All posts by Ozzie

Traffic Stinks!

We all have complained about traffic before. I do it, you do it, everyone does it. Because it stinks. There’s really no way around it. It’s a time-waster and we can all think of other places we’d rather be than stuck behind an old car with a bad exhaust problem for an hour or so after work. To put things in perspective, TomTom has released a very informative study that they’ve conducted that shows the worst cities for traffic. Some of it may surprise you, some of it probably won’t.

Top 10 Most Congested Cities in the United States
(report is for both North and South America)

4. Los Angeles (no shocker there)
6. San Francisco
7. Honolulu
8. Seattle
10. San Jose
11. New York City
14. Miami
15. Washington D.C.
16. Portland
17. New Orleans

The real shocker?

39. Dallas-Fort Worth

Maybe I think it’s worse when I’m stuck in it, but I was surprised by DFW being ranked number 39. It also makes me not want to travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco anytime soon. The top three most congested cities across the Americas are Rio De Janiero, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. That makes feel wonder just how bad it is down in Brazil with the World Cup going on right now.

A few more interesting findings on the report are the lightest and heaviest days for traffic. In Dallas – Fort Worth, the lightest morning commute is on Friday, while the heaviest is Tuesday. The lightest evening commute is Monday, while the heaviest is Friday, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Anyone who has been in traffic here in DFW on a Friday evening knows that it’s a parking lot all over the metroplex.

Houston and Austin are both above Dallas-Fort Worth on the list (number 23 and 25, respectively).

Check out the full report here and see where your city ranks!

 

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Why does buying a car seem so hard?

Recently a customer came by our store and, in idle conversation, asked, “Why is car buying so difficult?”  I understand why she said that, because it can be very challenging, not to mention a bit scary and can be as equally frustrating for both a customer and the dealer.  As an insider, let me explain why.

There are three main components to buying a car:  price, trade in and financing.  Today I’ll review price.

Are You a Frustrated Buyer?

Price should be the easiest part of the car buying process.  When a customer researches & test drives a car, truck, SUV or crossover and gets quotes from multiple dealerships, they should compare apples to apples. Meaning that you want to make sure you’re comparing the same vehicle with the same equipment and options.  A simple way to do this is to make sure the MSRP’s are the same.

As a salesperson, the hardest question to answer for a customer is “what’s your best price?”  When asked that question, I’ve told my sales people to show customers the invoice.  This shows what the dealer paid on that car.  Most good dealerships will gladly show you the invoice so you see in black & white where their numbers are coming from.  You should calculate in any rebates, as well as a small profit, which all dealers are entitled to make.  It’s that easy.

Here, check out this video..the audio isn’t Grammy quality, but you can still learn a lot from it

Has your experience been that the price is the most difficult part of the car buying process? Share your experience here and check back for part two:  trading in your vehicle.  Of course, if you want to talk in person, just swing by and I’ll make it the easiest experience you’ve ever had.

The factors that influence your insurance rates

There are many factors that influence insurance coverage

Love it or hate it, you are required to hold insurance on every vehicle you drive…period. Now don’t go trying to run to another state to escape having to hold insurance coverage, as every state requires it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s say that you’ve got a good driving record and all of the added claimed factors that could mess up your insurance rates are absolutely in your favor. Yet, your car insurance is still high. . Yet your unemployed, accident prone, ticket collecting buddies across the US pay less for their car insurance?

Now, I know this doesn’t seem fair, but there are many factors that go into your car insurance rate. Some of it you can change and some of it you can’t change.

You can’t change:

  • Your age
    Dick Clark and Sophia Loren notwithstanding, aging is unavoidable. And while you may be a mature-looking teen or a youthful octogenarian, the oldest and the youngest drivers are far more likely to have accidents.
  • Gender
    Whether it’s the mothering instinct or fewer NASCAR fantasies, women statistically make safer drivers.
  • Marital Status
    OK, you can change this, but there have been no reports of people marrying simply to lower their insurance rates.

You can change:

  • Geography
    Where you live matters. For instance, those living in rural America are far less likely to have a collision or a stolen car than those living in a city. But, sometimes even just moving across the street can change your rate.
  • Driving violations
    Speeding tickets, running red lights, failure to yield, etc. all count toward your auto insurance rate.
  • Your vehicle
    If you must have that cherry red Corvette or the Ferrari GTO, be prepared to pay for it. Your insurance premiums will be higher.
  • Accident claims
    While you can’t change the past, keeping your slate clean and free of accidents will hold you in better stead than lots of fender benders.
  • Credit rating
    That’s right -” many insurance companies view having a poor, or even no credit history as suggestive of higher risk.”
  • Occupation
    A little easier said than done. Believe it or not, insurers have found correlation between your occupation and risk. Makes sense that the pizza delivery guy could be a higher risk!

Even when you think you have everything in your favor there are still a few other things that can affect your insurance rates such as:

  • Miles driven per year
  • Distance to work
  • Occupation
  • Years of driving experience
  • Business use of the vehicle
  • Whether or not you currently have auto insurance
  • Theft protection devices (often results in discounts)
  • Multiple cars and drivers (another opportunity for discounts)

Now that you are thoroughly overwhelmed, your best bet is to take your time and comparison shop. It will certainly pay off in the long run.

Do you use child restraints properly?

I found a perfect example of the how important it is to not only use a protective child seat, but to understand how to install it properly. Read below. I found this story at consumer reports. Not only does it emphasize the importance of child restraints, but also wearing YOUR seat belt as well!

You never think it’s going to happen to you. I was driving up to visit a friend for a playdate, both kids, 2 and 4, in the back. This was a tough winter in the northeast, and the roads were not perfect.

I was trundling along at the speed limit, not talking on the phone, not texting, when I hit some ice on the road. I completely lost control of the car, which hit the snow bank on the side of the highway. The car rolled one-and-a-half times and ended up upside down on the side of the highway.

I was trapped in the seatbelt (thank goodness!) and the kids were suspended from their carseats. Four or five cars stopped, reaffirming my faith in human nature, and helped us all out of the car, which was totaled. The kind strangers stayed with us until the police and ambulance arrived. Bottom line, we were all OK (except for the car).

This is what I took away from the incident: We were very lucky, but it wasn’t just luck that protected us that day. I was driving a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. The kids were in Consumer Reports’ top-rated, carseats, which happen to be inexpensive. The seats were properly installed. The kids were correctly buckled in. My 4 year old, being just under 40 pounds (he’s a skinny one), was still using the 5-point restraint.

Things could have been, and likely would have been, very different if I didn’t use Consumer Reports ratings and follow Consumer Reports advice. My kids and I walked away from a horrific accident without a scratch. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I owe my life and my family to the people here who work day in and day out to provide this information to the public.

This is just one story out of the 1,000’s of serious accidents that happen every year. Luckily, this one had a happy ending, but not all are as lucky.

A properly used and installed car seat is paramount when driving with children. Further, you can teach them the importance of using their seatbelts as they get older. Hopefully, by the time hey start driving, using their seatbelt will be automatic.

Just have a baby? If you have any questions on how to properly install your car seat, swing by and we’ll show you!

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Is Filling Your Tires With Nitrogen Better Than Oxygen

Is filling your tires with nitrogen better than filling them with oxygen? The short answer is: “Yes”.

Here’s the science to support that fact. You may be surprised to learn that the air we breathe is roughly 78% nitrogen and 22% oxygen. That same air mixture gets pumped into your tires every time you fill up. You may be thinking, “Well, if it’s 78% already, shouldn’t that be enough? I mean, does 22% oxygen really make that much of a difference?” Again, the short answer is: “Yes”.

The key is how much oxygen gets displaced by that extra nitrogen. When the nitrogen content is increased from 78% to 99%, the oxygen content drops from 21% to less than 1%. The reason that this is good is that oxygen really isn’t that great for your tires to begin with. The problem with oxygen is that it expands when the tires get hot, this causes over-inflation and actually leaks out of the tires’ sidewalls at a much faster rate than nitrogen which is a much larger molecule. Ironically, this naturally occurring “over-inflation” directly causes “underinflation” which contributes to the degradation of the rubber. As if that isn’t enough, plain air contains water vapor which is corrosive to the metal rims as well as the tire pressure sensors.

Nitrogen has been used for many years in aircraft tires, racing cars and military vehicles, but how does it affect the average passenger car? Well, that really depends on the type and the amount of driving you do, as well as how faithfully you check your tire pressure. Not everyone has tire pressure monitors, though they are becoming standards on most new vehicles.

Your best bet is to give our service department a call and we can evaluate and advise you on whether or not nitrogen filled tires are right for you and your driving habits and circumstances.

Want A New Car, Figure Out A Realistic Budget First

Almost ever person I know falls into the trap of wanting more than they can really afford…or more than they should be able to afford, in some cases. That’s just human nature. It would be great if the average person hand an unlimited budget to get the car the want, but we’re not all Paris Hilton who can buy a Pink Bentley easier than we can get gum at the corner store. No matter how much you believe your new car budget is, it is still best to figure out a true budget friendly car payment when you are planning to buy a new car. In fact, with a well thought out budget and some quality car research, you may find that you can actually get more for your money.

You can obtain a Reliable Annual Percentage Rate from your bank. It is helpful if you will conduct good research with several banks. Low APR however are only granted to creditors with good credit records. Those who have bad credit records are left with no choice but to bear the burden of high interest payments.

The useful tips in the video above can help you figure out a budget friendly new car payment. If you have any questions about setting a realistic budget, call us at Freeman Grapevine and we can put you in the car you want for a price you can really afford without much stress on your wallet, or your head.

GMC Strengthens Professional Grade “Like A Pro”

060217_Like A Pro image

New “Like A Pro” ad campaign personifies what it means to be Professional Grade

Originally published by GMC 2017-06-06

DETROIT — Today, GMC debuts “Like A Pro,” a new campaign evolving its “We Are Professional Grade” positioning. “Like A Pro” celebrates GMC vehicles and customers — people who passionately live life to a higher standard. The “Like A Pro” campaign illustrates the core values of “We Are Professional Grade” and shows the emotional connection customers have with their GMC trucks and SUV models.

GMC owners demand vehicles that are designed, engineered and built to a higher standard. For nearly 20 years, GMC has established a strong reputation with “We Are Professional Grade.”

“Our owners are dedicated individuals, respected by their peers, whose passion and abilities set them apart,” said Rich Latek, GMC marketing director. “Their values reflect our ‘Professional Grade’ spirit and we look forward to bringing that emotional connection to life. And we’re excited to show how we think our customers live their lives like pros.”

The new ads feature GMC Denali trucks and SUVs — the pinnacle of Professional Grade. Earlier this year, GMC Denali models passed the 1 million sales milestone and represent nearly 30 percent of GMC retail sales. The campaign also debuts the all-new GMC Terrain, which launches later this summer. Terrain joins the hot-selling, recently redesigned GMC Acadia in the GMC SUV lineup. GMC Acadia sales have increased more than 50 percent calendar year to date.

The lead ad, “How Do You Want To Live — Anthem,” will air in 30- and 60-second executions. This new work showcases those who reach higher in everything they do. On Father’s Day, GMC will debut “Dad Like A Pro” in select media, including the final round of a major golf tournament. The 60-second spot gives an inside look at the relationship between a father and his son. The emotional connection in the spot is further enhanced by the casting of a real-life father and son. In July, a new Acadia spot called “Third Row Like A Pro” will be added. This spot showcases a parent maximizing the versatility and capability of the GMC Acadia. In unique time-lapsed editing, you see the driver manage three rows, three sports … no problem.

The campaign will showcase the GMC brand across media channels and consumer touchpoints from broadcast television to the showroom floor. Join the conversation on social media using #LikeAPro.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

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2018 Buick Regal GS Makes World Debut

2018 Buick Regal GS

Premium sport sedan offers all-new 310-horsepower V-6, nine-speed transmission and intelligent AWD with active twin clutch

Originally Published by Buick on 2017-07-19

DETROIT — Where spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness, you’ll find the 2018 Buick Regal GS – a car for commutes that are anything but common. As the brand’s most dramatic expression of design and dynamics, this all-new model balances these key characteristics to provide customers excellent driving performance every day and in every season.

The 2018 Regal GS advances the nameplate with 51 more horsepower than the model it replaces, more refined transmission and AWD technology, all-new, heated/cooled and massaging performance seats and the added functionality and style of a five-door sportback design. Starting at $39,990 with destination charges, the Regal GS offers luxury features at a price more attainable than competitors from Audi and BMW.

“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving, but one that makes every drive special,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market: more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors, and with standard features like AWD with active twin clutch and a rear sportback design that will surprise customers with its usefulness.”

Regal GS Highlights:

  • New 3.6L V-6 with 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque featuring direct injection, cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology
  • Standard nine-speed automatic transmission and intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) with active twin clutch for improved vehicle control, and five-link rear suspension
  • GS-specific, AGR-certified, performance seats that are heated, cooled and massaging with adjustable seat and seat-back bolsters as well as thigh support
  • Second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC) capable of 500 adjustments per second and Interactive Drive Control with GS and Sport modes
  • Unique sport front and rear fascias, side skirts and rear spoiler
  • Standard 19-inch wheels
  • Performance brakes with Brembo front calipers
  • Sport-tuned exhaust system
  • Sport flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals
  • Available head-up display

Buick’s most advanced new propulsion components come standard on the new Regal GS. With 310 horsepower, its refined 3.6-liter V-6 provides more power than an Acura TLX A-Spec or a Lexus IS350 F-Sport but offers seamless auto stop/start technology and can cruise on four cylinders. The V-6 engine is complemented by a sport-tuned dual exhaust system.

Regal GS’ intelligent AWD system with an active twin clutch can precisely transfer torque between the rear wheels for more refined and efficient performance, and the GS receives one of the first applications of the nine-speed automatic transmission in the Buick lineup that’s mated to AWD. This advanced new transmission will soon be offered across five different Buick models.

Every Regal GS also features Buick’s Interactive Drive Control, allowing the driver to tailor the car’s dynamics based on different drive experiences through a standard setting or Sport and GS modes selected via the center console. Interactive Drive Control utilizes Buick’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which is able to adjust suspension damping up to 500 times per second.

Versus a standard 2018 Regal Sportback, the GS also has standard Brembo brakes for more confident stopping power.

“With the all-new 2018 Regal GS, we set out to make a driver-focused, engaging and entertaining sport sedan without sacrificing the smooth ride and refined character expected of any modern Buick,” said Martin Hayes, chief engineer for the Buick Regal GS. “Our new V-6 and nine-speed transmission, intelligent AWD and CDC all work to deliver excellent driving performance.”

Outside, Buick’s signature sculptural beauty presents the car’s sporting nature in an understated way with aggressive front and rear fascias, standard 19-inch wheels, a rear decklid spoiler and GS badging front and rear. Full LED headlamps are an option.

Inside, the Regal features unique perforated GS-specific performance seats with integrated headrests and adjustable lumbar and thigh support bolsters. The seats are heated and ventilated and come standard with a massage function. The interior also features a standard heated flat-bottom sport steering wheel and GS-specific pedals and sill plates.

The 2018 Regal GS offers a cohesive and connected infotainment experience with an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen and 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable instrument cluster as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility both come standard. A full-color head-up display is available with an optional Driver Confidence II package that also includes several safety features including Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.

The Regal GS is a highest performance expression of the 2018 Buick Regal GS Sportback. Other Regal Sportback models will offer a standard 2.0T engine and sleek new design at a starting price — $25,915 – that’s approximately $2,000 lower than the 2017 Regal

The first-ever Regal TourX, which combines car-like handling and SUV capability, launches with limited availability of select higher trim levels later this year. TourX models with a starting price of $29,995 are expected to be available at dealers in February 2018.

Every Regal also comes equipped with a 3 month/3 gigabyte trial of OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot[1] and access to an unlimited data plan for $20 per month[2], as well as five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[3] at no additional cost. Among other benefits like the myBuick app[4], this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance and become better drivers.

All prices above exclude tax, title, license and dealer fees.

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 Instagram, or at www.facebook.com/buick

[1] Visit onstar.com for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. Services and connectivity may vary by model and conditions. Eligible vehicle and data plan required. 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. Data plans provided by AT&T. After 22GB of data usage, AT&T may slow speeds.

[2] Plus applicable taxes and fees. Plan provides access to AT&T wireless data services for your equipped vehicle for 30 days. Payments are non-refundable (subject to applicable law). Visit onstar.com or att.com for plan details.

[3] OnStar Basic Plan is available for five years from the delivery date of eligible 2015 model year and newer vehicles and is transferable. Basic Plan does not include Emergency, Security or Navigation services; these and other services require a paid plan. Visit onstar.com for details.

[4] Compatible mobile device required. Some features require a paid OnStar service plan.

Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC: Keeping Your Car Cool In The Texas Heat

texas heat, keeping car cool, cool car summer, dallas forth worth buick gmc, freeman grapevine

Oh man, we already know this Summer is a hot one. With such a mild Winter, I’m sure we are in for a long stretch of triple digit weather. Such heat can wreak havoc on both your car’s interior and exterior not to mention YOU! So, what are the best ways of  not only keeping your car cool, but yourself as well? Lucky for you, there are simple things that you can do to help beat the heat.

In fact, Consumer Reports accumulated easy steps you can take to lower your car’s heat.

  1. Park in the shade. Yes, you risk tree pollen or even bird droppings on your car, but it will be much cooler. If there is no shade, then park with the sun beating down into the rear window rather than the front to avoid the steering wheel and front seats from getting hot.
  2. Use a sunshade. These windshield covers keep harmful rays out of your vehicle and while it will still be warm inside they do help keep the temperature down. In addition, sunshades will allow the car to cool faster reducing the time you need to use the air conditioning on high, which can save you some money in gas.
  3. Deploy window shades. Many baby stores sell these window shades that can be put up or down or taken off an on to keep the sun’s rays from beating down on the car seat and when your child is occupying the seat while driving. Some minivans and luxury cars have retractable shades for the second seating row.
  4. Keep leather cool. Leather seats and steering wheels can get so hot they can cause burns. To avoid a hot seat, you can sit on a towel or use a cloth seat cover for the summer months.
  5. Watch the buckles. Metal seat belt buckles can also get extremely hot in the sun. Use caution when buckling and try to avoid children handling the metal part of the buckles. Also, don’t be tempted to loosen car seat straps in the summer heat. Children need to be buckled up securely at all times to remain safe.
  6. Keep hydrated. Bring bottles of water and ice to help you hydrate on these hot days. Having an extra filled water bottle in the car can be a valued addition to an emergency kit, in case of a breakdown or other unforeseen complication.
  7. Don’t leave items in the car. We all know not to keep perishables in the car, but the sun can also affect CDs, DVDs, electronic devices, and toys. Put the items in the trunk or better yet, take them out if you won’t be using them regularly.

Simply opening your doors for a few minutes will dissipate the heat enough for you to stand getting in and cranking your A/C. Of course this is Texas, and we know what to expect from our summers.

Now the big question is: does your A/C cool your car enough? If you think you may need to have your A/C serviced on your Dallas Fort Worth Buick or GMC, now is the time do do it. Don’t wait until Summer is in full swing to have it looked at. Give Freeman Grapevine a call.

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Miss Your Exit…Don’t Take The Short Cut

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Pretty close to the front of my dealership, Freeman Grapevine, there is a fair amount of construction going on at highways 121/114. Now, granted there are a lot of orange cones around and this can make driving on these roads, at times, a tad bit confusing. The construction seemingly changes almost daily, but that is no excuse for what I saw yesterday.

I was traveling on 121/114 about to take the exit that would push me up towards Grapevine Mills mall. That is Business 121. There was a white sedan traveling in the right lane. At that exit you can do one of three things. You can stay on 114 by staying in the left lane. You can use the middle two lanes to access 121 Business, the way I was going. Or, you can stay in the right lane which is an exit for the airport. The person in the white sedan was traveling at a pretty good clip in the right lane when the realized the were not taking the exit they needed. She had almost completely exited when she made a seriously dumb move…cutting across an unpaved exit median without slowing down. Instead of just taking the eit and making a U-turn, she decided it was better to pull an tricky, dangerous and illegal move which, you guessed it, cut me off. It caused me to hit my brakes hard and change lanes quickly, even though I was in the proper lane which cause everyone behind me to hit their brakes as well. For all I know, it could have caused an accident behind me.

So, this person missed their exit, veered into my lane and nearly cause an accident…why? because she was on her phone. That’s right, she cut across 100ft. of median into my lane because she couldn’t pay attention to the signs on the road that were obviously placed for the airport exit. To make it worse, as I pulled along next to her, she was laughing about her dumb move to the person on the other end of the line. She had no clue that she nearly hit me, nor did she seem to care.

Look, this is the first rule of driving, it is your responsibility to drive. It is also your responsibility to be respectful of everyone else on the road. If you miss your exit, or are exiting inadvertently, don’t make your own route across the median. Don’t take the short cut. Just exit and turn around. You may not think you are causing any problems, but clearly you are.

It made me pretty mad. I spend a lot of time railing against distracted driving and her was this aloof driver that almost took out my vehicle and others with just that. Keep your eyes on the the road and your hands on the wheel. It’s part of your responsibility as a driver.

What do you feel about this type of unnecessary aggressive driving? Tell your us what you think.

 

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