News Wire: GMC Named Most Ideal Popular Brand For Third Straight Year

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2016 GMC Sierra Denali © General Motors.
2016 GMC Sierra Denali © General Motors.

Sierra, Yukon, Acadia top segments in AutoPacific’s 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards

DETROIT – GMC today was named Most Ideal Popular Brand in AutoPacific’s 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards for the third consecutive year. Three GMC models led their respective segments, one of only two automakers to do so.

The Acadia topped the Large Crossover SUV segment and the Yukon/Yukon XL ranked highest in the Large SUV segment. The brand’s top-selling vehicle, the GMC Sierra, led the Light Duty Pickup category for the second straight year.

Available now, the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia offers precisely-crafted interior features, next generation infotainment and innovative driver alert technologies for a quality, comfortable and convenient traveling experience.

The 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards are based on responses from over 65,000 owners of new 2015 and 2016 model year vehicles across all major manufacturers. Surveyed after 90 days of ownership, customers were asked which changes they would make to their car or truck in 15 key categories, including ride and handling, interior storage, safety features, power and acceleration and technology.

“By asking vehicle owners if they would change various aspects of their vehicle if given the opportunity, we not only identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement, but we also find out which manufacturers are truly hitting the mark with owners,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.

“The results demonstrate we are succeeding in our mission to provide our customers with a premium ownership experience,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC. “We are blending precision design, technology and capability throughout our lineup. When you add our luxury-focused Denali portfolio, which makes up nearly 25 percent of GMC sales, we are setting ourselves apart from our competitors.”

For more information about AutoPacific’s 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards, visit

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News Wire: Encore Fuels Growth of Industry’s Hottest Segment

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2017 Buick Encore. © General Motors.
2017 Buick Encore. © General Motors.

Representing nearly a quarter of all small SUVs on U.S. roads today, customers have discovered attainable luxury and quality in the Encore

DETROIT – Small SUVs represent one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. U.S. sales of small SUVs have tripled since 2011, according to Polk registration data. Buick Encore sales have accelerated this growth by nearly 30 percent since 2013, despite entries in the segment having more than doubled since the Encore hit showrooms in 2013. Today, one quarter of small SUVs on the road are Buicks.

“The Encore is a pioneering force in a segment hugely popular with customers, with one in four Small SUV owners in the U.S. today driving a Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “The upcoming 2017 model doubles down on what’s made it successful, like extensive soft-touch interior materials not offered by the competition.”

Through the first six months of 2016, the U.S. has become Encore’s top market, with more than half of all sales coming from that market. In June, it reached 30 straight months of year-over-year sales growth, with more than half of new owners coming from outside GM brands.

In July, Encore is on pace for its best sales month ever, in one of its last months before a fully refreshed version comes out in September.

The Encore continues to gain popularity against competitive brands among key audiences including women and professionals. Women represent nearly 60 percent of Encore buyers, which is 16 percent higher than the industry.

“The Buick Encore provides buyers with a luxury experience in a nimble, compact, value-packed vehicle,” said Rebecca Lindland, senior director of commercial insights for Kelley Blue Book. “Not only is it chock-full of the latest in safety technology, it also is fun to drive and provides a wonderful, quiet cabin experience.

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You Can Save Money and Be Green Without Owning a Hybrid!

At Freeman Grapevine, we are always wanting to save you money. There is a lot of expense that goes into owing a car, fuel being a big one. Even if you don’t own a hybrid or an electric, you can do your part in reducing your emissions. I know these things get hard to remember sometimes and without seeing the direct effects of your emissions, you probably don’t give this stuff much second thought. I found a list on the Consumer Reports car blog that might help remind you. It explains that there are still ways you can drive responsibly and make less of a carbon footprint with your new car.

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  • No idling. A number of schools across the country have instituted a no idling rule to reduce children breathing in exhaust, but you can stop unnecessary idling every day. There is no need to warm up your car or keep your car running while waiting for passengers. The general rule-of-thumb is to turn off your car if you know you’ll be stopped for more than 30 seconds. Stopping idling helps air quality, saves gas, and reduces pollutants.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. In our tests, we found fuel economy is reduced when tires are not inflated to where they should be. Do this when the tires are cold (before the vehicle has been driven or after no more than a couple of miles of driving). Use the inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, not the maximum pressure embossed on the tire’s sidewall. The recommended pressure is usually found on a placard on a front doorjamb, in the glove compartment, or in the owner’s manual.
  • Slow down. Slowing from 75 to 55 mph boosted gas mileage 33 percent in testing performed on a family sedan and a large SUV.
  • Combine trips. Avoid making multiple short trips or try to combine all errands into one trip. If you can, avoid rush hour as sitting in traffic burns more gas and emits more pollutants.
  • Drive light. Reduce the amount of cargo you have in your vehicle–clean out all the useless junk in the trunk–and take off your roof rack when you’re not using it. This will lighten your load, reduce drag, and aid fuel economy.
  • Ride share. Carpool to work or ride with other families to school or sporting events. Better yet, ditch the car altogether and use public transportation or bike/walk to do errands or get to work.

Does anyone else have any useful suggestions? Your Dallas Buick Dealer, Freeman Grapevine would love to hear them.

How Can I Get a Better Deal on Car Insurance?

In this economy, Freeman Grapevine wants to make sure that you have insurance that is reliable yet affordable. And if you have a good driving record with no recent accidents, you should see some discounts on your car insurance.

These discounts may not happen immediately, but over time you should see a reduction in your rates.

Several insurance companies are taking performance monitoring to the next level. With the installation of an opt-in diagnostics system that communicates with on-board sensors, insurance providers can monitor driving in real time, and offer lower rates to drivers with proven safety records. Specifically, the devices measure average speed, braking speed, and total time behind the wheel.

For drivers that are below average in these areas, a discount will be rewarded after a month. Discounts can range up to 30% from certain insurers, which can provide significant relief for fiscally challenged motorists. In most states, the devices can lead to never having higher insurance rates. Furthermore,  the program is completely voluntary, with an option to cancel at any time. The devices do not include GPS, so a driver’s privacy is maintained while using the system. [Source: Motorology]


I hope that you do have a good driving record. If you do then you should shop around for the best quotes. The lowest quote does not necessarily mean the best insurance for you. Make sure they have the coverage you will need.

If you are planning to buy a new car soon, now is a good time to call around for your best quotes on a Buicks, GMCs and Used, or you can just come and check out Freeman Grapevine.

Busting A Couple Popular Gas Myths

As a Texas GMC Dealer, one of the biggest concerns with my customers is how they can get the most mileage out of their cars gas tanks. Now there are a lot of car myths out there that we need to wade through. We’ve all heard them… whether it’s from a family member, a friend or John Doe. These “tips” have been around for ages, and that’s exactly the problem with most of them. They’ve been around for ages! For now, let’s focus on gasoline myths.  Here are two of my favorites.

Running on Empty

Myth: Once your gas gauge hits empty, you have at least one more gallon of gasoline.

Reality: Most cars actually have about two gallons in their tanks when the gauge hits empty! This myth is actually true! Though we’d like to think that car manufacturers did this to be helpful to those of us who seem to always find themselves running on E with no gas station in sight, it’s really just a marketing ploy. Have you ever noticed how your gauge seems to stay on the full side much longer than it does on the empty?

National auto writer Paul Duchene said,

“Gas gauges aren’t linear. They are set up so they actually stay on ‘full’ for a long time, mosey on down to half, then plunge quickly to about a quarter, then gradually make their way down to zero, at which point you have about two gallons left.”

However, running on empty is definitely not something you should do on a regular basis… especially in the summertime.

Premium Gas Pays for Itself

Myth: Use only the best gas and your car will need fewer tune-ups and get better mileage.

Reality: The only think that using regular gas could cost you is a few extra horsepower at high speeds. But the odds are, you aren’t going to notice anyway.  Most engine fuel-management systems are perfectly prepared to handle lower-octane fuel.

“The difference between 87 and 93 octane is so insignificant that you will realize neither better mileage nor fewer maintenance bills by buying supreme,” said Duchene.  “It makes no difference unless the car is supercharged or it is absolutely specified that it needs higher octane.”

Check out the video below for a few more hints on saving at the pump:

Have any other tips? I’d love to hear them, swing by your Texas GMC Dealer, Freeman Grapevine and let’s talk about how you can save more at the pump.

How Long Does Your New Car Honeymoon Last?

This Dallas GMC Dealer never really thought about this until a recent survey I saw. Apparently the “honeymoon period” for a man and his car is four months, compared to 14 months for women. Most men consider the honeymoon over when they start parking their car around other cars, women when they let their spouses drive.

The survey below was completed by LeaseTrader and is the result of speaking with 2,500 drivers about when their car goes from “Hey everybody, check out my new car!”, to “Man, I really want a new car.” Of course, there are those flashes when you remember what it was like when it was brand new…but when you have your eye on a new car, those flashes become increasingly more rare.

Here’s the full list of what men and women consider to mark the end of the honeymoon period:

Parks around other cars (33%)
Starts transporting sports equipment (22%)
Less frequent car cleaning (17%)
High-payment starts to bother them (12%)
Stops using gas mileage button (7%)
No more fights over who drives during long trips (3%)
Other (6%)


Lets spouse finally drive car (39%)
Starts car-pooling other kids (24%)
Started eating in car (12%)
Puts makeup on while driving (9%)
Leaves clothes in car (6%)
Starts smoking in car (2%)
Other (8%)

Tell Freeman Grapevine who you think loves their cars more, Men or Women?

Do you recycle your car battery when it’s time?

recycling car battery

Here at Freeman Grapevine, we like to think of ourselves hyper-concious about the any “footprints” our Dallas Buick dealership can potentially leave on our environment.  Take your car battery, for example. When most green-minded folks think about being stewards of our planet, they’re more likely to have visions of planting trees and cleaning  streams than pondering their car battery’s place in the universe. Understandable…there’s a lot you may not know about your new car’s battery.

First, your new car’s battery is highly toxic, being made up primarily of lead,  acid, and plastic. But the good news is they’re also highly recyclable,  and old ones usually end up getting turned into more batteries.

According to the industry trade group Battery Council International:

More than 97 percent of all used battery lead is recycled into new  batteries. When compared to the 55 percent of aluminum soft drink and  beer cans, 45 percent of newspapers, and 26 percent of glass bottles  that BCI says get recycled, batteries start looking pretty green. In  fact, lead-acid batteries top the list of  recycled consumer products.

In addition to recycling the lead, the plastic cases are melted down  and used to make new ones. The acid, they say, can even get turned into  sodium sulfate, a powder used in glass, detergents, and textiles.  Alternatively, some recyclers neutralize the acid, turn it into water,  and release it into the public sewer system once it is cleaned and  tested.

While that last part may sound a little scary, it’s still better than  batteries ending up in a landfill, an incinerator, or by the side of  the road.

The BCI Web site lists 44 states that prohibit disposing of old  car batteries in landfills and incinerators. Nearly 40 of those states  also require retailers and distributors to collect used batteries from  consumers for recycling. (Go to to see the details for your state.)

When shopping, your best bet is to find a Dallas Car dealer that will install  your new one for free and recycle the old one for you. If there’s a  charge for installation, make sure to find out what it is before making a  purchase.

Recycle, recycle , recycle…If you want any more info, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or give me a call.

Debunking Common Maintenance Myths

GMC Dallas, Buick Dallas, Used Cars Dallas, Texas GMC, Used Cars Fort Worth, Used Car Dealers Dallas, Texas Buick, Texas GMC DealerIt seem that debunking myths has become one of my favorite things to do lately. If you’ve kept up with Dallas GMC Dealer, Freeman Grapevine, you know that I’ve touched on gasoline myths and electric car myths recently. In continuing with this little series I’ve started, I want to share my favorite cars myths of all –maintenance myths. I think these are my favorite because they are the most common. They’re also the most important because you may think you are doing what’s best for your car when in reality, you might be compromising your safety and your wallet. That being said, let’s not waste anytime.

Maintenance Myths


Myth: Engine oil should be changed every 3,000 miles.
Reality: Despite what oil companies and quick-lube shops often claim, it’s usually not necessary. Stick to the service intervals in your car’s owner’s manual. Under normal driving conditions, most vehicles are designed to go 7,500 miles or more between oil changes. Changing oil more often doesn’t hurt the engine, but it can cost you a lot of extra money. Automakers often recommend 3,000-mile intervals for severe driving conditions, such as constant stop-and-go driving, frequent trailer-towing, mountainous terrain, or dusty conditions.

Myth: Inflate tires to the pressure shown on the tire’s sidewall.
Reality: The pounds-per-square-inch figure on the side of the tire is the maximum pressure that the tire can safely hold, not the automaker’s recommended pressure, which provides the best balance of braking, handling, gas mileage, and ride comfort. That figure is usually found on a doorjamb sticker, in the glove box, or on the fuel-filler door. Perform a monthly pressure check when tires are cold or after the car has been parked for a few hours.

Myth: If the brake fluid is low, topping it off will fix the problem.
Reality: As brake pads wear, the level in the brake-fluid reservoir drops a bit. That helps you monitor brake wear. If the fluid level drops to or below the Low mark on the reservoir, then either your brakes are worn out or fluid is leaking. Either way, get the brake system serviced immediately. You should also get a routine brake inspection when you rotate the tires, about every 6,000 to 7,000 miles.

Myth: Flush the coolant with every oil change.
Reality: Radiator coolant doesn’t need to be replaced very often. Most owner’s manuals recommend changing the coolant every five years or 60,000 miles. Of course, if the level in the coolant reservoir is chronically low, check for a leak and get service as soon as possible.

Myth: After a jump-start, your car will soon recharge the battery.
Reality: It could take hours of driving to restore a battery’s full charge, especially in the winter. That’s because power accessories, such as heated seats, draw so much electricity that in some cars the alternator has little left over to recharge a run-down battery. A “load test” at a service station can determine whether the battery can still hold a charge. If so, some hours on a battery charger might be needed to revive the battery to its full potential.

Myth: Let your engine warm up for several minutes before driving.
Reality: That might have been good advice for yesteryear’s cars but is less so today. Modern engines warm up more quickly when they’re driven. And the sooner they warm up, the sooner they reach maximum efficiency and deliver the best fuel economy and performance. But don’t rev the engine high over the first few miles while it’s warming up.

Myth: Dish washing and laundry detergents make a good car wash.
Reality: Detergent can strip off a car’s wax finish. Instead, use a car-wash liquid, which is formulated to clean without removing wax.

Source: Consumer Reports

Heard of at least one of these before? I knew it. I’m sure some of you may be in shock right now realizing that all of you’ve known about DIY car maintenance has been wrong, but don’t fret Freeman Grapevine has you totally covered. You should never hesitate to give us a call with any car maintenance questions or any questions about cars in general. After all, we want to ensure your car lives the longest and healthiest life that it can.

Texas Heat, Cars and Pets Don’t Mix

“…not even for a minute”

With Summer temperatures recently reaching over the 100 degree mark all across Texas, our cars are easily reach temperatures of 150 degrees or more. That’s hot enough to melt plastic and is certainly not an environment for your pets to be in.

I don’t like the fact that I have to write articles like this, but every year it seems that Texas drivers and pet owners need a reminder. It pains me…strike that…INFURIATES me when I see dogs left in cars by themselves. First off, your dog’s temperature is already roughly 100.5°F to 102.5°F. In order for them to diffuse heat, they have to pant and cool the blood flow through their tongue since they have no sweat glands and do not perspire. As if that isn’t enough, they are wearing a fur coat!

What many people don’t know is that even on moderately cool days, the temperature inside a car can be fatal. Even when its only 70 degrees outside, in just one hour, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees, and cracking the windows doesn’t really help.

If you think that your four-legged friends would be “OK” for a few minutes as you ran in to a store, think again. In fact, don’t think about it. Go ahead and sit in your car with no air running for 10 min. and then see if you feel the same way. I’ll even let you crack the windows. Sweat much?

No one is immune to catching a case of “the stupids”. You may think it will only take a few minutes to grab those groceries or chat with a friend, but that few minutes can translate into life threatening heat exhaustion for your best friend:

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

If your dog has heat stroke he will progressively show these signs:

  • Excessive panting;
  • Pale gums, bright red tongue;
  • Disorientation and your dog doesn’t respond to his name;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Thick saliva;
  • Vomiting;
  • Breathing difficulties;
  • Collapse;
  • Coma;
  • Death

Dogs Prone to Heatstroke

  • Young puppies and older dogs;
  • Overweight dogs;
  • Dogs with an existing illness or recovering from illness or surgery;
  • Dog breeds with short faces – Bulldogs, Shar pei, Boston Terriers, Pugs – have narrow respiratory systems that easily get overwhelmed in hot and humid conditions;
  • Double coated breeds such as Chow Chows; and
  • Dogs bred for cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies and Newfoundlands.

If you suspect that your dog may have heat stroke:

Make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water but don’t let him drink too much.

Cool him with cool/tepid water – either immerse him in a bath, gently hose him or apply cool towels to his body. Importantly do not leave wet towels on your dog and do not use very cold water – both prevent your dog form being able to cool himself.

Move your dog to an area where there is cool air circulating, such as an air conditioned room or stand him in front of a fan. The cool circulating air will help your dog to reduce his temperature.

Remember, your dog can’t tell you that he is uncomfortable, so you’ll have to use common sense. Under no circumstance should you leave your dogs unattended in a car. Regardless of how hot you believe you car will “actually” get, you are going to be wrong. Then you will be left with a tragedy that is not only emotional, but quite possibly legal as well. You will get fined for endangering an animal by leaving them in a hot car, or could even be arrested for animal cruelty if they die.

Keep your pups safe, keep them out of your hot vehicles. If you have any comments, questions or advice, leave a comment below or see me at Freeman Grapevine!

GMC Leads Industry with New Rear Seat Reminder

(This article originally appeared on

Rear Seat Reminder alert. © General Motors.
Rear Seat Reminder alert. © General Motors.

All-new 2017 GMC Acadia introduces industry-first feature to help busy drivers

DETROIT — Life moves fast. There are a million things on everyone’s mind, and sometimes even the most organized among us need a little help remembering everything. The all-new 2017 GMC Acadia is helping to address this issue with the Rear Seat Reminder, a new, industry-first feature designed to remind drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicle under certain circumstances.

Each year in the U.S., about half of the children under age 14 who die of in-vehicle heatstroke do so as a result of being forgotten. Also, items left in the back seat are a target for theft. Nearly 23 percent of larceny in 2014 was from a motor vehicle, according to the FBI.

“Acadia drivers live busy lives with demanding schedules, and the Rear Seat Reminder helps protect the things we care about most,” said Tricia Morrow, GM global safety strategy engineer. “Whether it’s your lunch, laptop, pet or most importantly, your child, it’s easier than it seems to forget what’s in the back seat when moving between life’s events. With this new feature, we are leading the charge to address this ongoing problem.”

The Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the Acadia’s rear doors. The feature is intended to activate when either rear door is opened and closed within 10 minutes before the vehicle is started, or if they are opened and closed while the vehicle is running. Under these circumstances, the next time the vehicle is turned off after a door activation, the Acadia is designed to sound five audible chimes and display a message in the driver information center that reads, “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat.”

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