Category Archives: Maintenance and Service

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.

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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When Do You Know It’s Time For New 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 to 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.

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Guess What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil

Freeman Grapevine is wondering: “Do you know what can happen if you don’t change your oil regularly”? I can already hear the grumbling.

“Yes Ozzie, our engines will have to work a little harder. No big deal, these modern cars can handle that sort of thing.” Really? Take a look at the video below. The car that is the subject of the video is all of 5 years old and it looks like someone has poured tar into the engine. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Oil changes viscosity under the extreme and constant pressure, heat and friction your engine produces. Over time, your oil will begin to solidify and turn to a gunky tar that puts your engine’s life at risk quite literally. An engine that hasn’t had regularly scheduled oil changes is subject to a catastrophic malfunction, or break down. You could be looking at a total engine replacement, and that is not a cheap repair. In fact, cleaning the engine when it has reached this state is similarly expensive procedure.

I know I’ve written about this before, but I really want you to get the most out of your Buick or GMC vehicle, and in order to do so, that means regularly changing your oil. It really is a very simple and inexpensive thing to do.

If you haven’t had your oil changed in the past 5,000 miles, then it’s time to bring your new or used car into Freeman Grapevine and get it done. Remember, it’s going to cost you a lot more money the longer you neglect your engine’s necessary oil changes.

How To Check For Engine Oil Leaks

Do you suspect you have an oil leak? You must, or you wouldn’t have that nasty stain in your driveway. The hard part is trying to figure where the oil leak is coming from. There are a number of places that engine oil may leak in your car.

The main place your engine is going to leak is from the bottom of the oil plug. There is a quick fix for fixing a leaky oil plug, is to get a fiber gasket and uses that to help seal the leak. If the issue is more serious, you are probably going to want to bring it into Freeman Grapevine, so we can take a look at it.

As you can see from the video, that oil leaks can happen in a number of places and might require the advanced diagnostic techniques from a master mechanic. Remember, an oil leak of any kind should be addressed and fixed as soon as possible. Give your Dallas Fort Worth Buick GMC dealer a call today.

Pay Attention To That Check Engine Light!

Freeman Grapevine knows you’ve done it. No use tying to cover it up.  An indicator light goes on in the instrument panel or you hear a new, strange noise and of course you’re thinking that something must absolutely be wrong with your car and it needs immediate attention! Well relax, take a deep breath and let’s sort through some of the common car problems that you just don’t need to kick up a stink about!  And of course you can also come chat with us at Freeman Grapevine too!

The check engine light goes on and immediately you panic that just maybe, maybe…your car is going to blow up.  Take a deep breath and calm down. More than likely the check engine light is just signaling to you that you need to take your car in for a scheduled mileage maintenance. Usually the check engine light will show up in two colors, amber for non-emergency maintenance and red for you should probably hurry up and get it checked out sooner rather than later. Double check your vehicles manual to be 100% sure though as not all vehicles are the same.

Click. Click. Click. Ohhh, a new sound just sounded. What to do? Again, no need to panic. A lot of noises you hear are things that don’t need to be fussed about and will actually just sort themselves out. Just like how that rock got stuck between tires treads and is making the clicking sound, it will soon work itself out. Or if it’s really driving you crazy you can very carefully do some detective work and try to figure out which tire it is and get it out yourself.

A locked steering wheel and your key won’t turn. They’re not broken. You just need to put a little muscle into really. Seriously, grab the steering wheel and turn it hard in one direction and turn the key. If it’s still not working try the other direction.  But don’t force the key. You don’t want to break it or the ignition as that will be a very costly fix all for nothing. Once you get the steering wheel in the sweet spot the key should turn just as it normally does.

You think you might have a leak. So you just pulled out from your where your car was currently parked only to notice that there’s liquid there that you swear wasn’t there before. First, it really could have been there before and you just like to freak yourself out. Or maybe there is some liquid, but if it’s not a lot then there’s usually nothing really to worry about. In fact, if you’ve been using your AC a lot lately it could just be built up condensation. If you notice a color to the liquid then you may have a coolant leak. This could potentially be a problem so if you suspect it is check your coolant level, but carefully as the car needs to be completely cooled before doing so.

Hopefully those few common car problems mentioned above will help calm your nerves when you’re driving. But if you suspect a problem, please don’t hesitate to contact our service department so that we can get it fixed for you, just contact Freeman Grapevine today!

Dealer Or Independent For Service: Which Do You Use?

This is a topic that Freeman Grapevine has a lot of personal experience with. I’m sure the answer, for the most part, really is up to the individual consumer. If you think you are going to get better service from an independent garage you are going to want to get all of the facts about that establishment before you decide to let them tinker under your hood.

I’m obviously going to want to steer you to Freeman Grapevine, as I believe we have one of the best service departments  in DFW. However, I know that there are a few people who choose to stay tried and true to their mechanic because they haven’t had a better experience at a dealership, in regards to service. It can happen. That’s why you should really weigh your options thoroughly before choosing either a dealer or an independent mechanic to service your vehicle.

In doing research to see who the majority of people preferred to service their vehicle, I found a great article at Edmunds.com that has some very good things to think about before you make a potentially bad decision. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Dealers do have a distinct advantage when it comes to facilities. Dealers get manufacturers’ assistance with start-up costs and equipment. They get first dibs on any of the manufacturers’ newly developed service tools, specifications and, as noted above, recall and service bulletins. That way, the manufacturer keeps the latest information on new cars and the hardware to best service them “in-house,” at least for awhile. (This translates to keeping your money in-house, as well.)

Size also matters. Dealers usually have larger facilities and that means more service bays are available to accommodate customers. This can, but doesn’t always, translate to quicker turnaround time. You may find it more difficult to get prompt service at large, busy dealerships, especially if you go in without an appointment.

Dealer facilities are often cleaner, more organized and better maintained than smaller shops. At a dealer facility, you may find a waiting room, clean bathrooms, a place to buy car accessories, even the availability of drinks, snacks and television. They may even wash your car before returning it to you. This can make the overall experience a lot more pleasurable.

So how can small repair shops compete with dealers on facilities? The short answer is: They can’t.

I thought this was an interesting section as well:

Dealer service departments have a distinct advantage when it comes to manufacturer recalls and technical service bulletins. If you’ve moved since you first bought your car, or if the manufacturer simply doesn’t have your correct address on file, you may have no clue there’s an open recall on your car. Dealers should automatically check for recalls when you come in for service.

The more I kept looking into it, I found even more reasons to use the dealership as opposed to an independent. I would be remiss not to mention, however, that smaller shops have their benefits as well. It just seems, and I know this from personal experience, that you will have more mechanics, tools and brains hard at work which will directly translate into a job well done the very first time you bring your vehicle in for service. Don’t believe me? Try me. Bring your car to Freeman Grapevine the next time you need service and I’ll prove the value you of dealing directly with the dealership in regards to service.