Write off the car, not the kid! ®

Latest News

Apr 15, 2024
Eric Love Featured on The WBAP Morning News

We are thrilled to announce that our very own Eric Love was featured on The WBAP Morning News this week, sharing valuable insights into how you can make a difference by donating your car and participating in our live charity auctions every Saturday.

During the segment, Eric discussed the simple and impactful process of donating your car to Cars for Kids. By donating your vehicle, you not only support our mission but also provide vital resources to students in our community. The proceeds from the charity auctions directly benefit programs that help children build a better and brighter future.

Here are some key points Eric covered in the interview:

  1. How to Donate Your Car: Eric explained the easy steps involved in donating your car to Cars for Kids. From scheduling a pick-up to receiving a tax deduction, he highlighted the benefits of car donation.
  2. Live Charity Auctions: Eric shared exciting details about our weekly live charity auctions. These auctions are open to the public, offering a wide range of vehicles for every budget. Whether you're looking for a sedan, SUV, or truck, our auctions have something for everyone.
  3. Community Impact: Eric emphasized the positive impact of car donations on the local community. The proceeds from these donations directly support programs that benefit students and help them succeed.

Apr 06, 2024
Important Announcement: Our Offices Closed on Monday, April 8 due to Solar Eclipse

Dear valued customers and partners,

We wanted to inform you that our offices will be closed on Monday, April 8, in observance of the upcoming solar eclipse. This celestial event is a rare occurrence and a wonderful opportunity for everyone to experience the wonders of the universe.

We encourage everyone to take this time to enjoy the solar eclipse safely and responsibly. Remember to use proper eye protection if you plan on viewing the eclipse directly.

Our team will be back in the office on Tuesday, April 9, ready to assist you with any inquiries or assistance you may need.

Thank you for your understanding, and we wish you a fantastic experience during the solar eclipse!

Mar 25, 2024
PC&D Wash Talk Podcast - Unveiling the Journey: A Look into Cars For Kids

Today, we shine a spotlight on a recent episode of Wash Talk: The Carwash Podcast, featuring Colin Weatherwax, the CEO of Cars For Kids.

In this engaging episode, host Rich DiPaolo delves deep into Weatherwax's journey with Cars For Kids, from its humble beginnings to its remarkable growth as a notable non-profit organization. Weatherwax shares his motivations behind establishing and nurturing his career with this organization, offering a glimpse into the impactful projects and memorable moments that have shaped its trajectory.

One of the key takeaways from the episode is Weatherwax's discussion on avenues for carwash owners, operators, and customers to actively participate and contribute to the meaningful work of Cars For Kids. His insights shed light on the importance of partnering with reputable non-profit organizations like Cars For Kids and the value of donating to causes that make a tangible difference in communities.

Tune in to this enlightening episode for valuable advice on how you can join hands with Cars For Kids and other reputable non-profits, ensuring that together, we can make a lasting impact while keeping those wheels shining bright. It's a journey worth embarking on, one that resonates with the spirit of giving back and creating positive change.

Don't miss out on this enlightening episode of Wash Talk: The Carwash Podcast, available now for streaming and download. Join us as we uncover ways to make a difference and drive change in our communities.

Mar 13, 2024
CEO Spotlight: Colin Weatherwax Shines Light on Cars for Kids Mission


We're thrilled to announce that Colin Weatherwax, our esteemed CEO at Cars for Kids, was recently featured on KRLD's CEO Spotlight with David Johnson. In this illuminating episode, Colin delved into the heart of our organization's mission and vision for creating positive change in our communities.

During the interview, Colin shared insights into Cars for Kids' commitment to supporting children in need across the nation. He discussed our ongoing efforts to provide hope, opportunities, and resources to underprivileged youth, emphasizing the importance of community involvement and support.

Colin also highlighted the impactful initiatives and partnerships that drive our mission forward, underscoring our dedication to making a meaningful difference in the lives of children and families.

We invite you to listen to Colin's inspiring interview on CEO Spotlight, where he sheds light on our journey, challenges, and triumphs as we continue to strive for a brighter future for all children. Stay tuned for more updates and stories of impact from Cars for Kids! 🚗✨ #CarsforKids #CEOSpotlight #CommunityImpact

Mar 10, 2024
Essential Spring Break Travel Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Road Trip

As spring break approaches, the anticipation of travel and adventure fills the air. Whether you're planning a getaway to the beach or a road trip to the mountains, it's crucial to be prepared for the journey ahead. Here are seven spring break travel tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip experience.

Stay Weather-Wise

While spring brings beautiful blooms and longer days, it can also bring unpredictable weather conditions. Before hitting the road, check the weather forecast for your destination and prepare accordingly. Pack essentials like a winter emergency kit for cold climates or a standard roadside kit for warmer areas. Remember, visibility and traction are key to safe driving, so adjust your plans if severe weather strikes.

Check Your Tires

Ensure your tires are in top condition before embarking on your road trip. Temperature changes and regular wear and tear can affect tire performance. Check tire pressure, tread depth, and overall condition to avoid potential blowouts or flats on the road. Consider equipping your vehicle with reliable tires for enhanced traction in any weather condition.

Stock Up on Emergency Supplies

Don't hit the road without essential emergency supplies. Pack a spare tire, jumper cables, tools, flashlight, and snacks to keep you prepared for any unexpected breakdowns. Tailor your emergency kit to suit the climate of your destination and ensure you're equipped to handle any situation that may arise.

Plan for Traffic

With more travelers hitting the road during spring break, traffic congestion is inevitable. Plan your travel route carefully, allowing extra time for potential delays. Consider traveling during off-peak hours to avoid heavy traffic and check traffic updates in advance to anticipate any roadblocks.

Observe Safety Regulations

Wherever your spring break adventure takes you, prioritize safety and adhere to traffic laws and regulations. Stay informed about speed limits, road signs, and potential hazards along your route. Be vigilant and cautious, especially in unfamiliar areas, and avoid risky driving behaviors.

Stay Alert and Rested

Combat distracted and tired driving by staying focused and well-rested behind the wheel. Minimize distractions like phone use and loud music, and prioritize rest breaks to prevent fatigue. If traveling long distances, take turns driving with a companion and schedule regular rest stops to recharge.

Perform a Vehicle Check

Before embarking on your road trip, conduct a comprehensive vehicle inspection to ensure everything is in working order. Schedule a Complete Vehicle Inspection and alignment service at your local tire shop to address any maintenance issues and ensure a smooth journey ahead.

By following these spring break travel tips, you can embark on your road trip with confidence and peace of mind. Remember to prioritize safety, stay prepared for any situation, and enjoy the adventure ahead!

Mar 07, 2024
Looking for a smart way to invest your tax refund this year?

Look no further than the Cars for Kids public car auction! 🚗💨

With bids starting at just $200, our auction offers incredible value for everyone. Plus, we bring in new inventory every week, so you'll always have fresh options to choose from. From sleek sedans to reliable SUVs and powerful trucks, we have vehicles to fit every budget and need.

The best part? Our auction is open to the public – no dealership license required! Whether you prefer to bid online or join us in person, you'll have the opportunity to find your next vehicle with ease.

But here's what makes our auction truly special: not only do you get a great deal on your new ride, but you also support a worthy cause. That's right – the proceeds of our auction benefit kids in the community, and 100% of the net proceeds go directly to programs that make a difference in their lives.

So why wait? Put your tax refund to good use and join us at the Cars for Kids public car auction. Not only will you drive away with a great vehicle, but you'll also help make a positive impact in the lives of children in need. It's a win-win for everyone!

Mar 04, 2024
How to Jump-Start Your Car Battery

Experiencing a dead car battery can be frustrating, especially in a hurry. Fortunately, jump-starting your car is a straightforward process that can quickly get you back on the road. This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to safely jump-start your car battery and answer frequently asked questions about car battery issues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Jump-Starting Your Car Battery

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools

Before you begin, ensure you have jumper cables and another vehicle with a functional battery. It's also wise to wear protective gloves and glasses if available.

Step 2: Position the Vehicles

Park the working vehicle close to the one with the dead battery, ensuring they do not touch. Both vehicles should be turned off with their parking brakes engaged.

Step 3: Connect the Jumper Cables

First, attach one red clamp to the dead battery's positive (+) terminal. Next, connect the other red clamp to the good battery's positive (+) terminal. Then, attach one black clamp to the negative (-) terminal of the good battery. Lastly, attach the other black clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the car with the dead battery, away from the battery itself.

Step 4: Start the Working Vehicle

With the cables adequately connected, start the engine of the working vehicle. Let it run for a few minutes to charge the dead battery.

Step 5: Start the Vehicle with the Dead Battery

Try to start the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't start after a few attempts, allow it more time to charge and try again.

Step 6: Remove the Cables

Once the car with the dead battery starts, carefully remove the jumper cables in reverse order, ensuring they don't touch each other or any metal surfaces.

The Reverse order:

  1. Black Clamp from the Grounded Surface: First, carefully remove the black clamp connected to an unpainted metal surface on the car that received the jump. This step helps to safely dissipate any residual electrical charge, reducing the risk of sparks.
  2. Black Clamp from the Good Battery: Next, detach the black clamp from the negative (-) terminal of the good battery in the assisting vehicle. Be cautious to keep the clamp away from any metal to prevent accidental sparks.
  3. Red Clamp from the Good Battery: Now, remove the red clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the good battery. As before, ensure that the clamp doesn't come into contact with any metal surfaces or the other clamp.
  4. Red Clamp from the Previously Dead Battery: Finally, remove the red clamp from the positive (+) terminal of the previously dead battery. This is the last step in safely disconnecting your jump-start setup.

Step 7: Keep the Engine Running

After the jump-start, keep the engine running for at least 30 minutes to allow the alternator to charge the battery fully.

If Your Battery Still Does Not Start After a Jump, It Could Be One of These Issues

Jump-starting your car is usually a reliable method to get your vehicle running if the battery has died. However, if your car doesn't start even after a successful jump, other underlying issues might be affecting your vehicle. Here's what could be wrong:

1. Faulty Alternator

The alternator charges the battery while the engine runs. If your car starts with a jump but dies shortly after, it could indicate a failing alternator. The battery can't recharge without it, leading to repeated dead battery situations.

2. Starter Motor Problems

When you turn the key or push the start button, the starter motor cranks the engine. A faulty starter can mimic a dead battery, so the starter might be the culprit if jump-starting doesn't work. Symptoms include a clicking sound when you turn the key or complete silence.

3. Bad Battery Connections

Corrosion, loose connections, or damaged cables can prevent the battery from adequately receiving or delivering power. Even after a jump-start, poor connections can make it seem like the battery isn't charging. Inspect the battery terminals and cables for any signs of damage or corrosion.

4. Blown Fuse

Cars have numerous electrical systems protected by fuses. A blown fuse of the engine or battery charging system can prevent your car from starting. Check the fuse box for any blown fuses that might need replacing.

5. Fuel System Issues

If your car's fuel pump is malfunctioning or there's an issue with the fuel injectors or filter, your engine might not start. Similarly, a clogged fuel filter can prevent gas from reaching the engine, making the vehicle unable to start even with a jump.

6. Engine Mechanical Problems

Sometimes, the issue isn't with the battery or electrical system. Severe engine problems, like a broken timing belt or internal engine damage, can prevent the car from starting. These issues often require professional diagnosis and repair.

7. Ignition System Defects

The ignition system sparks the fuel in the engine to start the car. Suppose there are problems with the ignition switch, coil, or other ignition system components. In that case, your vehicle might not start, even with a jump.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Listen carefully: The sounds your car makes (or doesn't make) when you attempt to start it can provide clues about the underlying issue.
  • Check dashboard lights: Pay attention to warning lights or messages on your dashboard. Many modern vehicles have systems in place to alert you to specific problems.
  • Inspect visibly: Look for wear, damage, or corrosion on the battery, cables, and connections.
  • Consult a professional: If you cannot diagnose the problem, it's best to consult with a professional mechanic. They can perform a detailed inspection to identify and fix the issue.

Understanding these potential issues can help you troubleshoot why your car might not start even after a jump-start. In many cases, professional diagnosis and repair will be necessary to safely get your vehicle back on the road.

Essential Emergency Gear for Your Car

When facing a dead battery, being prepared can make all the difference between a quick fix and hours of frustration. A self-jump start battery is a crucial item to include in your car's emergency toolkit. This compact device lets you jump-start your car without needing another vehicle, offering independence and peace of mind.

Why a Self-Jump Start Battery Is Essential

1. Convenience: No need to wait for another vehicle to come along. You can get your car running again quickly and easily.

2. Safety: Using a self-jump start battery eliminates the need for jumper cables, reducing the risk of incorrect connections that can damage your vehicle's electrical system.

3. Portability: Most self-jump starters are lightweight and compact, easily fitting in your car's trunk or glove box.

4. Versatility: Besides jump-starting your car, many devices have built-in features like USB ports to charge your mobile devices, LED flashlights for nighttime emergencies, and air compressors to inflate tires.

Choosing the Right Self-Jump Start Battery

When selecting a self-jump start battery, consider the following:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the device suits your vehicle's engine size and type.
  • Power: Check the peak amps and cranking amps to ensure they have enough power to start your car.
  • Features: Look for additional features that may be useful, such as those mentioned above.
  • Reviews: Read customer reviews to gauge reliability and performance.

Keeping a self-jump start battery in your car, alongside other emergency tools like a tire inflator, first-aid kit, and reflective warning signs, ensures you're well-equipped to handle most roadside emergencies. Investing in these tools enhances your safety and contributes to a smoother driving experience, giving you confidence and assurance whenever you hit the road.

How Long Do Car Batteries Last?

Understanding the lifespan of your car battery is crucial to avoid getting stranded with a dead battery. Typically, a car battery lasts between 3 to 5 years, but this can vary based on several factors.

Factors Influencing Battery Life

  1. Climate: Extreme hot and cold temperatures can significantly shorten a battery's lifespan. Heat accelerates corrosion within the battery, while cold increases the electrical resistance and thickens engine oil, making it harder for the battery to perform.
  2. Driving Habits: Frequent short trips (under 20 minutes) prevent the battery from fully charging, leading to a shortened lifespan. Long, consistent drives are better for the health of your battery.
  3. Vehicle Electrical Load: Modern vehicles come packed with electronics such as GPS systems, heated seats, and entertainment systems that add extra load to the battery. If the alternator cannot fully recharge the battery to match this consumption, the battery's lifespan may decrease.
  4. Maintenance and Care: Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your battery. This includes keeping the battery clean from corrosion, ensuring the terminals are tight and corrosion-free, and keeping the battery securely mounted to avoid vibrations.
  5. Storage: Leaving your car parked for extended periods without starting can drain the battery. Using a battery maintainer can help keep the battery charged without overcharging it during long periods of inactivity.

Signs It's Time to Replace Your Battery

  • Slow engine crank: When the battery dies, you may notice the engine takes longer to start.
  • Dim lights and electrical issues: If the headlights or dashboard lights dim when the car is idling but brighten when you rev the engine, the battery might be weak.
  • Warning light: Many cars have a battery warning light on the dashboard that indicates when there's an issue with the battery charging system.
  • Swollen battery case: Extreme temperatures can cause the case to swell, indicating that the battery's life is ending.
  • Old Age: If your battery is over three years old, it should be tested annually to gauge its health.

Regularly monitoring and maintaining your car battery can help maximize its lifespan, ensuring your vehicle is reliable and ready to go when you are. If you're experiencing any signs of a failing battery or if your battery is approaching the end of its expected life, considering a replacement is a wise decision to avoid any inconveniences on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if my battery is dead?

A dead battery typically manifests as a slow-cranking engine or no response when turning the key. You might also notice that your headlights are dim or the interior lights don't turn on.

Q: Can jump-starting damage my car?

If done correctly, jump-starting your car is safe and should not damage your vehicle. However, incorrect connections can cause damage to both cars' electrical systems.

Q: How often should I replace my car battery?

Most car batteries need replacing every 3-5 years, depending on usage, weather conditions, and the battery's quality. Regular checks can help you identify when it's time for a replacement.

Q: What should I do if my car won't start after jump-starting?

If your car doesn't start after several attempts, the issue might not be with the battery. It could be related to the starter, alternator, or another component. In this case, it's best to consult a professional.

Q: Can all vehicles be jump-started?

Most vehicles with a traditional battery can be jump-started. However, due to their unique electrical systems, electric vehicles and some hybrids should be kept from being jump-started using traditional methods.

Take Action: Donate or Consign Your Car in Any Condition

Ready to make a difference in the lives of children while also saying goodbye to your old car? Cars for Kids welcomes donations or consignments of vehicles in any condition. Whether your car is barely running, has yet to start in years, or is simply taking up space, we see its potential to support valuable educational and assistance programs for needy children. Don't worry about repairs, condition, or even the hassle of selling your vehicle. Let your old car serve a noble purpose. Contact us today to arrange your donation or consignment and take the first step towards significantly impacting a child's life. Your contribution, big or small, drives us forward!

Feb 21, 2024
What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

Experiencing a car breakdown can be daunting, especially for young or inexperienced drivers. The key to managing such situations lies in staying calm, ensuring safety, and knowing the proper steps. This comprehensive guide aims to equip young drivers with essential knowledge and practical tips for dealing with car breakdowns, ensuring they're prepared for unexpected events.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

The first and foremost step is to stay calm. A clear mind is your best tool for managing the situation effectively. Once you sense something's wrong with your car—be it an unusual noise, a warning light, or a sudden loss of power—gently reduce your speed and assess the situation. Try to identify the issue without panicking, as the type of problem might dictate your next steps.

Prioritize Safety

Your safety and that of your passengers and other road users should always come first. If your car is still operational, signal and carefully move it to the safest spot available. Ideally, pull over to the rightmost side of the road or into a designated emergency lane if you're on a highway. Avoid stopping on curves or places where visibility is low. Turn on your hazard lights immediately to alert other drivers of your presence.

Exit the Vehicle Safely

Once safely parked, assess whether staying in the car or exiting is safer. It might be safer to remain in your vehicle with the seatbelt fastened on busy highways. If it's safe to exit, ensure you and any passengers do so from the side away from traffic.

Use Emergency Signaling Devices

Place your reflective triangles or emergency cones safely behind your car to warn other drivers. This is particularly crucial at night or in low-visibility conditions.

Diagnose the Problem (If Safe)

If you have basic knowledge of cars and it's safe to do so, try to identify the issue. Check for problems like a flat tire, overheating, or smoke from under the hood. However, don't attempt complex repairs on the roadside, especially if you lack the expertise.

Call for Help

If the problem is beyond a simple fix, it's time to call for help. Young drivers should always have a list of emergency contacts, including roadside assistance, a tow service, and a trusted mechanic. Provide precise details about your location and the nature of the breakdown. While waiting for help, stay with your vehicle if it's safe, keeping your doors locked.

Communicate Your Situation

Let a family member or friend know about your situation, especially if you're in a remote area or late at night. Share your location and the estimated time help will arrive.

Be Prepared with an Emergency Kit

Every young driver should keep an emergency kit in their car. This kit should include water, snacks, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, warm blankets, and a fully charged power bank for your phone. These items can be invaluable while waiting for assistance.

Consider Your Options

Once help arrives, discuss your options with the professional. If the car can be fixed on the spot, great. If it needs to be towed, ensure it's taken to a reputable service center. Use this time to learn from the experience, asking the mechanic for tips on preventing similar issues in the future.

Reflect on the Experience

After the ordeal:

  1. Take time to reflect on the experience.
  2. Consider what went well and what could have been handled better.
  3. Use this as a learning opportunity to enhance your preparedness for any future incidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent car breakdowns?

  • Regular maintenance, including oil changes, tire checks, and servicing, can help prevent many common breakdowns.

What should I do if my car breaks down in an unsafe area or late at night?

  • Stay in your locked car and call for help immediately. Share your location with someone you trust and keep them updated.

Can a car breakdown be an indication that it's time to get a new vehicle?

  • Frequent breakdowns or costly repairs can indicate that it might be more economical to replace the car.

Should I stay inside my car or wait outside after a breakdown?

  • Assess the situation; it's often safer to stay inside your car with the doors locked, especially on busy roads or in unsafe areas.

How does car donation work if my car is old or has significant issues?

  • Many charities, like Cars for Kids, accept cars in various conditions. They can tow your car for free, and you may qualify for a tax deduction. The proceeds support charitable causes.

Is it safe to try to fix the car by myself on the roadside?

  • Only attempt minor fixes if you're knowledgeable and it's safe to do so. Otherwise, it's safer to call for professional help.

When is it Time to Let Go?

Sometimes, a car breakdown might indicate a more serious underlying issue, especially in older or high-mileage vehicles. If repair costs outweigh the value of the car, or if it's frequently breaking down, it might be time to consider letting go. This is where the idea of car donation comes into play.

Donating your car can be a noble exit strategy for a vehicle that's seen better days. Organizations like Cars for Kids accept car donations and use the proceeds to support charitable causes. Not only does this provide you with a hassle-free way to dispose of an unusable car, but it also contributes to the greater good, making a positive impact on the lives of others.

Stay Safe On The Road

In wrapping up, navigating a car breakdown doesn't have to be a nerve-wracking ordeal. Armed with the right knowledge and a calm approach, young drivers can effectively manage such unexpected situations with confidence. Remember, safety should always be your top priority, followed by assessing the situation and seeking professional assistance when needed. Keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle can also make a significant difference while waiting for help. 

Moreover, if you find that your car is frequently breaking down and the repair costs are mounting, it might be an opportune moment to consider its future. Donating your vehicle to a charitable organization like Cars for Kids not only offers a graceful exit from ongoing car troubles but also extends your impact to support worthwhile causes. It transforms a challenging situation into an opportunity for generosity, benefitting both you and the community at large.

Feb 12, 2024
Cars for Kids Public Auction Now Open to Individual Buyers and Dealers

Cars for Kids is thrilled to announce that our public auction is now open to both individual buyers and dealers. This exciting development means that all participants can now access our wide selection of vehicles, bidding with confidence knowing that there are no longer any "dealer only" vehicles.

"We are excited to open our auction to a wider audience," said Colin Weatherwax, CEO of Cars for Kids. "By removing the restriction on 'dealer only' vehicles, we are providing more opportunities for individuals and dealers alike to find the perfect vehicle for their needs."

With this change, Cars for Kids aims to create a more inclusive and accessible auction environment for everyone. Whether you're searching for your next personal vehicle or looking to add to your dealership inventory, our auction offers a diverse range of options to suit every preference and budget.

To participate in the auction, simply visit our website www.carsforkids.org/auction to browse our inventory. Don't miss out on this opportunity to find your dream vehicle or add to your dealership's selection.

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