What Do You Do If Your Car Hydroplanes

hydroplaning, hydroplaning car, 	dallas forth worth buick gmc, dfw metroplex, freeman grapevine

Freeman Grapevine wants to remind you to take it slow on roads that have just seen a fresh rainfall. Why is that, you ask? Because the danger of your vehicle losing contact with the road and hydroplaning is amplified.

You see, when we don’t have rain for a while dirt, oil, dust and other materials layer our roads. When we have a deluge of rain like we had the other day, it turns all of that dirt and dust on the roadways into a thin layer of slim and mud. Throw on top of that a layer of water that is having a hard time breaking through that dirt barrier and you have a condition that is ripe for a hydroplaning disaster.

Have you ever come to a quick stop after a rain and skidded a little. Think about what would have happened if you were going twice the speed. You would have slid for a considerable distance before coming to a stop. That is if you didn’t hit another car, barrier or went off of the road. What can you do to curb hydroplaning after rainfall.

First, you should slow down. That’s of paramount importance to remember. Speed only exasperates the danger of hydroplaning. You will quickly find out that braking hard to slow your speed will only throw you into a spin. Slow down when it is wet. Especially if we haven’t had rain in a long time.

Second, just forget about hitting your brakes entirely. I know the urge and impulse is to hit them hard, but that can actually make a bad situation even worse. Stopping tire rotation changes the physics of the skid and can throw you into a spin. Instead, just easy up on the gas. That’s right, slowly release the gas pedal. Try to avoid drastic changes in speed which can exasperate the situation.

Don’t cut your steering wheel either. Your impulse will be to turn the wheel sharply in the direction of the skid, but that will only make matters worse when your tires make contact with the road again. Think about it. If your wheel is cut sharply, when you do make contact with the roadway, your tire will be pointing one direction, but your momentum will continue to move forward. You will the throw your Dallas Fort Worth Buick, or GMC violently in one direction, causing you to then try to straighten out by over correcting the opposite direction.

Resist the urge to turn your steering wheel too much. It’s going to be hard not to turn it any, you just have to move in small increments. Try to keep your steering wheel as straight as you can. This will keep your tires facing forward…the same direction as your car is moving.

Here’s a vintage video on hydroplaning that is pretty descriptive:

Do you have any other suggestions for your fellow readers? Is there anything I may have left out? While  Freeman Grapevine welcomes the rain, it can also cause dangerous hydroplaning situations that you should always be cognizant of. Your best bet is to slow down when it is wet out. You can’t see or predict when a road may be slicker than normal.

Look Twice For Motorcycles

Two wheels, or four, Freeman Grapevine wants to remind you that you are responsible for sharing the road with motorcyclists. Motorcycle sales have grown in the US, on any given trip you will see at least one or two. But do you really see them? Have you ever been behind a motorcycle and provide a protective rear shield, or do you barrel up to them as if you didn’t even see them. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you haven’t conditioned yourself to look for motorcycles you share the road with. Maybe you don’t look twice before changing lanes. Maybe you don’t use your ears to listen for the rumble of their exhaust. Maybe you should start doing these things.

Now granted there are a few daredevils out there who abuse the freedom that a motorcycle can provide. I’ve seen idiots popping wheelies on the freeway and doing endo stoppies at red lights to show off. Those aren’t the guys I’m writing about. They’re dumb and reckless. I’m talking about the cruisers who are going the speed limit, not weaving in and out of traffic like an imbecile. It’s those motorcycles who seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to driver who isn’t paying attention.

Nearly 40% of all motorcycle accidents are cause by other vehicles turning left in front of motorcycles. Come on people that is unacceptable! Look before you change lanes. The Last line in the video says it all: “when you get in a fender bender in a car, it’s really no big deal. But when you get in a fender bender on a motorcycle, it could be the end of your life.

Freeman Grapevine wants to remind you that your share the road with hundreds of motorcycles a day and it is your responsibility for their well being. Look twice before you change lanes, and listed for exhaust pipes, they may not only save the rider’s life, but also the rest of yours.

Car VS. Wet Road

Living in Texas, we’re accustomed too the spontaneous thunderstorm here and there. We can go long periods of time with no rain and then…BAM! Flash Flood warnings are being broadcast on every radio and TV station. It’s great that we get the rain, but a fresh downpour on a baked roadway is a recipe for disaster.

“Really, Ozzie?”, you might ask. Yes. Absolutely! One thing that many people forget is that when it hasn’t rained in a while, grim and grit builds up on the asphalt. Oils and other residue accumulates on the roadways making them precariously slippery. How slippery?

While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risks of driving on wet roads, it is entirely possible to reduce the factors that lead to accidents. Here are some methods to reduce those risks.

  • Speed. Make sure that you do not drive too fast for the conditions. Never drive faster than you feel comfortable and if you feel the need, slow down. It is better to drive slowly and safely than fast and reckless. When driving at night, follow the old bit of advice to not outrun your headlights. This should give you plenty of time to react if you see other vehicles trying to stop suddenly or if you see something in the road that needs to be avoided. If at all possible, avoid trying to pass other vehicles.
  • Tires. Improperly inflated tires, while adversely affect your gas mileage, is also going to affect your vehicle’s handling. To keep this from happening, you should make sure that you maintain the proper air pressure, as recommended by the manufacturer. Do this by checking your tire pressure on a regular basis.
  • Wipers. Keep your windshield wipers in good working order. If the motor doesn’t work, then you need to get it fixed. Also, be sure that you check the condition of the wiper blades themselves. If they are old and brittle, chipped, or damaged in any way, then they should be replaced at the first available opportunity. If you don’t change them, you will have a streaky window which is difficult to see out of.
  • Follow. When following other vehicles in traffic, stay in the tire tracks left by the vehicle ahead of you. You’ll get better traction. Keep a minimum of eight seconds between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Avoid, if possible, following any large truck because they typically handle badly in wet conditions and throw up large amounts of water.
  • Brakes. When the need to brake, avoid stomping on the brake pedal. If you can see a stop coming, slow down as much as you can by simply taking your foot off the accelerator and allowing your new car to coast to a stop. This reduces the chance of any slipping, sliding, or hydroplaning. If you have an antilock braking system (ABS) on your vehicle, avoid pumping your brakes That is what your ABS is for, and if you try doing it yourself then you are reducing its effectiveness.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Buick or GMC, don’t hesitate to contact us at Freeman Grapevine. We understand how some of the roads out there can be treacherous after a rain.

Can You Pass This Awareness Test

Lot’s of time when we are driving it’s easy to miss objects and things that you aren’t looking for. Yes, you look when you change lanes. Yes, you look when you make a turn. Yes, you see speed limit signs. Yes, you see school zones. How often do you miss things you aren’t looking for on the road? More often than you think. Here’s an example. Take this short awareness test and see if you can pass.

Pretty interesting, huh? It’s not always easy to spot the things you aren’t really looking for. Cyclists, motorcyclists, people jaywalking, animals in the road and a plethora of other obstacles and impedances.

The bottom line is that anytime you get behind the wheel of your Buick, or GMC you need to be sensitive to everything you see and hyper-sensitive to the things that you don’t. That is your responsibility as a driver in Dallas, Fort Worth and anywhere else you may drive.

Take it even further and throw in the fact that you might be on the phone, or trying to text. What do you think you chances are of seeing and reacting to something unexpected in the road? I’m going to say, not very good in the least.

Just be sure that every time you get behind the wheel your focus is on the road and expect the unexpected. Just another friendly reminder from us here at Freeman Grapevine.

Bleed Your Brakes For Better Stopping Power

Have you noticed any difference in your braking power lately? If you’ve had your vehicle for a while, you may have noticed that your brakes just aren’t as responsive, or efficient as they used to be.  Does it feel that you have to use more pressure on the brake pedal, and the brakes may seem to take a little longer to catch?  If so, the reason for this is because the more you use your brakes, over time, bubbles of air may get into your brake lines, and this means that the brake fluid needed to cause your brakes to work is not getting to the brakes as effectively as before.

This can become a safety issue, leaving you less time to react to having to come to a fast stop, or worse, make your brakes useless while moving.  The best way to fix this problem is to bleed you brakes to get the air bubbles out of the system.  The National Motorists Association has a great walk through for brake bleeding.

Bleeding can be done several ways. The traditional two-man method requires one person to depress the brake pedal to the floor while the other opens the bleeder valve (there’s one at each wheel) to let fluid (and air bubbles) escape. Before the pedal is allowed to rise to its normal position, the second person must close the bleeder valve to prevent air from being sucked back in.

This process is repeated several times until all the air is gone.

During the process, the master cylinder must be kept topped off with fluid; otherwise, it can run dry and then you’ll just suck air into the system that way. Maintain the level at the “full” mark as you proceed.

Also: Be sure to close the lid on the master cylinder before you start pumping the brake pedal or you risk splashing everywhere. Be very careful with brake fluid because it will eat right through any paint it’s spilled on. It’s a good idea to cover the fender near the master cylinder with a rubber mat; something that won’t let any spilled fluid seep through to contact the paint. If you do accidentally spill any brake fluid on painted surfaces, stop what you’re doing and clean it up immediately. A spray-can detailer can save your car’s finish. Keep it handy.

Some mechanics like to attach a hose to the bleeder valve they’re working on, with the other end immersed in a container filled with brake fluid. This way, they can actually see the air bubbles — and when they stop coming.

This method also makes less of a mess, since you capture all the old fluid in your container instead of it squirting all over the floor.

Just be careful not to suck old fluid (and air bubbles) back into the system.

Do one wheel at a time; never open more than one bleeder valve at once.

Once you’ve purged all the trapped air from one wheel, move on to the next and repeat. The brake pedal should get firmer as air is removed from the system. Bleed the wheels in pairs — first the fronts then the rears. (Each set is paired and has its own separate fluid reservoir within the master cylinder.)

Having “soft brakes” can be a sign of potentially larger issues as well, so it’s best to have them looked at if you suspect you are having a braking issue. You are certainly welcome to follow the instructions above and attempt to bleed them yourself, however, not everyone may be comfortable  fixing the problem themselves, if  that is the case, then be sure to bring your Buick, or GMC to Freeman Grapevine as soon as possible.

I’m “Shocked” at the condition of YOUR shocks

Ok, how do you know when  you may require replacement shocks and why are shocks so essential? These are excellent questions.   This is certainly an frequently overlooked but crucial piece to your automobile in regards to safety. make no mistake, recognizing when it is time to switch your shocks is extremely important.

First, let’s evaluate the shocks as well as the suspension system:

Examining your shocks is often a very simple thing to perform. The truth is, it is something you can do yourself  fairly easily.

The very first thing that can be done is pay attention if you are driving. For example, upon hitting the bump does your car or truck continue to bounce up and down? If the answer is yes then you definitely will almost undoubtedly require fresh shocks. Start taking note now, as this will likely start slowly and get worse over time until they are really bad. In reality, if you delay too long you may break other components and parts of of you vehicle.

Another approach to test your shock’s life  would be to physically peek underneath your car or truck. For a truck or van you might not be able to see them. In this instance you need to push on the bumper and follow the measures the same as you are physically taking a look at them. They may bounce. Two or three bounces they are fine. If they continue to oscillate, then they need replacing.

As stated before, the main reason it is so important to change worn out shocks is because they’re critical to keeping your tires connected with the highway. If you are driving down a bumpy road and the wheels are bouncing up and down, worn shocks will in fact permit the wheels to entirely lose contact with the highway. Considering your tires are the only thing separating you from the highway, this can be particularly unsafe when you run into a dip or a bump during a high speed curve. Superior shocks will help minimize body roll, also essential during cornering.

IF you think that your shock may be worn and really can’t figure it out by yourself, swing by and we’ll take a look at them. Then we can recommend the right types for your Buick or GMC.

Ever Wonder What A 5 Million Dollar Garage Looks Like

Here at Freeman Grapevine, we love all things automotive and this is simply amazing. The garage in the video below cost roughly $5,000,000 to construct, includes and aircraft carrier elevator and contains millions more in cars, trucks, SUVs, Motorcycles, an RV and God knows what else. I just clicked on the video for fun. This is reported to be one of the most expensive personal garages in existence.

Take a look for yourself.

Now while we all can’t afford or even need such an elaborate car collection and housing facility, I goes to show you that the love some people have for the automobile knows no bounds. Have you run into really unique automotive videos, or stories you can share?

Now do I really need to say that, although this guy’s garage might be impressive, it can’t beat our service center facility…hey, at least we have more certified mechanics than that guys does.

Buick Leads In National Customer Service Index Study

378046_299892470038888_1645320118_nWell, Buick has done it for a second consecutive year. It has been released that Buick ranks at the top in customer service and dealer satisfaction. Of course, we’re not really surprised. Check out the Press Release.

DETROIT – According to the customers surveyed in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI), Buick ranks tops among 20 mass-market brands for the second consecutive year in dealer service satisfaction.

The study measures service satisfaction among owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year-old vehicles in the United States. The CSI focuses on five service areas, with service quality most heavily weighted, and followed by service initiation, service advisor, service facility and vehicle pick-up.

“Superior reliability, quality and customer service is core to every model we bring to market,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “Leading the market in service satisfaction demonstrates that we and our dealers continue to deliver on that commitment.”

Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick

Come and see what all the excitement is about at Freeman Grapevine. Judge our service for yourself and let us know what you think. We really do value our customer’s opinions. If you’ve already shopped here, well, you already know how well we treat our customers.
© General Motors.

Buick Ranks High in Benchmark Dependability Study

© General Motors.
© General Motors.

(This article was originally published on Buick.com)

Brand moves up three spots to 2nd overall

DETROIT – Buick today was recognized as one of the most dependable brands in the J.D. Power 2015 Vehicle Dependability StudySM and improved to second overall, from fifth last year, outperforming many luxury makes.

The 2015 study tracks 2012 model year vehicles in the third year of ownership. According to the study, Buick was 34 percent more reliable than industry average.

Driving the brand’s overall gains, the Buick LaCrosse was recognized as J.D. Power’s segment leader in the Large Car segment. And the Buick Enclave was ranked second in the Midsize SUV segment.

“Buick’s ranking is a testament to the fact that we on the leading edge of reliability, quality and customer service,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “More and more customers are visiting the Buick showroom because we put these values at the core of every model we bring to the market.”

The 2014 Buick Encore ranked highest in the Sub-Compact SUV segment in both the J.D. Power 2013 and 2014 Initial Quality StudiesSM. This award also complements Buick’s recognition as the highest-ranking mass-market brand for customer satisfaction with dealer service, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Customer Service Index StudySM.

grapevine cars, gmc fort worth, dealerships dfw, buick dealer, GMC dealer, used cars dfw, used cars fort worth

A Refresher in Driving Etiquette Just for You!

So it may have been a few years since you’ve been in drivers ed, or let’s face it, maybe even a few decades! And quite possibly, over the years, you may just have forgotten some things and are now making some uber driving faux pas and you don’t even know it.  Sheesh, and you wonder why you get honked at!

Now let’s get refreshed. Drivers etiquette refreshed that is!

  1. Pedestrians have the right of way. So you may be a few minutes on time and the person who is crossing in the crosswalk, at the pace of a snail it seems, is taking forever. You need to back off and give them their space. No one even really likes having to be in the crosswalk, much less be antagonized in one by you!

  2. Tailgating is not going to get you there any faster. It may actually take you longer because you were following to close that you got yourself in an accident. Rule of thumb is that you need to leave one and a half car lengths between you and the car in front of you.

  3. Not letting other vehicles merge is not very nice and won’t get you on Santa’s good list either. And, it can be extremely dangerous if you’re hogging the right lane when others are trying to merge onto the freeway. Let them in.

  4. Turn up the radio, nah turn it down! Not everyone wants to hear what you’re listening to.

  5. Don’t leave your brights on. This can make it extremely hard for oncoming traffic to see which begs me to ask the question of why would you do this?! Use your brights courteously.

  6. Please use your turn signals. They were invented to give other drivers a little heads up so that they can slow down and not end up connecting with the rear of your car because you had to take a quick turn and they had zero response time.

  7. Driving too slowly is as bad as driving too fast. They both are real dangers.

  8. The parking lot is full, but you just could have had a spot if only this person didn’t double park! Just don’t do it.

  9. Sure traffic light may not seem like they are on your side today, but honking at them is not going to change the computers mind. Try to leave a few minutes early as you never know when the traffic sign gods are not on your side.

  10. After a snow storm it is very important to clear as much snow from your vehicle as possible. Why? Because you have the chance of losing all of that snow to the vehicle behind you and causing a lack of vision and possibly an accident for them.

Be a better driver by immediately following these easy drivers etiquette tips today! And if you have something you’d like to share please stop by Freeman Grapevine or post on our facebook wall!

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Google PlusCheck Our Feed