Category Archives: Uncategorized

Domestic Violence Is Unacceptable

I’m taking a break today from my usual automotive oriented post to write about something that is a very serious issue and a cause I took up and wanted to be a part of. The eradication of Domestic Violence in Ft. Worth, through out Texas and ultimately, our nation.

In the past, Freeman Grapevine has donated to SafeHaven of Tarrant County in efforts to help victims of abuse. I understand that those who fail to take action, or offer support when they can are often to blame as well. While this is a very strong and arguable statement, I feel that the spirit of it is true. Failure to help is just that: failure.

Now, you might not be able to contribute money, or have time to volunteer for DV functions, but you can educate yourself. You never know when the knowledge you possess about DV might actually save someone from a life of pain, or even death.

What is Domestic Violence? Under most state laws, domestic violence is defined as any physical abuse, or threat of abuse, between intimately involved partners, roommates, or family members.

Victims of abuse often internalize their feelings of fear and anger at their situation. More often than not, the victim believes they are to blame for their situation. The classic statement here is: “If I didn’t do….then I wouldn’t get hit”, or: “my partner only abuses me when I do something wrong”, or: “I shouldn’t have made my partner angry enough to hit me”. This dialogue doesn’t only come from the victim, but is often mirrored by the abuser who is always there to reinforce the idea that the abuse is the result of a failure on the part of the victim.

What are the warning signs that often accompany domestic violence cases.

  • Injuries and Excuses
  • Absences from work or School
  • Extremes of Self-Esteem
  • Personality Changes
  • Fear of Conflict
  • Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  • Self-Blame
  • Isolation and Control Issues
  • Stress Related Problems

*for an extensive list with explanations, please check Aardvarc.org*

The only thing that stands to change the domestic violence problem in our state, country and abroad is YOU. If you, or someone you know is being abused, get help. Contact SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

Let’s put an end to Domestic Violence, now!

Reckless Drivers Are Everyone’s Problem

What is an unsafe or reckless driver? Think of it this way, is it someone who speeds or someone talking on their cell as they blow through a stop sign? It’s obvious the latter.

I’m not going to preach to anyone that ‘Speed Kills’ when it has been proven that speed on it’s own is not the killer. We all exceed the speed limit. It’s when you mix in your in ability to control your vehicle because you lack focus. Basically, it’s speed combined with any of the following

1) Drink or Drugs
2) Dangerous Driving
3) Reckless Driving

…. this is what causes the accidents and kills.

Please, always remember. Be safe, be alert, be cautious and arrive alive.

Now the general tone of this video was humorous, but trust me when I tell you that there are plenty more reckless driving videos on the net that I could have pulled up that would have ruined your day. For the time being I hope this video puts some people back in touch with reality when they get behind the wheel.

Focus. Be alert. Know your surroundings, including vehicles, pedestrians and objects. If you refuse to stay vigilant behind the wheel, then you are driving recklessly by default. Please drive carefully.

This is just a friendly reminder from your me and the rest of us at Freeman Grapevine.

Think You Have A Bad Fuel Pump

It should be fairly easy. If a car has a bad fuel pump, it will normally exhibit a loss of power, or it may not drive whatsoever. Discover how fuel pressure gauges are connected to an engine to determine if a fuel pump is bad with help from an ASE-certified technician in this free video on troubleshooting car problems.

I think one of the most important tips comes at the end of the video. Sediment can and will collect at the bottom of your fuel cell. Avoid premature repairs by following the tip on the video and keep your tank at least a quarter of the way full at all times.

If you think you may have a fuel pump problem, please give us a call before your issue gets

Get Pulled Over? Be Smart, Be Respectful and Move Along

If you get pulled over for any reason, know your rights. What you say and what you do matters and can mean the difference between a routine traffic stop or something much worse.

I found a couple of videos that I wanted to share that give really great example of what to do and what not to do during a traffic stop. Remember, you may have had a bad day, you may be really angry, but that Officer is already on edge, don’t give him any reason to be more wary of you than he should be.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Basically what it boils down to is common sense. Use your head, be polite, be cordial, be willing to cooperate, but don’t forget your inalienable rights. The burden of proof always is on your side. Good luck.

Can anyone give us any pointers for an experiences you may have had?

Gas is Creeping Up Again: Tire Pressure

Photo courtesy of Automotive.com

If you haven’t noticed, gas has been on the rise again and it’s time to go over some ways to keep your car from unnecessarily using too much gas. I filled up my car the other day and it was almost $60! I can’t afford to do that more often than I need to. This is the first in a series of posts about getting the maximum miles per gallon in your vehicle. Up first is tire pressure!

Keeping your tire pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended setting is important to maintaining a higher MPG and prolonging your tire’s life. When you let your tires ride around with too little pressure, your engine is working harder to turn those wheels, therefore, you’re burning gas when you don’t need to. Most reports that I’ve read have shown anywhere from a 2% to 3% increase in miles per gallon. That may not sound like a lot, but when you stretch it out over the life of your vehicle, it adds up.

SAE International has conducted many test and studies on the effectiveness of tire pressure and one of the most telling findings are as follows:

Subsequently, tire inflation data from 2000 vehicles in six cites were analyzed to determine the extent of passenger car tire underinflation. These data sources were then combined to estimate the nationwide excess fuel consumption, about 600 million gallons per year, due to tire underinflation.

600 million gallons per year! If that’s not reason enough to check and maintain your tire’s air pressure, I don’t know what is.

Check your owner’s manual for the optimal tire pressure for your car and purchase a dependable tire pressure gauge so you can save some money at the pump.

Dogs Don’t Belong In The Bed of Your Truck

Photo Courtesy of AllenRussellPhoto.com

I was driving to Main Street Days over the weekend and I saw something that aggravates me to no end. There was a pickup truck in front of me at a light with a dog in the bed. I hear of people losing their dogs when they’re roaming free in the back end even when there’s not an accident. You may think they are enjoying being out in the sun, with their noses stuck out in the wind, but I assure you, they are terrified and confused.

Letting a dog roam around the bed of your pickup truck is not only dangerous for the dog, it’s also dangerous for the other drivers on the road. Just one brake check or swift move, and your pup could lose his or her balance and end up on the roadway. At a high rate of speed, that would very easily be fatal. It would also potentially cause a domino effect of accidents trying to avoid that one.

Some owners claim that using a leash in the bed of the truck to secure them is a good idea. I disagree, I’ve read numerous reports of dogs being strangled when they attempted to jump out, only to leave them hanging over the side of the truck, unable to breathe.

I’ve also heard of people putting dog carriers in the bed of their truck. That may seem like a safer alternative, but the reality is, if you get into an accident, even a minor one, that cage will do no good.

The only place to have a dog travel with you is in the cab. If you have an extended cab truck, keep them in the back seat, so they will not bother you as you’re driving. Keep your dogs safe! I don’t want to hear anymore stories of people losing their beloved animals due to letting them ride in the back.

What Ever Happened To The Sunday Drive?

Photo Courtesy of Alaska-In-Pictures.com

Remember when we used to get in the car on a Sunday morning and head out for a nice drive? Maybe it was to a lake or a down a curvy mountain road with the windows down and enjoying the sights and sounds. It seems that we’ve become too busy with work or too distracted with our Xboxes, laptops, iPads and other electronics.

I remember when my father would get up on Sunday mornings and have his cup of coffee and wonder aloud where we were going. We usually ended up taking a drive way out of the way of the city to a lake. Winding roads, trees as far as you could see, and the smell of nature filling up the car’s interior. It was a great feeling, just getting out of the house to spend a couple of hours with no real agenda on where we were going or what we were doing. Taking to the open road with the windows down and nothing but the road in front of us is a lost art.

What ever happened to roads like Route 66 that would curve and move with the land, instead of just a straight-shot? The curvy, 2 lane, roads that you only see in rural areas that give you the great scenic views are my favorite and I wish we had more of them here in Grapevine. Let’s bring back the Sunday drive so we can leave our electronics, and the daily grind behind for a couple of hours. Now that Spring is here, it’s the perfect time to roll your windows down, or, if you’re in a convertible, pulling the top down and enjoying the fresh air!

When’s the last time you took a Sunday drive?

 

Arbor Daze, This Weekend!

It’s festival season, now that the fear of freezing temperatures is out of the way. One that I always like to go to is Arbor Daze, down in Euless, not too far from Freeman Grapevine. It takes place this weekend, April 26-27 at Euless City Hall, 201 N Ector Dr, Euless, Texas, 76039.

Every year they pay tribute to the nature-centric holiday, Arbor Day, with free trees for every attendee. With many cities in the metroplex cutting down trees to make way for construction and development, Euless plants a tree for each and every person who enters the gate at Arbor Daze.

There’s plenty of fun to be had for you and your kids, as well. Arts and crafts tents, an Arbor Dazzling Kidz Zone (with face painting, carnival games and prizes),  and Forestry Village are all geared towards entertaining your little ones. Music and dance acts are also planned. Acts include Crossing Main, Escape, Eddie Coker and Ka Pa Hula O Manulani. Stop by the Tongan Cultural Tent and enjoy authentic Tongan dancing and singing along with education about their culture.

My favorite thing to do when I’m at a festival is sample the food! I don’t know about you but I’m heading straight for the Best Bayou Bites tent. Gator balls, po’ boys, jambalaya, and gumbo. I want to try them all. There’s also a Polynesian tent, and a BBQ tent from North Main BBQ, plus tons of others. If you don’t have plans on buying a new or used car from me this weekend, definitely stop by Arbor Daze.

 

Don’t Get Stranded With A Dead Battery

Photo Courtesy of Moneycrashers.com

Your car battery generally lasts anywhere from 2 to 5 years, depending on the climate. Here in Texas, they last 2-4 since we have to deal with 110 degree summers. Truth be told, heat and vibration are a car battery’s worst enemies. Overcharging and undercharging, lack of regular maintenance and excessive current drain are also a battery’s silent killers. There’s a short list of things we can do to make sure we don’t get stuck with a battery that won’t turn the starter over.

Combine trips

If you travel less than 20 minutes a day, your alternator may not have enough time to charge the battery to capacity. At least 30 minutes gives it enough charging time to avoid undercharging, which gradually worsens your battery’s ability to hold a charge.

Avoid battery drain

Most vehicles nowadays cut off the electric supply when the key is off, but there are some out there that still provide power to the outlets. If you keep a phone charger plugged in, or you have a security light, it’s constantly getting power, and draining your battery and taking money out of your pocket. A little known fact about alternators is that they are designed to maintain a battery’s charge, not recharge it.

Avoid overcharging

Your alternator’s current is controlled by a voltage regulator or a computer control module, of one of them is faulty, your battery will suffer. Overcharging shortens a battery’s life by accelerating the aging process.

Avoid undercharging

Undercharging is the result of not charging your battery enough after being severely discharged. If you do end up with a dead battery, it should be charged using a bona fide battery charger.

Secure your battery

Vibration shortens your vehicle’s battery life. All cars nowadays use secure systems that hold it in place and minimize the vibrations that are transferred to your battery. If you aren’t tightening down your battery,  you’re running a risk of waking up to a dead battery.

It’s easy to forget about your battery, after all, if it’s not causing any problems, why worry about it? Keeping your battery maintained and checking to make sure it’s holding a charge will keep your battery in service as long possible and keep you on the road. Of course, if you have any questions about your battery, swing by and talk to some of our service guys.

 

 

Driving Apps To Help Your Wallet

With warmer weather coming up in a hurry, that can only mean one thing: Gas prices are going to go up. Every time I look down at my gas meter, I hope that I’ve got enough to last me a few more days. Filling up my car takes a good $50 and if I fill up 4 times a month, that’s $200! I’ve been on the lookout for ways to curb my gas-guzzling ways and also keep my eyes out for ways to spend less at the pump. Here’s a couple of useful apps for your smartphone that I’ve found to be a great help.

GasBuddy

This is a particularly useful app when you’re trying to find the cheapest gasoline in relation to where you are. Sure, there are other apps out there like it, but I’ve found this one to be the easiest to use. Just start up the app and within seconds, it shows you how much the gas prices are in relation to where you are located. You can sort it by distance from you and by price. It’s always helpful to know that if you drive a little bit further down the road, you could save 5 cents per gallon instead of settling on the first gas station you see.

Automatic

AutomaticThis is a brand new app that looks promising. For $99.95, it includes a device that you plug in under the dash and it monitors your driving habits, gas mileage, even your check engine light! It’s also a parking reminder for those of us who sometimes forget where we parked. Automatic can also detect when you’ve been in a crash and will notify the authorities of your location. One of the best features of Automatic is the driving adjustment suggestions. If you tend to have a lead foot or like jumping out from a stop sign too quickly, it will recommend ways to improve your gas mileage. By keeping track of your trips via GPS and transferring them to your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can see exactly how well you’re doing and what improvements can be made with your driving habits. Here’s the video for more details:

What apps do you use in regards to driving?