Category Archives: Uncategorized

10 Most Stolen Vehicles In the United States

Although car thefts have seemingly gone down in recent years, the fact of the matter is that they are in a flux point in part due to modern security systems. Modern vehicles have seen an increase in the quality of security that is provided for them. Namely the keys themselves now have a chip in the key itself with a code that tells the car, “Yes. I am the correct key for this vehicle.” Sounds pretty fool-proof huh? well car thieves are now starting to find ways around this added precaution, which sometime requires the participation of a third party at a locksmith, or unsecured dealership. However, since the thieves tactics have gotten a little more complicated, the model years of the cars being stolen have been surprising older.

So, what do auto thieves like to steal? It seems the older the better. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released Hot Wheels, its list of the 10 most-stolen vehicles in the United States

I can only imagine that having your car stolen is an awful feeling. If you saw a car you own on the list in the video, just take extra precautions when parking it. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Remember, older vehicles are the ones being stolen at the moment, so we ask that you be aware and lock your vehicle, always…Hey, maybe it’s time to break out The Club.

Do You Know How Your Engine Works?

Freeman Grapevine loves cars. Just like all of you, when we leave here we drive home and experience the same things your do. Sometimes it’s frustration from traffic, others it’s an exhilarating rush when we put the pedal to the metal to overtake a slower vehicle, but how does all of that work?

Most people only seem to know the essentials of their engines: it needs gas and oil changes. What else is gong on in there? How does it work? How is power generated. Well, here’s a good video. Your engine: 101.

Pretty cool, huh? If you think you are having any engine issues, feel free to swing into the service department at Freeman Grapevine.

Do Road Side Information Signs Really Help Find The Missing?

I recently saw a sign on 360 that said, “Missing Elderly, White GMC truck, License BS5 FTGX”. I instantly started scanning the cars around me simply out of curiosity. Then I thought to myself, “I wonder if this type of information on an electronic road sign really works”? I guess it does to an extent because it prompted me to look at the cars in my vicinity. However, 5 minutes down the road it was getting harder to remember what I read. Had I continued further down the road, I probably would have encountered another sign, and would probably have done the same simple search of my surroundings.

I guess I’m answering my question here. Do road side signs work? From my perspective, the answer is “Yes, they do work” to the extent of making drivers survey their immediate surroundings. Subsequently and hopefully, every driver in front and behind me did the same thing.

Here in the Dallas Fort Worth area, we have electronic roadside signs on almost every highway and loop and my question is, “Do they work in regards to finding missing persons”?

  • Do you do notice the signs?
  • Did you scan the area looking for the vehicle mentioned?
  • Was that person found as a result of an attentive driver?

I’m curious to know if other driver’s are as attentive as I apparently am in regards to noticing roadside information. I’m also really curious if anyone has been found as a direct result of a electronic roadside sign.

I can say without a doubt that me and everyone else at Freeman Grapevine would like to see more information sign systems in place in the future. The more signs that are up just means that many more drivers will notice them…or will they? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think.

Car Accidents Involving Animals Are a Real Issue

This happens more often than you think.

If you live in the DFW area, specifically in Grapevine, Southlake and Colleyville areas you may already know that we have a rampant feral hog epidemic. Now most of you may not have seen the hogs, but you can tell where they’ve been. Soil overturned, golf course fairways and greens destroyed and the increasingly dangerous interaction with motorists. Hogs move fast and seemingly dart from no where into on coming traffic. Some weighing in at almost 300lbs can cause some very serious damage to your vehicle.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything you can do other than hit the poor thing. Often, a correction made behind the wheel of your new or used Buick, or GMC can, and most often results in an accident of a different nature. You hit another car, or an inanimate object like an electric pole or fence. Unfortunately, you are still responsible for any monetary damage you may have caused to any vehicle or highway/road objects such as signs, foliage, and other structures.

Watch the video below. It’s from Punta Gorda, FL, but it could have easily been on any road in our area.

Keep your eyes peeled, wear your seat belt and try not to swerve if the animal is in your path. Chances are you are just going to complicate matters even worse. As bad as it sounds, you my be better off hitting the animal as to avoid losing total control of your vehicle trying to avoid it.

Feral Hogs and deer are every where out here. Don’t let anyone tell you different. They will venture into populate areas and they will encounter a vehicle from time to time. If you’ve had your run in with a wild animal lately, What did you do? What type of damage did it do to your vehicle? If you have any questions about needing some body work done due to an animal strike, please call Freeman Grapevine. We live here, we’ve seen the damage these things can do.

The Infant Seat and its proper installation

I’m at that age now where most of my friends that are going to have children have had their first, and some their second. I’ve seen how being a parent is an enormous responsibility, especially in one place in particular, their new Buick, or GMC. I’ll go further and relegate this post to focus on the infant seat. That’s going to be the first time you’ve ever installed a car seat of any kind, I suspect.

Now, I can give you all sorts of statistics about the mortality rate of children who are not properly secured in their car seats.  Instead though, I think I’ll just make this a “How To…” post and focus on saving your child’s life rather than use fear to help you realize the importance of securing your child in your car properly. After all, the best way is to learn by example. Remember, most accidents happen within 5 miles of your house, so buckle them up EVERY time they are in the car. Check twice before starting your car…your infant isn’t going to tell you he didn’t think the buckle latched properly.

Watch the video below, it contained a surprising installation technique that I didn’t think about.

If you have any questions, or want step by step installation instruction of your infant seat, Freeman Grapevine Service would be happy to walk you though it.

How Long Does Your New Car Honeymoon Last?

This Dallas GMC Dealer never really thought about this until a recent survey I saw. Apparently the “honeymoon period” for a man and his car is four months, compared to 14 months for women. Most men consider the honeymoon over when they start parking their car around other cars, women when they let their spouses drive.

The survey below was completed by LeaseTrader and is the result of speaking with 2,500 drivers about when their car goes from “Hey everybody, check out my new car!”, to “Man, I really want a new car.” Of course, there are those flashes when you remember what it was like when it was brand new…but when you have your eye on a new car, those flashes become increasingly more rare.

Here’s the full list of what men and women consider to mark the end of the honeymoon period:

Men:
Parks around other cars (33%)
Starts transporting sports equipment (22%)
Less frequent car cleaning (17%)
High-payment starts to bother them (12%)
Stops using gas mileage button (7%)
No more fights over who drives during long trips (3%)
Other (6%)

Women:

Lets spouse finally drive car (39%)
Starts car-pooling other kids (24%)
Started eating in car (12%)
Puts makeup on while driving (9%)
Leaves clothes in car (6%)
Starts smoking in car (2%)
Other (8%)

Tell Freeman Grapevine who you think loves their cars more, Men or Women?

What would your vanity plate say?

“You’re so vain!”

We all seen them. You may actually have one. The Vanity license plate. It can say a lot about the driver who owns the plate. I’ve personally never owned a vanity, but I’ve certainly seen my fair share.

Well, as it turns out, the vanity plate has come a fairly long way in a relatively short period of time. What was once an fairly low cost way to personalize your vehicle has now become big business.

After years of selling vanity plates as a modest sideline — charging as little as $5 — states think there’s more money to be made in whatever drives people to buy them. Facing budget crunches, states are raising surcharges or proposing annual fee hikes for custom plates.

Texas has gone a step further. It hired a private company to raise $25 million over the next five years by auctioning off vanity plates.

“People like to express themselves, especially in Texas,” says a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

In fact, vanity plates can boost self esteem for the simple reason that vanity plates say “who I am and what I want people to know about me”. It’s like a mission statement.

In turn, a paper published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in 2008 found that drivers with vanity plates, bumper stickers and other “territory markers” were far more likely to use their vehicles to express rage — by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior.

This year, at the nation’s first such auction, Texas sold 33 plates for $139,400. That’s a hefty chunk of change!

However, don’t think that you can just get anything on those plates. I believe all states who allow vanity plates also regulate what you can and can’t express. States have long denied certain combinations of letters or numbers considered obscene or inappropriate, sparking battles with motorists….and well, some are just down, right dumb like: “3XWYVS,” “H8CATS” and “TROFYWIF.”

So, if you were going to get a vanity plate, what would it say? Leave me a comment below, let’s see how creative you can get!

News Wire: GM Lansing Delta Township Plant Builds 2 Millionth Vehicle

The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM's newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM’s newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

This article originally appeared on buick.com)

LANSING, Mich. – A 2016 Buick Enclave, painted in White Frost Tricoat, rolled off the production line at General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant today, the 2 millionth vehicle produced at the automaker’s newest assembly plant in North America.

“This milestone directly reflects the dedication and hard work that our employees put into these crossovers every day,” said Mike Trevorrow, Lansing regional plant manager. “This team has established a strong foundation since opening to enable us to produce our 2 millionth vehicle in nine years, which is quite an accomplishment.”

Opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly blends best practices and the newest technology in one facility. It was the first automotive manufacturing facility in the world to be a Gold Certified Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Since starting production, Lansing Delta Township has manufactured the Saturn Outlook, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Acadia Denali and Buick Enclave. A white Outlook was the first vehicle produced on May 24, 2006.

The plant currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts.

GM has announced more than $580 million in investments for Lansing Delta Township facility over the last two years, including $63 million in 2014 to expand the plant by nearly 263,000 square feet and $520 million earlier this year for tooling and equipment associated with future new vehicle programs.

“Producing the 2 millionth vehicle would not be possible without the great people we have here,” said UAW Local 602 President Bill Reed.

While most vehicles follow somewhat of a bell curve for sales during their lifecycle, the Enclave has continued 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. As of June 2015, more than 500,000 Enclave models had been sold worldwide.

“The Enclave led Buick’s product renaissance, redefining what consumers should expect from a full-size luxury crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It is fitting that an Enclave is the 2 millionth vehicle to roll off the line in Lansing, demonstrating continued consumer demand.”

This milestone for Lansing Delta Township is part of GM’s celebration of 500 million vehicles built globally, more than any other automaker.

(Read the entire story here..)

What Makes Your Car Sexy?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexgray/4609996185/in/photolist-82nrfR-g9hWo4-82quLQ-pQgYmW-82qyX1-bz32CW-bz32wA-bz32B5-bz32EE-82quYY-82qv8C-82nrLZ-82qyfA-hRr2u-82qyom-g9hZAY-82nper-82qx9b-82npaz-82qzbd-82qyvw-fMgwNM-82noJM-82qvTG-82nph6-iw8y7P-gc7gy-82qzfC-82qyMU-82qysh-82ns5V-82nrHB-82nqtT-82nsaH-82qyQW-nZ3w9m-82nrBp-qjFGEa-82qyj9-7bzwHy-82swDG-82qwhw-7GSV3Q-82nqmn-mVj8k-pnLstV-82mJcg-8gyizP-ePGnru-cV2tWJ
Rex Gray, Flikr Creative Commons

What makes your car sexy? Shape, form, color, aesthetics, ergonomics, economy, brute strength, clever technology, brand, implications of status, practicality, modernity, or the classic era it was born in? What is it about your car that makes you think other folks say “Ahhhh!” when they see your vehicle? It’s a well known fact that America has had a love affair with the automobile since the day they started rolling off the line, and the above question is one that every auto manufacturer since the very beginning has wrestled with. Maybe not in terms of what makes it “sexy” in that specific term, but if you take all the above ideas and condense them down to a single idea then “sex appeal” would have to be a defining factor in a huge number of automobile purchases.

So how do you define the sex appeal of your car in a broad sense? Because isn’t what makes one auto more attractive to buyers than another as specific as the taste of the individual buyers themselves? That is the risk auto manufacturers take every time they unveil a new model: will the public react positively? One of the celebrated blunders in years past, the legendary lack of sales of the Chevy Nova in Mexico because “No Va” translated roughly to “It Does Not Go” in Spanish, actually didn’t happen but it’s so well known it actually serves as a warning to manufacturers of the unintended consequences of the tiniest detail. Sometimes it’s just as simple as the lines of the fenders, the sound of the motor at idle, or the design of the rims. For other folks the bottom line is the sexiest thing, miles per gallon, efficiency, and simplicity mean more to them than horsepower or paint job. To each their own and according to their need!

Horton Classic Car Museum

https://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/6233477606/in/photolist-aiyHnN-svYoPL-8o8xZ3-svXQ4A-rz8hEW-bgQudt-bgQtVX-aihkEu-aihnQw-8kCEW3-sez5Lb-seG4Av-sw9w6x-aieymF-aieAtX-sw6WJc-seFxJX-sw8ZQ2-rz8kg7-brfqjX-auQcHQ-cLGaHq-pNqjid-auQcHN-kwpojW-9ooQis-9okNj6-bNk2ue-84ModP-apijPx-apm3Fy-84Mogc-83BxDn-9okN9k-brfprg-oHxWgU-baiXRZ-nziijv-84QCnh-84QCjd-apm2XS-apimeZ-apm559-apm4oq-apm3kL-apiktV-83BxGt-6uTjRe-nqqWWJ-nqr12G
Lee Cannon, Fliker Creative Commons

Just north of here and a smidge west, is the little town of Nocona, TX. Now, Nocona is deservedly most famous for it’s boots. The boot factory there has been cranking them out since 1925 when it was by the daughter of a man who’s last name was Justin…which you may recall is a fairly famous name in the boot world as well. Now, just imagine a quick roadtrip out of town up to Nocona with the kids. You can pick up some boots, eat some pretty good BBQ, after all the rain we’ve had lately, you know it’ll be a pretty drive, and most importantly there’s something to show the kiddos, because what Nocona also has, despite it’s cowboy-centric history, is a world class automotive museum.

The Horton Classic Car Museum is right there in the middle of town on the corner of Walnut St and Clay St. The owners, Pete and Barbara Horton got their start in the rough end of the oil business, but unlike a bunch of folks, were able to hang on through the ups and down times and pursue their passion of collecting and restoring classic cars.

The museum features a wide array of classic automobiles. They have almost every Corvette model produced between 1953 and 1978. A 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk is one of the most uniques cars in the collection, which apparently only 40 were ever built. They also have vintage Lincoln, Oldsmobile, Ford, Packards, Chevy and Pontiac vehicles on display, mostly of the 1950’s era.

In another building is the Horton Motor Co. Museum which seems to be more muscle car related. On display there is a 1970 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda convertible, a 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS,  as well as a 1968 Shelby Cobra Mustang. This museum has 16 cars on display and is available by appointment or along with regular museum tours. They’re open M-F 9-4, and Sat 9-5.