How to Properly Install a Car Seat

At Lewisville VW, we’ll do everything in our power to keep you and your children safe. We’ve provided you with the most up-to-date car seat securing system, and we want to help you learn how to properly install a car seat.

Types of Car Seats

Infants must ride in rear-facing car seats in the rear seat of your vehicle. Babies/young children should stay rear-facing for as long as possible, as it is the absolute safest position. In the event of a head-on crash, the infant’s whole body is pushed against the back of the car seat rather than forward against the straps. Keep your child rear-facing until they reach the upper limit of your car seat’s weight restriction—the longer, the better. A young child’s neck is particularly susceptible to major injury if thrown forward during an accident, so protect children with a rear-facing seat for as long as you can.

A child can graduate to a forward-facing car seat with a harness once he or she has fully outgrown rear-facing seats. Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat, they can graduate to a booster seat in the back seat of your car. Booster seats are designed for children weighing 40 to 100 pounds, ages 4 to 12, and up to 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

A child should only graduate to a seatbelt once they’re big enough that the seat belt rests across the top of the thighs, rather than on the stomach. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, even children large enough to ride secured with a seatbelt alone should ride in the rear seats until at least the age of 12.

LATCH

LATCH, or “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children,” is the standardized car seat attachment system now required by law in all new vehicles. The system consists of two “lower anchors,” similar to steel U-bolts, that are built into the bight (crack) between the back rest and lower seat. These are usually accompanied by a top tether that secures the top of the child safety seat to another anchor behind the car’s seat. This system is designed to make proper car seat installation intuitive and standardized between cars and safety seats. Still, it is important to always read the manuals for both your safety seat and your car in order to ensure that your child is safely secured in the event of an accident.

Seat Belt Installation

In older cars that don’t have the LATCH system, the seat can be installed using the seat belt to owner’s manual specifications. Once the car seat is installed, try with serious force to rock the seat from side to side. If you can move it more than an inch in either direction, use the locking clip that came with the seat to secure the seatbelt more tightly. If you’ve misplaced the locking clip, contact the manufacturer to order a new one before you use the car seat.

Know the Law

Car seat laws vary by state, but all states require safety seats for very young children. In Texas, children younger than 7 years old (and 57 inches tall) MUST be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat. Check the Governors’ Highway Safety Association page on Child Passenger Safety Laws to make sure you’re following the rules when you cross state lines. Don’t risk fines, fees, or your child’s safety.

Want to know more about car seat safety or about Lewisville VW? Keep up to date by following our blog or join one of our social networks on Twitter or Facebook.

 

New Car Buying Strategy – Buying A New Car From the Dealer

At Lewisville VW, we’re proud to give our customers an edge. When you shop with us, the largest-volume VW dealer in Texas, you’ll know you’re getting the best VW has to offer. From products to service, we’re here for you. To prove it, we’re letting you in on a few tricks of the trade for buying a new car in today’s market:

  • Know what’s up-and-coming. The vehicle industry is making major changes. For example, VW recently introduced a diminutive new fireball called the Up! for European markets at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany. If you want stunning gas mileage and unprecedented style, and have the luxury of waiting a bit for your next purchase, lay low and keep your ears open for news of a U.S. launch.
  • Know which models most interest you and why. Ready for that new car smell now? Take the time to do research. Understand the pros and cons of each vehicle, and which ones have the features that best fit your lifestyle and budget. VW has a car, truck, or van for everyone. Come in and talk to a sales representative if you need some help getting started, or do some online research on your own.
  • Know the Kelley Blue Book value for your chosen model(s). This is your baseline invoice price for a vehicle. You can always expect to pay over Blue Book value for add-ons, especially with financing options. Factor in convenience, padding, and exactly how much you want that car when deciding to haggle out the difference between the invoice value and the dealer’s “suggested retail.” Knowing the Blue Book value gives you a good starting point and keeps you from being taken for an unreasonable ride by an unscrupulous dealership. Here at Lewisville VW, you can trust us to steer you right every time.
  • Take your time. Don’t make snap decisions. Time frames are different for everyone – some buyers have all the options laid out before they enter our showroom for the first time and leave their first meeting with keys in hand, feeling like they’ve made a reasoned purchase. Others come back several times to make sure they’ve found the perfect fit. Do your homework – a car is a major purchase that will stick with you for a long time. Make sure you’re financing at the best possible rate for your qualifications and don’t jump in without thinking things through. Consider taking a trusted friend along to help you make a decision you’re as happy with when the car is paid off as you are when you drive it off the lot.

Nobody can help you through the car buying process like Lewisville VW. We pride ourselves on selling the right car to the right person at the right price, day in and day out. Keep up to date with our current offerings by following our blog, or join one of our social networks on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Smart Driving Strategies to Keep You Safe

We at Volkswagen build our vehicles to protect our customers, but your best defense against an accident is smart driving.  Here are some dangerous scenarios and smart driving strategies designed to keep you in control:

Dangerous Driving Conditions

  • Fog: Never drive in dense fog unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, use your low beams to minimize the light that’s reflected back at you by the fog. Roll your windows down and turn off the radio to hear what you can’t see. Take your time; don’t switch lanes needlessly. Take it slow and be patient.
  • Wet Pavement: Slow down to minimize chances of a skid. Even after the rain has stopped, wet pavement can cause a dangerous loss of control. Once upon a time, Driver’s Ed wisdom told drivers to “turn into the skid.” It’s sound advice, but seemed to “confuse people more than help them,” according to an article in Parents Magazine. Instead, take your foot off the gas immediately. Pick a focal point well down the road and steer gently toward that point. Don’t over-steer, as wild swings of the wheel can take automobiles, especially SUVs, into a roll.
  • Flood Conditions: “Turn around – don’t drown.” If you can’t see the bottom, you don’t know how deep the water is. Don’t take your car into any unknown water, especially if you can physically see that water in motion. If you find yourself in rising waters, abandon the vehicle and head for higher ground on foot.

If an Accident Occurs

  • Inundation: If you land in deep water, stay calm. Unbuckle yourself and climb into the back, if necessary, to unbuckle children. Wait until water stops entering the vehicle – this tells you you’ve allowed enough water to enter the car to equalize the pressure inside and outside, so that a sudden rush of water won’t pin you in. Roll down manual windows or, if you have electronic windows, break the glass and swim to safety. Ideally, keep a hammer or a 5-inch spring-loaded punch in the car to break window glass.
  • Blowout: If a tire blows out while driving on a highway, it may feel as if you’ve hit a speed bump. Don’t crane your head to find the problem; focus on the road ahead. Take your foot off the gas and let the car coast to a stop, as far off the road as possible. Hit the brakes only to help at the very end of your car’s coast, not before.

If you are involved in an accident, stay safe. Don’t move anyone who may be injured. If possible, move vehicles off the road to a safe location. Call the authorities on your cell phone or ask a bystander to do it for you. Exchange insurance information and call your insurance provider while you’re still on the scene. If the police aren’t called or don’t come (for example, if you live in a metropolitan area where police only visit injury crashes), call the local police station and file an accident report as soon as you get home.

We want to keep you and your car in one piece. If you’re looking to hop in the seat of a new or used car, see our large selection of vehicles at Lewisville Volkswagen. For more tips, along with huge specials and promotions, follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page.