Category Archives: Going Green

Recycle Your Battery!

Here at Freeman Grapevine, we like to be aware of any “footprints” our 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 www.batterycouncil.org to see the details for your state.)

When shopping, your best bet is to find a 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 call Freeman Grapevine

“Slime” your tires to help prevent flats

ghostbustersAs much as I wish I was talking about the movie Ghostbusters, I’m, in fact, talking about a product that will reduce the likelihood of having to change a flat tire on the side of a busy highway. It’s called Slime PowerSpare Flat Repair and it can be a lifesaver if you were to pick up a nail or chunk of metal while on the  road. Of course, in the video demonstration below, it’s an ice pick and the Slime still seals the leak with no problem. Check it out:

According to Slime.com:

The 48-piece kit includes 24-ounce bottle of Slime tire sealant, heavy-duty powerful 12V tire inflator with built-in light and pressure gauge, 25-foot coiled air hose and an adapter for inflatables, 10-piece tire tackle kit, 30 black plugs, t-handle reamer and plugger, tire gauge, alligator power-clip, slime decal set and instructions in both English and Spanish. Suggested MSRP is US$89.99

So the next time you pick up a nail on the road, instead of braving the dangers of a busy highway, freeway or road, fill you tire with some slime and have the powers of a self-sealing tire work for you. If you have any questions about this product or others, feel free to contact Freeman Grapevine Service. They can point you in the the right directions.

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.

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 www.batterycouncil.org 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.

Increase Your New Car’s Performance Today!

The performance of a new car is always related to the amount of fuel consumed by it. However, a new car’s performance can be increased in certain ways without negatively affecting the gas mileage of a car. Given below are few tips from autoblog.net:

Performance chips: Computer chips that operate most new cars these days keep track of how much horsepower and torque can be displaced. Using performance chips or recalibrating the current chip used in a car can help in increasing the torque and horsepower to a great extent.

Cold air Intake: Power of a car engine can be increased if the temperature of the air that enters the car can be reduced. An under the hood modification in the form of cold air intake can help in this. Such an enhancement also beautifies the engine bay by making it colorful and attractive. Such a unit will also make an appealing sound.

Reusable air filters: Throughout the life of most of the cars, about 6 to 12 auto air filters are used without facing any problem, but when not in use most of them end up at the landfills for waste materials. Even though reusable air filters cost thrice as much as normal air filters, they are washable and last much longer than the regular ones. In fact, when you buy a reusable air filter for your car, it is actually the last one you will be ever buying for it. These air filters help you to increase acceleration and horsepower, besides having a very positive impact on the environment.

Performance exhaust systems: Another way to unleash horsepower, trapped up torque, and improve the overall automotive performance is by using “catalyst-back exhaust systems” (cat-back) for cars. Such a system installed in a car reduces exhaust back pressure by using low restriction performance mufflers and large width exhaust pipes while keeping all the important emission parts in their proper place. In addition to better performance, the exhaust system emits awesome sound.

Check out this video for enhanced fuel performance:

Want an expert to help increase your new car’s performance? Call these guys.

More Fuel Saving Tips!

It’s getting into the Summer months and the price of gasoline has been hovering around $3.50 per gallon here in North Texas. I can’t complain, it’s much higher in the Western states ($4.40 in Hawaii). It’s still a beating on my wallet when I have to fill up my tank, though, and I’m always looking for good fuel saving tips without having to go buy a hybrid or electric vehicle. I’m just going to touch on 3 of the most effective tactics for releasing some of the strain on your wallet.

1. Slow Down, Speedy Gonzales

I realize that that’s not what you want to hear, but slowing down noticeably decreases your fuel consumption. There’s no need to go 80 on the highway or try to get to work as fast as possible. You’ll more than likely get there around the same time if you were to take your time and keep your foot off the gas.

2. Lighten Your Load

We know you like to carry your bowling ball in the trunk of your car, just in case someone challenges you. But if you think about it, when’s the last time you actually used it? If it’s been clunking around back there for a few weeks, it may be time to take it out and give it a rest. That’s 20 lbs of weight that the car is no longer having to spend gas on. Cleaning out your car of heavy, bulky items not only helps with your miles per gallon, it also makes your parents think that they didn’t raise a crazy person.

3. Don’t Drive

Easy as can be, right? If you can stay home all day and keep your car in the garage, then why go out? It’s the easiest and simplest way to keep gas in your tank and money in your pocket. If you start to go stir crazy, go for a walk instead of a drive.

What Exactly is E85?

Photo Courtesy of CarlsVanRentals.com

I was filling up my car the other day and I noticed an E85 pump. Being in the auto industry, I knew this was coming, but it still made me do a double take, so I wanted to write a post about what exactly E85 is and what happens if you put it your car and it’s not equipped to handle it.

What is E85?

Some cars being manufactured today are being equipped to run on a special ethanol-gasoline mix. E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. With the United States trying to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, E85 is a way to reduce our intake.

Can I put E85 in my vehicle?

Unless your car is Flex Fuel equipped, more than likely, no. Your engine must be tuned and equipped to handle the the mix. If you accidentally put E85 in your car, you could damage your engine and be forced to make costly repairs. E85 is more abrasive and produces more oxygen than your typical gasolines. Some cars out on the road can handle E85 without any modifications, but always check with your manufacturer or dealer to verify.

Are there benefits to using E85?

Using E85 in a car that is built for it will spend less money on gasoline in the long run. E85 is anywhere between 15-25% cheaper than normal gasolines. However, flex fuel vehicles do get less gas mileage due to ethanol not being able to produces as much energy as higher grade gasoline.

Again, do not put E85 in your car without verifying that it is equipped to handle it. But next time you’re at the pump and you see a strange pump off by itself, you’ll know what it is!

Do you know of anyone who drives a Flex Fuel vehicle?

Surefire Ways To Save Money On Gas

Gas is still hovering around $3 per gallon here in Texas and with the summer coming up, those prices are just going to get higher. There are a few things that are often ignored that we can do to keep our vehicles running at maximum fuel efficiency. These are simple fixes, nothing too complicated or that requires anything outside of regular maintenance. Give them a shot and see if it lessens the load on your wallet!

Tire Pressure

If your tires aren’t properly inflated, you’re losing money every time you fill up. Consider this: There’s a 1% loss of fuel efficiency for every 2 PSI under maximum pressure (usually in the 35-psi range). So if you’re currently at 26 PSI, you’re losing about 5%. In a truck or SUV, that’s about 1/2 MPG, but in a smaller car, that could conceivably be 1-2 MPG.

Slow Down

When were out on the highway, we often see people driving faster than the speed limits. Not only are they asking for a ticket, but they’re also draining their gas tanks quicker than needed. Higher speeds may get you there quicker, but at what cost. Keeping your vehicle at the speed limit and using cruise control makes sure your engine uses gas more efficiently to maintain a steady speed.

Regular maintenance

Replacing the belts, hoses, and oils in your vehicle ensures that most moving parts of your engine are properly lubricated and can move without hesitation. Once you start skipping tune-ups or oil changes, you’ll begin to notice your MPG heading south. Keep a regular schedule and make sure those moving parts get the proper attention they need to keep your car

Synthetic Motor Oil

Some people have reported seeing a 3-5% jump in their MPG since they have switched over to a synthetic oil. Better driving through science!

Lighten Your Load

Take that bowling ball that rolls around and bangs into the side of your trunk on every turn out of the car! We tend to use our cars as storage from time to time and it affects our gas mileage. For every 100 lbs, you’re losing about 2% in MPG.

What have you done to raise your MPG?

 

 

Fort Worth: What does the future look like for GM

A year ago, this question terrified me. The answer was certainly: “grim”. However, something surprising has happened. General Motors is getting back on their feet with amazing speed and focus.

There is no doubt that one of the biggest struggles that General Motors will face in the coming years is convincing consumers that their product is superior to the competition. As emissions laws tighten and consumers become more environmentally conscious the problem for an automaker like GM is difficult. Specifically, since GM is a company built around its truck and SUV sales which are considered by some to be the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles on the road.

However, General Motors has done a remarkable feat by coming out of bankruptcy so quickly and with so much intensity. Its new models are impressive and cross every segment that the company operates in. If you think that this is the same old GM singing a new tune, well you are, sadly, mistaken. Take, for example, the introduction of hybrid models to their lineup. In fact, the company has organized several events, such as the  Main Street in Motion event in Newport Beach, CA to educate the consumer and let them know that these changes are here to stay.

Do you have any news on GM you can share? Have you recently bought a new GM vehicle? How was your experience? How is your Car? Leave a few comments and tell us if you think the tide is turning for GM…or better yet come and see for yourself

How to Find Great New Car Reviews

What is it that makes reviews such a wonderful source of information when researching a new car? The reason is simple. A review is typically given by someone who knows first-hand specifics about the vehicle in question. The trick, though, is not necessarily in finding reviews, since they can be found literally anywhere. What is difficult is finding accurate information from a source that can be trusted.

“I don’t know which car has more horsepower?”

Typically, people do not want to make a high-dollar purchase without having some type of information that they can count on. The next time you are in the market for a new car or truck, take a look at one of these sources, and you can be certain to have a location for reviews that you can trust.

  • Magazines: One of the most trusted and popular sources of information that a driver has at their disposal is that of magazines. Such publications have for years based their entire professional reputations on providing accurate information. Magazines such as Car and Driver and Motor Trend have become well known for providing accurate information on multiple levels, for both the professional and amateur level of knowledge.
  • Internet: Going online is one of the best ways that anyone can use to gather information and reviews about the various vehicles that a person can buy. Visit as many different places, but places that are trustworthy, to gather information that is going to help you in your decisions, there are some things that need to be kept in mind when doing this. You are going to want to limit your searches to sources that have some type of a professional stake in their recommendation, basically places that are staking their professional reputations.
  • Mechanics: I have found that one of the greatest sources for reviews that I can trust is a mechanic. A mechanic is used to delivering professional grade information (since they are a professional) on an amateur’s level. I would strongly suggest that you take advantage of your local mechanic. Typically, the best way to ask a mechanic what they think is just saying something like, “What would you choose?”
  • Government: While I know that it is pretty hard to trust anything that comes from the government these days, there are a couple of governmental sources that I would strongly suggest that you go along with. One is the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both of these sources sole job is to help maintain safe roadways, so therefore can be trusted to provide fairly accurate information.

Now certainly this isn’t an exhausted list by any means. Checking blogs like this one, forums, consumer oriented publications and other forms of media is just going to make the decision making process that much easier. Here’s a hint: Pay as much attention to the negative reviews as you do the good ones. If you have any questions or comments, you know where to find me.