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5 Tips For Driving In The Rain

These past couple of weeks we have seen a bit of rain, to say the least. It has put a good amount of water on the ground and snarled traffic all throughout the metroplex. I happened to get caught in the rain and it got me thinking. Some people just don’t know how to drive safely in the rain. I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 tips for driving in the rain.

  1. Turn on your headlights. If your car has daytime running lamps, then there’s a good possibility that your rear lights are not on. Be sure to turn them on so people who are behind you can see where you are!
  2. Slow down! This is a no-brainer. The faster you are going, the less time you have to react to someone hydroplaning or slowing down.
  3. Don’t follow large vehicles. The spray from their tires reduces your visibility drastically. If you must pass them, do so quickly.
  4. Replace your old windshield wipers. I cannot stress this enough. Wipers are the key to your visibility in any amount of rain. If you can’t see, you shouldn’t be driving.
  5. Don’t be afraid to get off the road. If you don’t feel comfortable driving, no one will think less of you for pulling over and waiting for the rain to let up.

The weather in North Texas can be unpredictable much like the downpour we have seen these past couple of weeks. Knowing how to drive in sudden rain-storms is a very valuable skill that we all need to have. There are so many more factors that go into driving safely in the rain, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Whatever you do, don’t be this guy!

GMC Expands Military Discount, Advances Campaign to Support Injured Veterans

(This article originally appeared on

GMC launched the #enlistme Campaign in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America’s Bravest program to raise awareness and funds to help the Foundation build custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely injured veterans.
GMC launched the #enlistme Campaign in support of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America’s Bravest program to raise awareness and funds to help the Foundation build custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely injured veterans. © General Motors.

DETROIT – Today through May 31, 2016, GMC will expand its military discount program for all 21 million U.S. military veterans and their spouses, in honor of National Military Appreciation Month.

“These brave men and women have done so much for our country,” said Steve Hill, GM vice president of U.S. sales and service. “Making sure all veterans can take advantage of our military discount to celebrate Military Appreciation Month is one small way we can express our gratitude.”

GMC offers the industry’s most comprehensive automotive military discount program. The military discount program is typically available to U.S. military veterans within one year of separation, active-duty personnel, reservists, retirees and their spouses. In honor of May’s National Military Appreciation Month, the program expands to include all veterans – regardless of their separation date – and their spouses.

The discount is available for popular models, including the GMC Acadia, Sierra and Yukon. Because the discount can be combined with most current incentives, veterans could save thousands of dollars on some vehicles. For more information, visit

GMC’s support for the U.S. military began more than 100 years ago when the U.S. Army began to rely on its trucks during WWI. Today, the tradition continues as GMC’s recently launched #enlistme campaign helps the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation and its Building For America’s Bravest program build smart homes for veterans with serious combat injuries.

“Too many severely injured servicemen and women are returning to homes that just don’t meet the needs of their individual conditions,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick and GMC Sales, Service and Marketing. “With the #enlistme campaign, GMC invites everyone to honor these brave veterans by showing their support on social media and making a donation.”

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Buick Enclave Blows the Bell Curve

© General Motors
© General Motors

(this article was originally published on

Another year of record sales defies industry trends, fuels Buick’s global momentum

Buick Enclave’s 62,300 sales in the United States in 2014 represented the second consecutive year of record sales for Buick’s flagship crossover and built on momentum that has barely paused since its launch in mid-2007.

While most vehicles follow somewhat of a bell curve for sales during their lifecycle, the Enclave has continued on an upward trajectory after more than seven years. Minor dips in 2009 and 2012 reflected overall trends in the recovering auto industry, but record-setting 2014 sales represented a 39-percent increase over the Enclave’s first full year of production.

More than 450,000 Enclave models have been sold worldwide since its launch.

Enclave U.S. sales history

2007: 29,286 (mid-year introduction)
2008: 44,706
2009: 43,150
2010: 55,426
2011: 58,392
2012: 56,703
2013: 60,534
2014: 62,300

“Few vehicles in any segment of the industry enjoy such a legacy of increasing popularly,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “In fact, many customers are enjoying their second or third Enclave. The Enclave has also been a cornerstone of Buick’s product renaissance, which saw a second consecutive year of record global sales in 2014.”

Said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book: “The Buick Enclave was really the perfect vehicle at the perfect time. It instantly expanded the brand’s reach by offering an attractive and functional SUV with luxury amenities. The three-row SUV segment was struggling in 2007, yet the Enclave drew a core group of buyers upon release and has continually expanded that group as SUV interest grew in recent years.

“This consistent growth curve is testament to how ‘right’ Buick got the Enclave at launch, along with how effectively the brand has supported its full-size SUV in the following years,” Brauer said.

Enclave received Kelley Blue Book’s 2014 5-Year Cost-to-Own award for the full-size luxury SUV/crossover category.

For 2015, the Enclave adds a heated, wood-trimmed steering wheel to its roster of luxury features. It is offered in three trim levels: Convenience (1SD), Leather (1SL) and Premium (1SN). All-wheel drive is available on Leather and Premium trims, and

all models are powered by a direct-injected 3.6L V-6 that delivers an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (FWD models).

Experience Buick Protection on all 2015 Buick models includes two years/24,000 miles of scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, oil filter changes and tire rotations. It complements Buick’s four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and six-year/70,000-mile powertrain limited warranty.

“The Enclave continues to attract new and returning customers to its mix of its outstanding design, performance and safety features,” Aldred said.

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Fuel Efficiency Myths

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Now that fuel prices have come back down to Earth. I’m going to talk a little bit about some common questions I get from people here at the dealership. There are lots of myths about how to save gas, and I want to try to dispel some of them.

Does filling up before your car is empty help stop with fuel evaporation?

While it’s never a good idea to run your vehicle down to the ‘E’ (because no one likes running out of gas), filling up before it gets there doesn’t stop evaporation from happening. Modern cars have vapor recovery systems that stop the fumes from escaping your tank. Nowadays, just about any car you drive will trip the check engine light if your gas cap is not securely fastened or missing. You can fill up your gas tank with any level of fuel already in the tank and not notice a difference.

Does a manual get better gas mileage than an automatic?

This is a tough one to answer. A skilled driver who can control the engine with precision and times their shifting perfectly can get better mileage than an automatic transmission, yes. However, a normal, everyday driver who does not pay particular attention to those details will waste gas by shifting too late or over-revving the engine. Automatic transmissions have come a long way and are more efficient than ever, which leads to less gas wasted.

Should I fill up my gas tank when it’s cooler?

The theory behind this myth is that when a liquid is cooler, it’s denser, meaning you get more fuel for the money. Good theory, but bad practice. The gas you buy from a gas station stores their fuel underground, insulated from the elements, where there is little temperature variation. Purchasing gas in the morning, when it’s cooler will have no noticeable effect on your wallet.

Do you have any fuel myths you want dispelled?

Fall Foliage Drives in North Texas

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Being located here in Grapevine, Texas, means that we aren’t exactly a treasure trove of great fall foliage sightseeing. Our weather errs on the warmer side of the spectrum so we very rarely have a window of time to enjoy the changing of the colors. Not to say that we don’t enjoy it, we just have to search a little harder and be a little better at planning ahead. For us, late November, right around Thanksgiving is the best time to take a drive to see the colors. After living here for many years, here are a few places I’ve found that can provide us North Texans with a glimpse of Fall foliage.

Fossil Rim State Park

South of Fort Worth, about an hour’s drive, you’ll hit Glen Rose, a tiny town of about 2,500. In that town is a great park called Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. In that park is a drive thru wildlife and foliage lesson. If you pick the right time of year, you could witness a changing of the colors and see some antelopes, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and plenty of other wildlife. This wooded preserve is a great drive regardless of the time of year, but if you’re a fan of the oranges, reds and yellows that Fall has to offer, then you can’t go wrong at Fossil Rim.

Cedar Hill State Park

Just south of Dallas on I-20 and 1845 near Cedar Hill is Joe Pool Lake. A small lake that is surrounded by wooded areas, a preserve and plenty of opportunities to catch some fall foliage. Don’t forget your camera because you’ll have tons of chances to capture the essence of Fall. The short drive between I-20 and Cedar Hill alone is worth the drive. Rolling hills, fresh air and plenty of trees are the highlight. Just thinking about it is making me itch to take a trip down there!

Tyler State Park

East of Dallas, about 2 hours of driving, is Tyler State Park. A small, wooded state park that surrounds a lake. This is the perfect place to spend a cool, Fall weekend and enjoy the outdoors. You can bring an, RV, pitch a tent or stay in one of their screened cabins. Either way, you’ll have the perfect vantage point to see tons of colorful Fall changes. The drive out to East Texas isn’t too bad itself. Once you get out of DFW, it’s nothing but trees for miles.

What about you? Where are some of your favorite places to enjoy Fall foliage in North Texas?

Happy New Year!

Hey guys and gals! I just wanted to say “Happy New Year!” Did you make any new year’s resolutions? Eating healthy? Working out? Losing weight? What about resolutions for your car? I’ve got a couple of ideas for mine!

1. Take a road trip!

When’s the last time you took a road trip for pleasure? Have you seen the Grand Canyon? South Padre during spring break? Your car is designed to take you places, use it!

2. Put the phone down.

In 2011, 23% of all accidents that happened involved cell phones. That’s a disturbing number and surely, within the past 2 years, that number has gone up. Make it a point to keep your phone in your pocket or in a place that is out of reach while you’re driving. Paying attention while you’re behind the wheel is the best possible thing you could do to avoid an accident.

3. Keep your car maintained.

Changing the fluids in your car and keeping it maintained is the key to getting the longest life possible out of your car. Is your car well-maintained enough to hit 300,000 miles? Get the full value of your car and start keeping a log book of the maintenance that has been performed to make sure you don’t miss a scheduled oil change or have to pay up for repairs that could have been avoided.

4. Get that headlight fixed!

There are plenty of cars out on the road that need a little TLC. A blown-out light bulb can get you a ticket, bald tires will stop you from getting your car inspected, a busted out window increases the chance of someone breaking into your car (again!).  If there’s only a handful of things stopping you from be safe on the road, get them fixed and let’s start off the new year as safely as possible.

What about you? What are your new year’s resolutions?

3 Gift Ideas for Your Loved Ones

With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to take a moment and talk about a few great things to have in yours and everyone’s car and make for great gifts! In case of an emergency, these products can be helpful and can even save yours or the life of someone else. We hope you never have to use any of these items, but in any event, it’s always better to have them handy and ready to be used.

1. A well stocked first aid kit.

These come in handy whether or not it’s an auto-related accident. Band-aids, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, some even have aspirin for those pesky headaches on long drives. Having a good first aid kit in your car at all times stops your from having to run to CVS or Walgreen’s when you have a minor mishap and need to stop a cut from bleeding. If you have kids, one of these is essential. Kids are always getting scrapes and cuts and the quicker you can address it, the less chances they have of getting an infection.

2. A jumpstart battery

These have been priceless in my experience. I tend to leave my lights on and the next morning, I have a dead battery. To resolve that issue, I keep a jumpstart battery in my trunk just in case, I do it again. These batteries can keep a charge over long periods of time and can even come in handy when you go camping. Most jumpstart batteries have a plug where you can charge your cell phone or any other device.

3. The Lifehammer

This one little device is recommended by law enforcement departments across the country and can very possibly save your life in the case of a major accident. This ingenious product has a double-sided hammer head with steel tipped points that can break a window in case of being trapped in your vehicle. On the other end of it is a shielded razor blade that is designed to cut through seat belts.

In-Cabin Air Filters Need Replacing Too!

We see it all the time. People trade in their cars and when we open the vents or turn on the air conditioning. It hits us like a ton of bricks. It’s the smell coming from your vents. It can smell like mold, garbage, or the worst I’ve ever smelled, old eggs. I’ve even heard stories of people who have traded in, or sold their car because they couldn’t escape that smell. It’s a common problem, but if you don’t take action and nip it in the bud, it could make you want to stop driving altogether. The air that comes in from outside is run through a filter to cut down on the amount of pollution you breathe. That filter is prone to getting wet and causing a mold problem or getting clogged and causing your air conditioner to perform less efficiently.

So how do you know when you need to replace your cabin’s air filter? A couple of different tests you can perform while sitting in your driveway will give you the scoop. The first one is pretty self-explanatory, turn on your air conditioner and take a good deep breath. If it’s stinky and smells of mold, that’s a pretty good sign. Also, if you turn your A/C to the high position and it’s not noticeable from the different settings (high, medium, low), your filter may be clogged, preventing the air from getting to you.

Most cabin air filters are located under or behind the glove compartment and only require a few clip snaps to access it. Some newer models have upwards of 3 filters! Those are a little but harder to access, as some of them are actually under the hood. Most auto manufacturers recommend replacing them every 12-15,000 miles. Of course, if you have any trouble finding yours or can’t find the filter, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

The 2015 GMC Yukon Denali Is Coming!

The 2015 Yukon Denali is a machine that you have to drive to understand why the people who own them, love them. What makes a Denali, a Denali? GMC has taken the Yukon and added a touch of luxury and comfort to the existing vehicle, making it one of the most sought after luxury cars in the world. Additions such as a heated, wood-grain steering wheel and a 10-speaker Bose sound system are only just a few of the improvements. When it’s frigid outside, there’s nothing better than driving around with heated seats. On the flip side, during the hot summer months, a cool seat to sit in while you’re driving around town, would make your journey much more enjoyable. With the Denali package, you can have the best of both worlds. The front seats in your Yukon have the ability to be heated or cooled at the hit of a button. For your passengers in the 2nd row, even they can enjoy the comfort of a warm seat. With the combination of wood-grain tones and chrome accents, the instrument panel is a sight to behold. GMC has re-organized their instrument panel and produced a stylish interior command center.

The exterior of the Yukon Denali is one of the most noticeable and recognizable features of the car. 20″ chrome wheels, the signature Denali grille, plus the smooth, sleek lines of the Yukon make the Denali one for the ages. Try finding a better looking luxury SUV. Accessibility improvements, such as Power Rear Liftgate and Power Retractable Assist Steps, help you get in and out of your vehicle especially when you’ve got your hands full. Technology has come along way since the first year the Yukon was produced. Now with the Denali addition, you’ve got a wealth of technological advancements at your fingertips. A touch-screen control panel with access to turn-by-turn navigation, SiriusXM radio, 30GB of music storage, a rear-vision camera system, and optional DVD controls for the kids in the back seats. With these SUVs, safety is always a concern. Worry less with the Yukon Denali’s safety enhancements. 6 air bags create a 360 degree layer of protection. In addition, the Stabilitrak with Proactive Roll Avoidance helps keep you upright and on your way. A side blind zone alert notifies you of a car in your blind spots. If you can’t see it, the 2015 Yukon Denali can! I can write all day about the new features and the improvements they’ve made, but the best thing to do is come out and see it for yourself. Come see me and we’ll take a 2014 for a drive! The 2015 Yukon Denalis will be available to order in January!

Fluid Replacement Guide

Our cars are machines. Those machines are dependent on the fluids we put in it. Oftentimes, we neglect to check or change fluids when needed. On average, our cars have 9 different types of fluid that is required for our cars to continue running at its optimal output. I’ve put together a handy guide as a reminder to check these fluids. These are all averages, not every car is the same, so be sure and check your owner’s manual for specifics regarding your vehicle. If you cannot find your owner’s manual, I have found a resource that will allow you to download it for free! So now you have no reason not to! 2 out of every 3 cars operate in “severe service” conditions that makes the fluids work harder than normal. Examples of severe service conditions include lots of short trips, stop-and-go driving, hauling heavy loads, operating in extreme temperatures (Yes, our Texas summers count as extreme), prolonged idling or driving in dusty conditions. These severe driving conditions make the need for checking our fluids more important than ever for getting the most out of your car.

Brake Fluid – 2 years or 30,000 miles
Clutch Hydraulic Oil – Check every 6 months
Differential/ Transaxle oil – 2 years or 30,000 miles
Distilled water for non-sealed battery – Check at every oil change
Extended life coolant – 4 years or 60,000 miles
Manual Transmission oil – Check annually
Motor oil – 3,000 to 7,500 miles
Power steering fluid – Check annually
Radiator coolant – 2 years or 30,000 miles
Transmission fluid – 30,000 to 60,000 miles
Washer fluid – Check monthly
Wheel bearing lubricant – 24,000 to 36,000 miles