies have shown that making a typical electric vehicle (EV) can create more carbon pollution than making a gasoline car. This is because of the additional energy required to manufacture an EV’s battery. Still, over the lifetime of the vehicle, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with manufacturing, charging, and driving an EV are typically lower than the total GHGs associated with a gasoline car. Recycling EV batteries can reduce the emissions associated with making an EV by reducing the need for new materials.” 


Electric vehicles can be plugged into the same type of outlet as your toaster! When you need to charge while on the road, you’ll find over 45,000 stations in the U.S. available to the public. “Many people can meet their driving needs by plugging in only at home. Most electric vehicles (EVs) can be charged with a standard 120 V (Level 1) outlet. To charge the vehicle more quickly, you can install a dedicated 240 V (Level 2) outlet or charging system.”


Electric vehicle range is more than enough for typical daily use in the U.S. “Most EV models go above 200 miles on a fully-charged battery. EVs have sufficient range to cover a typical household’s daily travel, which is approximately 50 miles on average per day”


Electric vehicles must meet the same safety standards as conventional vehicles. “All light duty cars and trucks sold in the United States must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. To meet these standards, vehicles must undergo an extensive, long-established testing process, regardless of whether the vehicle operates on gasoline or electricity.”




Electric vehicles tend to have lower maintenance costs, as electric motors and batteries require less routine care than gasoline engines do. They don’t require regular oil changes, for instance but are typically more expensive upfront


The EPA estimates that the electric Kia EV6 would cost $550 to fuel over the course of a year, while the gas-powered Kia K5 would cost $1950 to fuel. However, if all charging is done at public fast chargers, the annual costs to power our EV rises to $1850 per year, nearly equal to gas. 


EV’s provide max torque at 0 mph, feels something like instant acceleration so are generally a bit quicker at 30-50 mph, but EVs fall short at top speed where gas power still rules. Torque is delivered right away, one of the benefits of electric cars.


This year the transportation department has approved electric vehicle charging station plans for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico covering roughly 75,000 miles of highways, indicating one every 50 miles. 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030 is a far leap from the 47,000 we have today. 


Finally, gasoline cars win in the vehicle selection department with hundreds of options. There are currently only about 30 Purely electric car options available. 



There are loads of pros and cons regarding EV’s and our understanding of them grows everyday. Knowing that General Motors has already publicly committed to putting 30 new electric vehicles on the market by 2025 and we’ve set a goal for EVs to make up 50% of total US car sales by 2030 tells us that change is on the way. The drive to build an emissions-free future is a long one, yet it does appear that the transportation sector is a giant when it comes to our US carbon footprint. 

It’s being called “The Great Comeback” but we have a ways to go before announcing a new champ, only time will tell if EV’s deliver the knockout punch to end our combustion engine’s extraordinary reign. 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, let me show you how easy a car buying experience can be. 



Bradshaw Nicole “Are Electric Vehicles Really Better for the Environment” Entergynewsroom.com Posted September 20, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.entergynewsroom.com/article/are-electric-vehicles-really-better-for-environment/ 

“1906 Baker Electric Car” Akronlife.com Web. Retrieved from: https://www.akronlife.com/arts-and-entertainment/1906-baker-electric-car/ Epa.gov “Electric Vehicle Myths”Epa.gov Post updated October 18, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/electric-vehicle-myths

Newburger Emma “All 50 states get green light to build EV charging stations covering 75,000 miles of highways” CNBC.com PUBLISHED TUE, SEP 27 202212:40 PM EDT UPDATED TUE, SEP 27 20222:26 PM EDT Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/27/ev-charging-stations-on-highways-dot-approves-50-states-plans.html

Capparella Joey “Electric Cars vs. Gas Cars: Everything You Need to Know” www.caranddriver.com PUBLISHED: AUG 8, 2022 Web. Retrieved from:  https://www.caranddriver.com/research/a32781943/electric-cars-vs-gas-cars/

COLLGE CARS / Maintenance & Repair UPDATE!

Used Cars & College

Click Image for Mazda 6 Inventory


Before you know it they’ll be on their way! Not to worry, there’s still time to hunt for the perfect car since most first year students won’t begin driving until second semester. Returning students however need to start their search today!

Check these essential points you’ll need to consider when making your choice. Whether campus is up the street or across the state, finding the right ride, staying on your budget, and maintaining peace of mind are job #1. 

What’s your budget?

School is expensive, particularly if you have more than one scholar heading to college. The first thing to consider when looking for a back-to-school vehicle is what a reasonable budget might be. How much you can afford for a down payment and monthly loan installments will determine your options.

Buying a used back-to-school car is a smart choice, especially with new car prices today. Many new cars will lose over half their value in the first five years. This can be quite a pill to swallow if you’re planning to upgrade anytime soon. Buying used means that someone else takes the hit for you!


How far are you driving?

Is school just down the road, a few hours across the state, will it be driven to and from daily? This one is critical, your car’s health can depend on your travel distance. Driving shorter distances can actually harm your engine by not allowing the engine to reach an efficient operating temperature. This lower temperature may stop oil from rising to it’s optimal temperature and viscosity. It’s thicker with a slower rate of flow especially in cold weather. This can increase friction between the moving parts of a vehicle’s engine and transmission during cold weather. I suggest the five minute rule when warming up the engine. This warms up the oil so it’s less viscous and flows better.  A newer vehicle with better over all efficiency may also be a consideration for short distances. When driving longer distances, one with impressive miles-to-the-gallon may be the best choice, especially today! 


How easy will it be to maintain?

The cost of repairs should be a strong consideration when choosing a back to school car. Unless you’re student is majoring in state-of-the-art auto mechanics they’ll appreciate easy maintenance and your pocket will too! The factors below can determine easy vs hard when it comes to repairs and regular maintenance. Included are some common examples of cars that meet these requirements!


Highly regarded as reliable

Subaru Outback

7th to 9th generation Honda Civic, manufactured from 2001 to 2016

Toyota Camry

Honda Civic


Room to work and access parts

2007 to 2013 Chevrolet Silverado

Ford Crown Victoria

Honda Civic

Subaru Outback

Toyota Camry

Nissan Titan

Ford Edge (Also has great fuel economy)


Simple Technology

Chevrolet Silverado

Ford Crown Victoria

Subaru Outback particularly models from 2010 to 2014

Toyota Camry

Toyota Corolla


Easy access to replacement parts

Toyota Corolla

Honda Civic 7th to 9th generation manufactured from 2001 to 2016


Have you done your research?

Practice what you preach: always do your homework! Once you establish your budget and the appropriate vehicle, it’s time to narrow down your selection to a list of ideal cars.

When creating this list, be sure to focus on practical options and vehicles that will suit yours and your young driver’s needs for the next few years without breaking the bank. Avoid big, luxury, or sporty cars, as costs are notably higher when it comes to maintenance, major repairs, insurance, and fueling.

Be sure to compare your picks with Consumer Reports. This publication collects data from over a million cars per year and presents reliability information that covers the past decade. You should also look into online reviews of the vehicles you’re considering, weighing the pros and cons of each. Ensuring that you’ve picked a reliable vehicle could save your loved one down the road.


Do you know what you’re buying?

Once you’ve narrowed your options, it’s time to check it out in person. When buying a used car, it’s important to inspect for flaws or damages. Look over the vehicle inside and out during the day when flaws and potential repairs are more easily seen. Getting it checked out thoroughly by your trusted mechanic is always a good idea too. A professional inspection won’t cost too much, and it’ll buy you both peace of mind for future maintenance and repair costs.


For price details click on these smart back-to-school options from TM Auto’s inventory  


Need help deciding or just want to take a closer look? 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask Mike Love  






The Carzing Team, “7 Cars that are easiest to maintain and fix” carzing.com March 8, 20219 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.carzing.com/blog/car-reviews/7-cars-easiest-maintain-fix/

TM Auto Wholesalers, ” Inventory” tmutova.com June 29, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.tmautova.com/



You and the other 228 million drivers in the US are by now wondering how long before gas prices drop. So here are the facts and a few helpful chasers to choke them down.

Remember when we had a backup plan for high gas prices? From 2009 – 2015 diesel fuel averaged 32 cents less than gas. Drivers in the 80’s and 90’s saw similar price comparisons.


Owning a diesel vehicle became a no brainer for saving on fuel costs. Not the case anymore as we see diesel prices creep up even higher than already crazy gas prices! In fact all fuel costs are susceptible to the current cause and effect.

We saw temporary relief when president Biden announced the release of federal reserve oil at the end of March, but that was it. Gas prices are on the rise again with no visible signs of stabilizing. Here’s what’s going on and what we can do to deal with it.



First, don’t expect those $2.89 per gallon prices of 2021 back anytime soon. From what analysts are saying, and this includes the Texas Oil and Gas Association, a steady decline isn’t expected while the war continues in the Ukraine. Personally, I would add that with transportation at a premium we should expect trucking, rail, and shipping to second that emotion and to promote high fuel prices even after the war has ended. It might be a good idea to settle in and begin formulating a strategy for saving on fuel costs.



Stay close to full: I like to keep my tank relatively close to full, when I notice a dip in prices I top off the tank. Never let it go below a half tank.


Use gas apps & points: GasBuddy and Waze are two popular options. Harris Teeter offers shopping points to save at the pump (We use this a lot). Costco and Kroger have similar programs.


Pay with cash instead of a card: Some stations offer a discount for your cash because it saves them on processing fees. Stations are dropping their price 5 cents per gallon on average. That’s significant on a full tank!


Drive at or below speed limits: Ever notice the difference in fuel mileage when you’re keeping it at 55? It’s pretty fantastic, try it. Also, try accelerating to speed less quickly to help.  A car’s gas mileage typically decreases at speeds over 50 mph. And for every 5 mph over that 50 mph speed limit that you drive, it’s like paying an additional $.20 per gallon. Frequent bursts of acceleration and braking reduced average vehicles mileage by 2 to 3 mpg.


Skip the premium: Save money and skip premium gas unless it is required. If there is only mid-grade, or premium fuel available, this will work fine in a car that is rated for regular gasoline.


Check tire pressure: Having tires with lower pressure than what is recommended on your door jamb sticker can affect performance, tire longevity, and fuel economy.


Station rewards program: Check at your local gas stops to see what discounts they offer with their rewards program.


“With transportation at a premium we should expect trucking, rail, and shipping to promote high fuel prices even after the war has ended.”




Settle in and pony up folks, it could be a long ride. We’ve all had to tighten our belts from time to time and this is one of those times. Looking for something with better gas mileage?

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 






Kellerman, Austin “Are gas prices going up again, yes and here’s why” Newsnationnow.com Posted: APR 29, 2022 / 09:38 AM CDT | Updated: APR 29, 2022 / 09:38 AM CDT Web. Retrieved from: https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/are-gas-prices-going-up-again-yes-and-heres-why/

Johncox, Cassidy “Gas prices: How the price per gallon has changed throughout US history” clickondetroit.com March 18, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.clickondetroit.com/money/2022/03/17/gas-prices-how-the-cost-per-gallon-has-changed-throughout-us-history/

Gillman, Steve/Dow, Nicole “How to save money on gas: 20 simple ways to save” thepennyhoarder.com March 25, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/how-to-save-on-gas/ 



In part one, Your 4×4 Lift or No Lift, I reviewed reasons for adding a suspension lift to your truck, jeep, or SUV. If you’re reading this you’re still on the fence so check out these pros, cons, costs, and alternatives of installing a body lift or leveling kit on your 4×4.



A leveling kit raises the front of your truck, jeep, or SUV to even out the overall stance of the vehicle. If you rarely load your truck or haul a heavy trailer, adding a leveling kit will let you fit larger wheels and tires under your 4×4 and level out the factory rake for a minimal investment. Most of us agree that a suspension lift looks awesome on about any truck, but if its primary purpose is for looks, consider the leveling kit option. This upgrade looks great and offers some of the same advantages.



A leveling kit will give you approximately 1-3 inches of additional front end ground clearance.

The ability to install larger tires without worrying whether they will scrub when making turns.

Will help offset the weight of a front winch. 

Increases front end height 1-3 inches for an improved aesthetic, balanced appearance. 

It can eliminate the visible gap between the chassis and the body.

Less expensive than a body lift. 

Reduces the stress on the front suspension and brakes, making it easier to emergency brake.


A properly installed high quality leveling kit actually provides all these benefits. So what’s the catch? Here are some disadvantages to adding a leveling kit.



Installing a front-end leveling kit equalizes the suspension, which results in increased wind resistance. The increased resistance and drag decreases fuel economy. These days that’s a consideration for some. The difference in gas mileage will most likely be slight so not a major disadvantage. 

The weight of the vehicle rests on the suspension. If a front-end leveling kit is installed incorrectly, it can cause increased wear and tear on the suspension system. Have a professional do your install to avoid this one.  

Only affects the front of your vehicle. 

In most cases, it doesn’t offer enough lift to make a pronounced visual difference overall.

Warranties are most often impacted by this type of modification.


It’s clear to see the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the leveling kit. However, you still have options to consider.



Body lifts are ideal for creating space between the body and the frame of your vehicle, not your vehicle suspension and the ground. Making room for larger tires is its primary purpose. If that’s your reason, you’re climbing the right hill but it has limitations compared to the suspension lift. Check out the pros and cons below.


A Body Lift is a relatively simple kit to install, takes about 1-3 hours. 

DIY project using basic tools if you’re mechanically inclined and confident in your ability. 

Still more affordable than a suspension lift, even when professionally installed.

The ability to install larger tires without worrying whether they will scrub when making turns.

This lift shouldn’t affect your ride quality or handling. 

Won’t affect your suspension geometry.



Body lifts are only available in 2 and 5 inch kits. 

The only ground clearance you’ll gain is from your tires so know your limits. 

May expose your frame and/or create a gap between bumper and body (Not Ideal).

Will likely void your warranty if over 2 inches. 

Stretches factory components such as wiring harnesses (especially new trucks).

May negatively affect the steering column and require additional work to correct. 

Cost more on average than a leveling kit.



Maybe this lift idea is simply stemming from a need for change or just a general upgrade? Consider a set of new aftermarket wheels over the more expensive lift option. The Jeep below has a 4″ suspension lift and new aftermarket wheels. The Chevy has only upgraded aftermarket wheels yet they both offer a vast improvement. The difference in cash output could change your mind… 🙂



So what costs are involved in going forward with a leveling lift? Buying and installing yourself, expect $200- $1000 for basic up to advanced kits. You can roughly estimate the installation cost from a pro to be the same as the kit so you may pay them $400-$2000 for kit and install, the more extensive the kits, the higher the cost. Body lift kits and installation are slightly higher, seriously consider why you’d want this option over a leveling kit. They’re going to run you more like $400 to $1500 for basic to advanced and a chunk for install. My advice is to call around for quotes, get expert practical advice from a professional installer that you or your friends trust before taking the next step. 

Have more lift questions, I’m here to help!

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 






Super Lift Our Blog “Body Lift vs. Suspension Lift: Which Is Best for Your Ride?” superlift.com Retrieved April 2, 2022 from: https://superlift.com/our-blog/4/post/79/body-lift-vs-suspension-lift 

Staff Writer Diesel Power “Lifting vs. Leveling – which is right for you?” motortrend.com May 1, 2013 Web. Retrieved from:  https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/1305dp-lifitng-vs-leveling-which-is-right-for-you/

Hawley, Dustin “How Much Does It Cost To Lift A Truck?” jdpower.com January 21, 2021 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/how-much-does-it-cost-to-lift-a-truck 

Harper, Jeffrey “Body Lift Vs Suspension Lift: Here’s How To Decide Which Is Right For You” hotcars.com October 6, 2020 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.hotcars.com/body-lift-vs-suspension-life-which-is-right-for-you/ 

YOUR 4X4… Lift or No Lift?


Spring is closer than you think, fun is too! Each year 4×4 truck, jeep, and SUV owners start itching for upgrades in preparation for Summer, especially lift kits. Even those who don’t go off road start jacking up their ride. Why? Dude, big trucks are cool! There are lots of other good reasons to add some distance between your truck and the road too. In “Lift or No Lift”, we’ll look at the pros, cons, costs, and alternatives of installing a suspension lift, body lift or leveling kit on your vehicle, beginning with the real deal. 



Sure, a suspension lift looks awesome on most any truck, but what other benefits does it provide? A suspension lift raises the ride height (distance between chassis and ground) and improves the off-road performance of SUVs or trucks and other off-road vehicles. It’s the best choice for increasing off-road performance significantly and adding much larger tires to tackle the otherwise impassible, less traveled path. The sky’s the limit, she’ll go practically anywhere, and it’s cosmetic appeal is pretty obvious, it’s fierce. Here are some suspension lift benefits.



Improves off-road suspension performance.

Enables higher ground clearance (than a body lift), often between two to twelve inches.

It can eliminate the visible gap between the chassis and the body.

Superior tire clearance.

Increase in fender clearance.

Variety of options and pricing available.


A properly installed high quality suspension lift actually does provide all these benefits, what’s the catch? Well, the drawbacks are worth considering before breaking out your debit card. Here are some disadvantages to moving up in the world.



Dramatically affects handling and ride quality.

A change of suspension geometry requires a wheel alignment.

The risk of rollover increases with a higher center of gravity.

Sometimes requires re-gearing.

Reduces on-road ride comfort.

Reduces gas mileage.

May require augmenting other vehicle systems such as the brakes.

Time-consuming and difficult to install.

More expensive than body lifts.

Virtually pointless without adding larger (more expensive) tires.


This is where some people become disillusioned and stick safely to what they have. However, it’s important to continue researching, there are lots of options. First consider your reasons for lifting and how you can satisfy them practically without breaking the bank.



  • Suspension lifts are ideal for going off-road. That’s its primary purpose. If that’s your reason, you’re right to consider a suspension lift. Whether it’s through rocks, mud, or in deep snow, having larger tires, more suspension travel, and better ground clearance are very large pros for adding a suspension lift.
  • Many newer trucks are built with low-to-the-ground features that make them more car-like. Low bumpers, exhaust, and running boards can all be damaged by rocks and debris-and even just smashed up on rough roads. A lift kit keeps all these mechanical and body parts from being mangled when the road gets rough. Caution, make sure you understand the possible downsides to lifting a new truck, warranties are most often impacted by this type of modification. Check with your dealer first. 


  • If your lifting for cosmetic reasons this option may be a bit over the top in regards to cost and risk. That can be achieved in many cases with a body lift or leveling kit. In some cases a new set of tires on new or larger rims may be just the thing to get the job done for way less money!

New Rims & Tires VS. Installing a Lift Kit



So what costs are involved in following up with a suspension lift? Kits range from $1000.00 – $10’000.00 and even more for the most aggressive kits. You can roughly estimate the installation cost by matching the price of the kit itself, sometimes a bit more. For example, installing a $500.00 – $2000 suspension lift kit will cost you around the same in labor, the more extensive the kits, the higher the implied cost. The lift kit and installation costs are significant, seriously consider what and why you need a suspension lift. My advice is to call around for quotes, get expert practical advice from a professional installer that you or your friends trust before lifting. Have questions, Call (757) 560-4552 and ask for Mike Love.

Next week… Leveling Kits, Body Lifts, and More!


Having a hard time making your decision? I’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through your decision making process. 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 






Staff Writer Diesel Power “Lifting vs. Leveling – which is right for you?” motortrend.com May 1, 2013 Web. Retrieved from:  https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/1305dp-lifitng-vs-leveling-which-is-right-for-you/

Hawley, Dustin “How Much Does It Cost To Lift A Truck?” jdpower.com January 21, 2021 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/how-much-does-it-cost-to-lift-a-truck 

Harper, Jeffrey “Body Lift Vs Suspension Lift: Here’s How To Decide Which Is Right For You” hotcars.com October 6, 2020 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.hotcars.com/body-lift-vs-suspension-life-which-is-right-for-you/ 

Tax Refund… Car Buying Strategy


The extra cash to help lower your monthly car payment is on the way and for those looking to buy a car, truck, or SUV, it’s pretty good timing. 2022 looks like a promising year to make your move, also a good time to make a plan. In order to get the most mileage from your tax refund/down payment you’ll need to put a buying strategy together. First step, look at your budget realistically, particularly your monthly used car allowance.


Down payment amount?

Monthly payment?

Preferred term of your loan?



It’s best to include all of your monthly expenses when developing your plan, not just for your automobile costs. Paying off debt should be considered, home maintenance, and even using your extra cash to repair your current automobile instead. You’re more likely to be happy with your next car purchase if it fits into your long term financial plan. 



When you’re ready to move forward, a quick pit stop at “How much can I actually afford” will motivate you to drill down those numbers and negotiate a better car deal when it’s time.

When is the best time? After a seemingly endless rise in prices it looks like 2022 will bring relief, as much as 30% according to Marketwatch.com. KPMG analysts predict demand will taper and supply will increase by as early as October 2022. That means deals are coming back and you’ll want to take advantage of them. Keeping an eye on the market is also a good plan, be patient, don’t jump at the first deal you see. It’s most likely going to get better.



In addition to your “Tax Cash”, a good trade-in will increase your chances of getting the best deal. Use KBB.com to get a reasonable idea what your car is worth. The Edmunds appraisal tool is another resource for estimates on your car’s worth as a trade-in, or privately selling it on your own. If you plan to use your car as a trade-in, it’s time for some prep work.



  • Clean the thing, inside and out. For the exterior, give it a thorough wash and a fresh coat of wax. On this inside, get rid of your personal items and vacuum out the whole thing. Don’t want to do it yourself? Have it detailed. But even though dealers have told us they can see through dirt to find a car’s actual value, making a good impression only raises your chances of a better offer.
  • Fix small issues yourself. Check all the car’s lights, including interior dome lights, and replace them if needed. Also, check all fluid levels (washer fluid, coolant, brake fluid, etc.) and ensure they’re topped off. If your car needs more serious work, leave that for the dealer. Any major issues will lower the value of the trade-in, but the dealer can perform the repairs for less than it would cost you.
  • Gather all important documents. Of course this includes the car’s title, but it should also include service records, registration and anything else a prospective buyer might want to see. Cars that have been maintained with scheduled maintenance retain more of their value. Don’t feel the need to get a vehicle history report; dealers will pull one themselves.
  • Grab any extras. Bring extra sets of keys or other accessories along with the vehicle. If the navigation system has a DVD or SD card associated with it, be sure to bring those items, as well. Dealers tell us that if these accessories are missing, they won’t give you credit for those features because they aren’t complete.

Conduct your own inspection. Note any exterior dents and dings that can’t be buffed out with a little elbow grease. Take your current car out for a test drive and pay close attention to anything that just doesn’t seem right. If there are any issues with the car, whether electrical or even a need for new tires, note them.


Having a hard time making your decision? Call (757) 560-4552 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through your decision making process. By sticking to your budget, crunching numbers, and negotiating, you’ll be purchasing a little peace of mind along with your new wheels 🙂 

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. 






Ganz, Andrew “Here’s when you can look forward to used car prices finally going down

“ marketwatch.com January 10, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-when-you-can-look-forward-to-used-car-prices-finally-going-down-11641501118 

Wong, Brian “How Should I Prep My Car for Sale to a Dealer?” cars.com May 1, 2015 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cars.com/articles/how-should-i-prep-my-car-for-sale-to-a-dealer-1420680466320/ 

DeLorenzo, Matt “How Should I Use a Tax Refund to Buy a New Car?” kbb.com July 6, 2020 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.kbb.com/car-news/tax-time-car-buying-putting-your-refund-to-work-for-you/

UPDATE – The $7000 Used Car… Gone for Good?

Ask Mike Blog 7k Used Car Gone


I remember when $7,000 used cars were a thing… six months ago! They were for sale in front yards and used car dealerships everywhere and it seemed they would be around forever! Hey, for $10,000.00 – $15,000 you could drive away in something amazing! People, I never thought I’d say this but they may be gone for good. The average transaction price for a used car was $25,410 in the second quarter of 2021, up from $22,977 in the first quarter and 21% year-over-year, according to data from online automotive resource Edmunds. That figure marks the highest average price over a quarter for a used car that Edmunds has ever tracked. In June of this year the average used car price leaped $7,583. The new average cost of a used car is over 33% higher than a year ago, it’s time to reevaluate our expectations. Read more about THE CAR BUBBLE

The average cost of a new car in 1990 was about $9,500. This means after the first year’s depreciation (20-30%) and subsequent year’s (16-18% annually) we might buy her used in 1995 for around $2,000.00 – $3,500.00. The average price of a new car in 2020… $37,000. Over the next 5 years that car loses around 60% of its value. If you don’t have a calculator handy that puts the price at around $14,500.00 used. Today we can add about $7,000.00 to that number bringing our estimated cost for the five year old car to $21,500. Expect that number to be higher depending on condition and mileage. Chip shortages, labor problems, and general industry chaos can be held responsible for the blight on our $7,000.00 used cars. 


There Is A Bright Side

Quality: New car quality has increased and is still rising, they simply last longer. They’re still kicking like a mule at eleven plus years. This means that a five year old car has a long life ahead of it and the owner knows it. It’s price will reflect its longer life.

Supply and demand: Used cars are practically non existent these days compared to just a year ago. Increased SUV, truck, and crossover sales in recent years has led to less small, inexpensive vehicles on the used market and less means more for private sellers. With less inventory on the market, there is less competition and this is powerful leverage for sellers so if you have an extra, consider selling at a profit.


Not As Bright

Larger more expensive vehicles: The COVID collateral damage? Higher end cars with more options are being produced for solvent buyers, shrinking the affordable used car supply. Since you’re not likely to find many of them for sale, they come at a premium. If you do find an inexpensive used car in great shape, move fast, it won’t be available long!


Are there any cheap used cars out there worth buying?

2016 Subaru Outback

Of course there are, just increasingly harder to find. Best bet is to purchase from family or close friends that can guarantee the car’s history. 150,000 plus miles is fine as long as the car has been properly maintained and loved. Otherwise it’s anyone’s guess how long the car will last. Dealers can’t sell what they don’t have and there are so few of these rare birds available that dealers can’t find them either. The discerning used car dealer has a reputation to protect and must have a reasonable amount of confidence in each used car they sell. Oftentimes cheap is just cheap and that doesn’t meet inventory standards.

The New Standard

What should you expect to pay for a reliable, well maintained used car today? For the features that most of us want with 60-80k miles you can expect to pay on average around $19,000-$23,000 for your 4 to 5 year old used vehicle. Yes, there are exceptions both higher and lower depending on the car and condition specifics but buyer beware, if it’s cheap it’s a heap! Have questions? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I have answers. Happy hunting folks!


TM Auto Wholesalers, Chesapeake Va





Frio, Dan “Cheapest Used Cars” EDMONDS.COM December 10th, 2019 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.edmunds.com/vehicles/cheapest-new-cars/

Edgerton, Jerry “Cars Now Last Longer Than Ever.. Will Yours” CBSNews.com August 7, 2015 Web. Retrieved from: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cars-now-last-longer-than-ever-will-yours/

Mattone, James “Used Car Prices at Highest Levels in Three Years” media.thinknum.com August, 2019 Web. Retrieved from: Mahttps://media.thinknum.com/articles/used-car-prices-are-at-highest-levels/