All posts by Ozzie

Vent Windows Can Be A Costly Window Repair

One would think that some of the smaller components, such as those little vent windows wouldn’t cost too much to replace…that is until you’ve actually broken one. Of course, everyone knows that there are many components of automotive glass on the car that will largely differ in cost. Lots of individuals don’t understand how much the tiny vent window on a new or used car in Dallas may cost to fix.

Here’s a scenario you may have experienced:

You’re running behind for the most important meeting of your life and after switching off your car, you grab the keys and put them on the passenger seat while you collect your notes. After this you hop out of the vehicle and click the lock button on the door prior to shutting it. As you are actually letting go of the door, you remember your keys sitting in the front…but it’s too late. The door slams and is now locked…with your keys inside. Now what? Call a locksmith? Nope, there’s no time. So you choose to break the small vent glass and take care of the cost later…after all, how much can that actually cost?

So your meeting is over and you now need to contact and arrange an autoglass replacement for that small vent window you decided was your key back into your car. Of course, after talking with the autoglass center, you find out that the little vent window you broke is one of the priciest parts of glass on your automobile. D’OH!

What people don’t understand is that the vent window might be small compared to the other glass on the car but it is not often mass produced like the windshield or door window. Quite often, the vent window will need to be special ordered which means the manufacturer will likely need to commit additional time to custom cut this piece of glass. The vent window normally consist of lots of curves which will also increase the time it will take to custom cut the window.

Therefore should you find yourself in a bind and feel you must break a window on your automobile then you should bust the door window rather than that small vent window. The vent window can ultimately cost you 2 or 3 times what it would cost to replace the door window. Sad but true.

Finding it tough to search for a windshield repair service center nearby? Hope is not dimmed yet, whether you are in Fort Worth or Dallas come to your Texas GMC dealer with all your new and used car needs and let us help you today….and that includes choosing another way to retrieve your keys without breaking the bank.

When Is It Time To Change Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers increase your visibility during a rainstorm.

One of the most important factors of safe driving is your visibility. If your vision is obstructed in any way, you are putting yourself, your passengers and other people on the road at risk. Driving in the rain or snow is a risky proposition, to begin with, but having worn wiper blades makes it even worse. Your windshield wipers are very possibly the most important feature on your car when there’s a downpour. If they aren’t performing at the highest efficiency, then you can’t see the things that you need to see. Ninety percent of the decisions you make while driving rely on your ability to see clearly. During a rainstorm, your car is being bombarded with rain in multiple instances, from the sky, from the ground, and from other cars.

Most experts say that you should replace your wipers every 6 to 12 months, but with our harsh Texas summers, I’d keep it closer to every 6 months. During the months of July and August, when the heat is bearing down on us, it’s warping and cracking the rubber of your wipers, making them less and less effective. Even our yearly freeze takes its toll on them too. When you use the wipers as ice removers, you tear and disfigure them and they no longer make full contact with the windshield.

Replacing your wipers is a simple and fairly cost-effective fix. A pair of replacement blades will generally run you $15-40. The name-brand, high-quality blades, or odd sizes, may run a bit higher. If you must drive when it’s pouring outside, then a functioning set of wiper blades is well worth the money you spend to help you see better.

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More Front End Clicking Noise

 

The other day I wrote about bearing noise coming from your front wheel drive car. It usually sounds like a constant “hum”. Today I want to cover a different noise: Clunking or clicking when you take a turn. Let’s say that you’ve already determined that something is wrong with your wheels. But, what exactly is it? Do you hear a clicking noise when you make a turn? Do you see grease around the tires? If you do, these are symptoms of a problem with your car’s axle system. The axle system is simply what enables you to turn and move the wheels. When the axle goes bad, you may also feel extra tension when turning the steering wheel.

If this sounds like it could be your auto repair issue, watch  the video below with Mechanic’s Master Mechanic, Michael Renteria for a more detailed explanation. Michael, an ASE certified technician, explains why your car’s axle system is throwing grease (cracks in CV boot) and why you’re hearing clunking or knocking.

Now if you’ve found that you believe that you are having an axle problem like described in the video above, you are going to want to bring in your vehicle as soon as possible as to avoid causing any further damage to your front axle. Bring your GM vehicle by Freeman Grapevine and we’ll check it out for you.

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What Is Inspected At The 75,000 Mile Maintenance Check

Everybody wants to have a vehicle that lasts forever, or at least long enough to give the vehicle to your oldest child when they go off to college. One thing to remember is that the moment you drive the new vehicle off the lot is when your car’s factory scheduled maintenance begins.

Having regular factory maintenance inspections ensures that your vehicle will be working at its best as any issues can be addressed before they become serious issues. Your vehicle maintenance will consist of basic scheduled service and intermediate scheduled service.

75,000 Mile Service Check

The 75,000 mile service check is an intermediate scheduled inspection that isn’t as intensive as a major service check but the inspection involves more than just checking and changing your vehicle’s oil. Most mechanics and dealerships will perform many of the same services, with added tweaks to stay competitive against other service centers. Here are some of the basic things that are done during the 75,000 mile service check.

Visual Inspection: A good mechanic will visually inspect areas of the vehicle that experience the most wear-and-tear. They should inspect all belts, hoses, suspension bushings, brakes, and motor mounts. The vehicle will also be inspected for leaks, unusual noises when in operation and strange noises that may indicate a problem.

Filter Replacements: You’ll have the oil and filter replaced, the engine air filter checked and perhaps the cabin air filter changed.

Recall Issues: Freeman Grapevinewill also check if your vehicle falls into the manufacturer’s recall list for any significant problems that need to be fixed so the driver won’t be put at risk while out on the road.

Some other maintenance your service technician may perform include tire replacement, shock/strut replacement, and replacing the drive belt. In addition, a safety inspection will also be performed so that you are rest assured you will be driving a tip-tip vehicle out on the road. If any leaks are noticed, the service technician will be able to find out where it is coming from and fix the problem.

So keep an eye on your odometer and make sure to schedule your 75,000 mile factory maintenance inspection so that your vehicle can be checked for any potential problems. With this inspection, your vehicle will last for a very long time without needing extensive major repairs due to negligence.

How Often Do You Rotate Your Tires?

I would say that the majority of people know that regular scheduled maintenance is a necessity when it comes to owning a car to keep it running properly. One of the most common maintenance produces is getting oil changed. A no -brainer, right?! Well, you’d think so, but there are a handful out there that just don’t get their oil changed. And then they end up with some major, and sometimes even irreversible damage to their vehicles engine.

But enough about the importance of oil changes. Another important maintenance procedure you need to have done is getting your tires rotated. Now this one I can understand being overlooked….sometimes!  For some reason, people seem to always forget about the tires, which is crazy to me because they are the ones doing the ground work…no pun intended!

Keeping your tires properly maintained not only keeps you safe…very important, but also helps you to get the most wear out them as well.  And if that’s not enough, rotating your tires also helps you get better gas mileage as well  which all adds up to saving money, and, in this economy is a very important thing.

If you find that you have trouble remembering to rotate your tires, I suggest you add it in when you get your oil changed. To get the most of your tires, you want to keep them on a regular rotation so that they wear evenly. But even more frequently, you should at least check the tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure is unsafe and can make your tires more susceptible to flats and punctures and can even make driving your vehicle challenging.

If you need a service shop, then of course I recommend giving Freeman Grapevine a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  And of course you’re always welcome to come check out our great selection of new and use vehicles too!

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Clean Fuel Injectors Means More Miles Per Gallon

It doesn’t take your car repairman to tell you that, if you’ve hit your 60,000 mile mark and haven’t had your fuel injectors cleaned, it’s probably time to do so. I don’t need to tell you that the cleaner your fuel injectors are, the more efficient your engine will be, whereby resulting in better gas mileage. With fuel prices seemingly stuck at well over $3 a gallon, this just means more money in your pocket. What happens when fuel injectors are dirty or clogged is that they don’t spray in an even pattern. This will produce poor fuel ignition and is a huge waste of fuel. Check out the video below. This is a great report on fuel injectors.

Replacing fuel injectors can cost several hundred dollars so you don’t want to neglect them, as they are the feeding tube for your engine and you are going to want as much efficiency as possible. It’s a good idea to get them serviced at least once a year. Remember, following your regular maintenance schedule will prove to greatly benefit the life of your car’s engine.

Don’t Mess With Low Water Crossings!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/92795775@N00/5245640991/in/photolist-8Zxhj4-2W1Gg-4wn9j9-aVZpQi-aVZR2P-4VyHrz-gY9rGp-eZP3qR-bWKnKT-4TB3yX-7nfQ3J-7nfPq9-8ZQVjA-74pH8o-qF47qr-nRF2yr-7GE7Hm-aqesWE-aHBuu8-6kyKox-8S6FSf-oMi7Az-fXYURc-fQC6s6-4YjBcm-5XQgJZ-x2QrE-cBp56w-9z6YG9-5axk3q-8G3b69-fXCxq5-6pfYRJ-auk5da-e1kVW9-9aQCf2-ampfPs-gYaG2n-8KPtE3-79ifzS-92uU4K-pQMmfA-j4VCQQ-92y37G-92uVkH-92uW3k-92uUYX-92y363-92uUT6-7oJGBZ
Gavin Tapp, Flickr Creative Commons

And the hits just keep on coming!  Here we are feeling like we’re getting all our entire year’s worth of rainfall in just a couple months. A friend of mine texted me this morning and said, “My pool is about to crest so we got 4″ overnight”.

But on a serious note here folks, it’s been heavy rains all spring long, with the worst coming in this last month and a half. First responders are over-taxed with their regular work servicing car accidents and the usual problems associated with bad weather without having to add water rescues, or even worse, recoveries to their pile. You’ve seen the signs, billboards, and TV spots: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” and “Arrive Alive”.

There’s a reason they have to tell you that bit of obvious information. It wasn’t so obvious to quite a few people before you. Moving water is a powerful force, that’s how hydroelectric dams work. Heck it’s how flour mills worked back in your great-great’s days. If flowing water can turn massive stone wheels to grind your great-great’s corn, or turn massive electric generators to create power…why would you think it couldn’t shove your car or truck around just a little bit?

So to beat this bit of obvious into your head a little bit, if there is flowing water over the road, find another way to your destination or just wait it out. There is nothing so important on the other side of the road.

Yeah, but…

But nothing. Even if your kids are in school on the other side of that low water crossing, the school KNOWS it’s raining and will plan accordingly. In these days of cell phones, there is almost nothing you cannot organize while you wait for the waters to recede. Don’t be selfish and put yourself, your property, or a first responder at risk by being in a hurry!

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5 Things That Cause Your Front End To Clunk

front end clunk, car clunking, cluking under hood, sway bar, shocks, ball joints, tie rods, loose suspension

It can be one of the most annoying noises your car, or truck can produce. That CLUNK when you turn the wheel of your vehicle. The issue here could actually be a number of things. There can be 5 things that can cause a front end clunk.

  • ball joints
  • tie rod
  • sway-bar links
  • shocks
  • shock mounts

Take a look at the video below for a quick explanation how each of these components can be the culprit of causing that front end clunk.

If you’ve exhausted the entire list of potential problems above, remember it could be your control arm bushings. As was said in the video, these are pretty heavy duty bushings, so you probably have put a LOT of miles on your vehicles.

If you aren’t really sure how to check your GM vehicle’s suspension system for the noise that you know is coming from “somewhere up there”, go ahead and bring in your car at anytime. We’ll be able to diagnose and fix your front end clunking quickly and efficiently. Front end suspension is always taking some extreme abuse from pot holes and poorly maintained road, so it will probably require some adjustment at times. Letting it go may only create problems in the future.

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Have you thought about using your car alarm for home protection?

Security and safety are things we think about everyday whether we know it or not. That’s not just security and safety while driving, but also while you are at home in the evenings. I want to share a tip to enhance your home security and honestly, this is something I hadn’t really thought of until now, but it’s so simple and easy to do, you should make it a habit.

My advice is to keep your car keys nearby, “especially when you are home asleep in your bed.”  Of course, you have an alarm system on your vehicle and most do these days.  It doesn’t have to be on of the systems that tells you to step away from the car or sounds like a storm-warning siren… just an alarm system with a panic button that makes the horn sound and the lights flash.

For example, if you hear a noise outside your home or someone is trying to get into your house, just press the panic button for your car.  The alarm will go off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery goes dead.  It doesn’t even matter if the car is in the garage. I heard this bit of advice from a from a neighborhood watch coordinator. It was like a light bulb was turned on in my head.  So, the next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys on the counter or a key rack, think of this:  It’s a security alarm system that requires no installation and no outside monitoring. Try it for yourself.  The alarm can be set off from most everywhere inside your house and it will continue to go off until you reset it with the button on the key fob.

Just a friendly tip. Has anyone ever had to use their panic button in a an emergency?

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How to get Rid of that Stinky Car Smell

Photo Courtesy of Discovery.com

There’s a reason they call it the ‘new car’ smell. Once it’s not new anymore, your car begins to emit a distinctive smell that mostly the contents of the car. Some cars fare better than others, depending on their owner’s cleaning habits. If you don’t take the time to clean out your car, yes, it will probably be an olfactory nightmare. Here are few tips to keep your car smelling just as good as it did the day it came off the lot.

Give it a good clean

I can’t stress this enough. Clean out your car! If you’re a smoker and you use the ashtray, there’s a high probability that it’s causing your passengers to hold their noses when they ride with you. Clean every part of the car. The seats that house all of the crumbs from you eating while driving, the floor mats that absorb whatever it is you stepped in, the steering wheel that gets covered in sweaty palms, all of it needs a good vacuuming or spray of cleaning solution. Check under the seats. I, personally, always find French fries under my seats and there’s really no telling how long they’ve been there.

Invest in a good smell neutralizer

Those trees you see hanging from the mirrors? The clip-on fragrances that you can put right on the air conditioner’s vent? Those just cover up the problem. For about $10 you can get a bag of odor absorbing materials that suck up whatever the smell is, be it cigarette smoke, mildew or month old French fries. I keep one under my seat at all times and I have yet to smell anything that makes me pinch my nose.

Check your in-cabin air conditioning filter

Those things are notorious for housing some of the worst smells of all mankind. If it’s been a few years since you’ve had it checked, bring it in to us and let us scope it out and see what’s causing that awful smell in your car.

What do you do to get rid of bad odors in your car?

 

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