Category Archives: Used Cars

When Is The Right Time To Buy A Used Car

grapevine cars, used cars dfw, used cars fort worth

There’s a right time for just about everything, right? Like the right time to get married. The right time to buy a house. The right time to plant a garden. You get my point. And right now it’s the right time to buy a used car at Freeman Grapevine and here’s why:

  • you have an old car that costs more to repair than it’s worth
  • it would make the best present ever
  • you’ve had a lifestyle change
  • there are tons of vehicles available
  • you can get a smokin’ deal

These are truly some things to really think about. If your car has become unreliable and you seem to always be taking it in to get fixed then now is a great time to buy a used car. Not only is your car taking up a lot of your time being fixed every other week, but it can also be unsafe.  You should also take a look at the amount of money you’re spending on fixing it compared to the amount it’s currently worth today. You don’t want to be throwing money down the drain. Sure you may have an attachment to your current car, but believe me, when you find the perfect used car you won’t even look back.

With the holiday seasons coming up, you may want to consider getting one of our great used cars as a gift. This is the ultimate present.  Imagine how excited the person receiving the gift will be! The look on their face will be priceless. So if you are getting a used car as a gift, we would love for you to capture the moment and send us a picture!!

It may be time to consider buying a used vehicle if you have had a recent lifestyle change. This can be anything from getting a new job that now takes you on a commute to a new teenager that’s ready to drive.

Remember, it might be a used car, but it’s still new to you!

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Do you Know What Steps to Take When you Sell your Car

buying used car, selling used carsBuying and selling a car can be a laborious and often frustrating task. It’s not like you can just knock on your neighbor’s door and sell them your vehicle. The State of Texas has certain requirements and protocols that must be followed or your risk voiding the transaction. That’s when the real mess starts.

Of course, if you decide to sell your vehicle it is much easier to bring it to Freeman Grapevine. We have bought and sold a countless number of vehicles, so we have a pretty firm grip on the State of Texas Requirement for vehicle trans actions.

If you are considering buying a new vehicle, but are looking to sell your old car on your own, there are a few things that you need to know. First, before you do anything check the FAQS section of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles web site. They answer almost all of the questions you may have when deciding to sell. The also have the answers to the question you never even thought about asking, so check there.

I pulled this excerpt from txdvm.gov for your convenience. Take a look at it, so you know what you are in for when trying to sell your Dallas or Fort used car.

Keep your license plates and transfer them to your new vehicle.

When you keep your license plates, the buyer has to transfer the vehicle title and this helps to protect you.

When you take off the plates, the buyer will need a Vehicle Transit Permit to drive the vehicle to the county tax office to re-title the car or truck.

Provide the buyer with all the documents needed to transfer the title:

  • A signed title
  • A signed vehicle title application
  • The vehicle’s latest registration receipt
  • Any other supporting documents, such as a release of lien, power of attorney, etc.Then, accompany the buyer to the county tax office to verify the buyer files a new vehicle title application under his/her name. If you sell or trade in your vehicle to a dealer, or if the buyer can’t go to the tax office, you need to notify us of the sale by filing a vehicle vehicle transfer notification within 30 days of selling the vehicle.

Now this was a dealership video, but the same information holds true. Be honest and understand the laws inherent in selling a used car in Texas. Expect to make multiple phone calls to the tax office in regards to transferring your title and relinquishing ownership of your vehicle.

Of course, If you’d rather not go through the hassle of selling your car yourself, you can bring it to Freeman Grapevine and we’ll buy it from you and get you a great price towards a new Buick Or GMC.

Is Your Steering Wheel Covered In Bacteria?

clean steering wheel
How clean is your steering wheel?

The short answer is, “Yes.” Keeping the last theme of car cleanliness going from my last post, have you ever thought about how much bacteria and unpleasant microbes are covering your Buick or Gmc’s steering wheel? Probably not. When was the last time you actually gave your steering wheel and antibacterial rub down? Never? Think about this scenario for a second…it’s happened to all of us. You get in the car and turn the steering wheel and you feel something sticky on the back of it which probably came from your hands in the first place. Remember that big greasy burger you ate in the car before your last meeting? However, you kind of just ignore it but eventually your hand touches it again, and again, and again. When you stop touching it and realize that you should probably clean it off? Or, do you even care? Maybe you should.

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London claim that there are, on average, 700 different kinds of bacteria per square inch of steering wheel. That compares to 80 distinct bacteria types on a public toilet seat. Even worse, the trunk has 1,000 bacteria types per square inch. The most common form of bacteria was bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning.

The reason cars are filthy is simple; we simply don’t clean them. While we vacuum, dust and disinfect our home on a semi-regular basis, only one third of study participants cleaned their vehicle once a year or more. That sounds pretty crazy (and a bit lazy), but think about it. You may jettison the trash and vacuum the carpet on a somewhat regular basis, but how often do you wipe down that nasty steering wheel? And when you think about how many Americans regularly eat in their vehicles, our cars could be a reason why we are sick as often as we are. Now we know why valet parking attendants tend to wear white gloves.

As a side note, even beyond cleanliness, the study also shows that many drivers know next to nothing about their vehicles. For example, two-thirds of us don’t know how to change a tire, while one third of those surveyed don’t even know how to put air in the tires. It’s a sad, sad world.

So are you officially grossed out? You better run and get your car cleaned!! Let me know if you are interested in keeping your Buick or GMC bacteria free.

Texas Heat, Cars and Pets Don’t Mix

“…not even for a minute”

With Summer temperatures recently reaching over the 100 degree mark all across Texas, our cars are easily reach temperatures of 150 degrees or more. That’s hot enough to melt plastic and is certainly not an environment for your pets to be in.

I don’t like the fact that I have to write articles like this, but every year it seems that Texas drivers and pet owners need a reminder. It pains me…strike that…INFURIATES me when I see dogs left in cars by themselves. First off, your dog’s temperature is already roughly 100.5°F to 102.5°F. In order for them to diffuse heat, they have to pant and cool the blood flow through their tongue since they have no sweat glands and do not perspire. As if that isn’t enough, they are wearing a fur coat!

What many people don’t know is that even on moderately cool days, the temperature inside a car can be fatal. Even when its only 70 degrees outside, in just one hour, the temperature inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees, and cracking the windows doesn’t really help.

If you think that your four-legged friends would be “OK” for a few minutes as you ran in to a store, think again. In fact, don’t think about it. Go ahead and sit in your car with no air running for 10 min. and then see if you feel the same way. I’ll even let you crack the windows. Sweat much?

No one is immune to catching a case of “the stupids”. You may think it will only take a few minutes to grab those groceries or chat with a friend, but that few minutes can translate into life threatening heat exhaustion for your best friend:

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

If your dog has heat stroke he will progressively show these signs:

  • Excessive panting;
  • Pale gums, bright red tongue;
  • Disorientation and your dog doesn’t respond to his name;
  • Increased heart rate;
  • Thick saliva;
  • Vomiting;
  • Breathing difficulties;
  • Collapse;
  • Coma;
  • Death

Dogs Prone to Heatstroke

  • Young puppies and older dogs;
  • Overweight dogs;
  • Dogs with an existing illness or recovering from illness or surgery;
  • Dog breeds with short faces – Bulldogs, Shar pei, Boston Terriers, Pugs – have narrow respiratory systems that easily get overwhelmed in hot and humid conditions;
  • Double coated breeds such as Chow Chows; and
  • Dogs bred for cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies and Newfoundlands.

If you suspect that your dog may have heat stroke:

Make sure your dog is out of the sun and has access to water but don’t let him drink too much.

Cool him with cool/tepid water – either immerse him in a bath, gently hose him or apply cool towels to his body. Importantly do not leave wet towels on your dog and do not use very cold water – both prevent your dog form being able to cool himself.

Move your dog to an area where there is cool air circulating, such as an air conditioned room or stand him in front of a fan. The cool circulating air will help your dog to reduce his temperature.

Remember, your dog can’t tell you that he is uncomfortable, so you’ll have to use common sense. Under no circumstance should you leave your dogs unattended in a car. Regardless of how hot you believe you car will “actually” get, you are going to be wrong. Then you will be left with a tragedy that is not only emotional, but quite possibly legal as well. You will get fined for endangering an animal by leaving them in a hot car, or could even be arrested for animal cruelty if they die.

Keep your pups safe, keep them out of your hot vehicles. If you have any comments, questions or advice, leave a comment below or see me at Freeman Grapevine!

How to Escape a Sinking Car

how to escape a sinking car

This is something we hear on the news from time to time. A car loses control, crashes through a retaining barrier and into a body of water. Would you know what to do if this happened to you?

This type of accident is rare, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Thinking back on what you know or what you’ve heard, do you think that you would have the presence of mind to recollect the escape tactics that you’ve “heard” about and not panic? For sake of argument, I’m going to say “no”, you won’t. That’s OK, because until I did a little refresher research, I would have fallen into the same category as you: Knowing the theory of escape, but that’s about it.

Check out the video for a visual refresher:

Here’s a website dedicated to this very subject written from a person who’s experienced being trapped in a submerged car first hand. It’s definitely worth looking at.

The bottom line is that you have to remember to stay calm and memorize this simple course of action:

Here’s one more thing to consider. There are small, inexpensive, and convenient-to-carry tools available to the public that are made specifically to shatter a car window to free a trapped victim. I suggest you look into getting one for your vehicle.

From Saveyourlife.us

One is called a LifeHammer. It is only 7 ½ inches in length and weighs 4.9 ounces. It is shaped like a small hammer but with a dual conical shaped hardened steel point at one end. A strike with medium force will shatter a side window. I had my 10 year old daughter try it and she broke the window on the first try. The LifeHammer also has a seatbelt cutter built into the other end. The LifeHammer should be mounted in the vehicle either on the side of the console or anywhere it can be easily reached in an emergency. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “LifeHammer”.

The other tool is called ResQMe. It performs the same functions as the LifeHammer but it is only 3 inches long, weights just over ½ oz. and easily attaches to your keychain. One advantage of ResQMe is that it can go with you wherever you go as long as you have your keys. You can view one by clicking anywhere you see the word “ResQMe”. The Life Hammer is a little more robust and can be used to clear out some of the shattered glass once the window is broken. I keep ResQMe on my key chain and a LifeHammer in my car.

Be prepared, stay calm and know your escape routes. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If you’d like to share any experience you may have had that is similar, tell us that too…you may save some one’s life one day with your information.

Everybody, drive safely.

New Car and Brake Safety…What to look for.

A lot of cars have been involved in accidents because of brake failures, one leading indicator is the feel of the brake pedal, so if your car pulls left or right when braking, or if the front end shakes, then these are definite signs of excessive brake wear. If the brake pedal in your new car begins to feel spongy, it could be a sign that air has entered the brake system or fluid is low. Do not ignore these warning signs!

A spongy brake pedal, together with a decrease in brake fluid, may also indicate brake wear, so when you check the brake fluid reservoir, make sure it’s topped off. If not, then brake fluid is most probably remaining at the wheel to fill the space caused by wear. Many vehicles purchased from car auctions experience this kind of problems because of being stocked for a long time in car garage or showrooms. Simply replacing the brake fluid and letting it flow throughout the wheel by pumping the brake pedal a few times before your run the used automobile helps in ensuring safety for you and your passengers.

Many new cars have ABS (Automatic Braking System) which initiates a rapid- fire pumping sequence to the brakes, keeping the car straight during sudden or hard braking. If the ABS light illuminates on your instrument panel, then it’s likely that the wheel sensors have detected excessive build-up of metal particles from the brake system. Most cars are designed to shut down the ABS when excessive particle build-up occurs, but a shutdown ABS does not prevent you from stopping, it just means that the ABS feature isn’t working.

Wheels should be pulled and brakes checked once a year by an experienced brake specialist. These guys have experts who can fit your new car with high quality, high performance braking components. Whether it’s used car or not.

An inspection typically includes the rotors, calipers, drums, pads, pistons and brake lines. Brake systems should be flushed and brake fluid replaced every two years.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture in the system and becomes acidic after about two years. Check your owner’s manual or ask your technician to see what kind of brakes your car has and how they are adjusted. .

Remember, how and where you drive will greatly influence when your brakes must be replaced. If you have any questions about your brakes, come and see me.

How Much is Your New Car Worth in 5 years?

What I’m about to tell you is nothing you don’t already know. Buying a car is a “Catch 22” meaning, you have to have one, but for the most part, they are bad investments in terms of recouping your money. Their value isn’t really based on how much you can get for it when you want to sell it, but how much you get from it you while you own it. But of course, we want a good trade value for our old stuffs. Though old and used, we surely had bought it in a good price, so we also expect a better deal.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but unless your daily commuter is a high-end sports car or luxury suv, you aren’t going to recoup all of your money. No problem, we already knew this. So, what can you do to help add some value back into your vehicle? take a look at the video:

Have any other hints on keeping the value of your new car intact? Let me know!

A Great way to Improve Gas Mileage in Your New Car

The differences can be extreme

The average driver spends little time considering how an automobile engine works or even how important it is to protect it’s moving parts. They just get into their cars and drive. At the same time, most drivers do consider a vehicle’s fuel economy both when purchasing and driving. Some go to great lengths to find ways of improving gas mileage such as purchasing different exhaust and air intake products, fuel additives, and tires. With the only exception being the vehicle’s transmission, the engine is the most intricate and vital component of that car’s ability to be useful. It is also, often, the most expensive to repair. It’s internal components are subject to extreme heat and friction which wear on these parts over time. They are constantly exposed to temperatures nearing 200 degrees and moving thousands of times per minute. Even with regular servicing and preventative maintenance, the wear on these parts is inevitable and adversely affects an engine’s efficiency over it’s lifespan. It’s the efficiency of an engine which consumers often overlook when considering fuel economy.

Synthetic oil, as compared to traditional petroleum based oils, has a stronger viscosity or stickiness. It also takes longer to break down in extreme temperatures and is less subject to evaporating. Substituting synthetic oils for traditional oils when servicing a vehicle protects these parts better and, in turn, leads to greater engine efficiency. It’s efficiency directly affects the amount of fuel being used or wasted in the combustion process. Therefore, one of the most considerable ways of improving gas mileage is to protect the efficiency of a vehicle’s engine over it’s lifespan with a synthetic lubricant.

With the rising prices of gasoline in our present day economy, a greater portion of the population is in need of finding practical ways to improve gas mileage. Using a synthetic oil for engine lubrication is one significant way a consumer can improve fuel economy and save a substantial amount of money over time. It will also better protect internal engine components longer which will save money in engine repairs and rental cars. It will protect one of the biggest and most important financial investments one can make in today’s society.

Keeping your New Car in Great Shape is Easy!

Well you did it! you finally bought that new car you were threatening to by for almost a year. Now you’ll just have to keep your new car in A1 condition to get the best out of it. Polluted and dirty engine oil, transmission fluid, and anti-freeze are going to cause problems for your car, and remember to check your brake fluid in the coming year. Brake fluid delivers force to various parts of the brake when you step on the pedal, you know it has to be topped up, but how often does it have to be changed?

Brake safety is a subject that I have touched on before in an earlier article and I wonder how many times you think about the fluids in your car. One of the paramount considerations that you must make as a responsible owner of a car, is the constant and consistent maintenance and servicing. I suggest you shop around and find an expert you trust to service and maintain your new car.

Below is more on Brake fluid from articlesbase.com

According to specialist mechanics, brake fluid, in the everyday family cars, becomes contaminated in less than two years. Brake fluid absorbs moisture, which works its way through the hydraulic system. Under heavy braking conditions, such as when towing a trailer, driving in a very hilly or mountainous area, the moisture in the overheated fluid vaporizes (boiling point of water is lower than that of brake fluid) and braking efficiency is reduced.

Not only is the fluid vulnerable to vaporizing, it also can freeze. Even under normal automobile driving conditions, this situation can develop if the brake fluid is seriously contaminated. It is necessary for brake fluid to maintain a stable viscosity throughout its operating temperature range. Being too thick or too thin causes impaired braking action. Beyond the vaporization hazard, moisture creates an additional problem for owners of vehicles equipped with anti-lock braking (ABS) systems. Corroded ABS components are very expensive to replace.

While you’re at it, ask  your tech about any other fluids that should be topped off or replaced, such as oil. Oil changes are important. Your mechanic is an oil change and lube expert. There are synthetic oils available, to better protect your engine and enhance your car’s performance, not to mention synthetic oil is resistant to heat and viscosity breakdown.

One of the most common mistakes you can make with your new car is to let things slide when it comes to something as simple as an oil change. Properly scheduled oil changes will help your new car last for many years.

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them here or you can always come and see me.

Tips for Vacationing in Your New Car

Thinking about taking “The Family Truckster” on the road? Here are some guidelines to get you and your vehicle geared up for the trip.

* It’s a good idea that, before you hit the road, get your vehicle inspected. A basic inspection is not very expensive and will cover the brakes, tires, suspension, lights, cooling system, and other basic drive train components

* Make sure your tire pressure before you leave on a road trip. Most tires require between 30-32psi.

* Pack an emergency kit with you. A good emergency kit should include a flashlight, a first aid kit, jumper cables, gloves, rope, and power point tire pump.

* Always bring extra water. Although you may be traveling on major roads, you’ll be thankful if you have a flat tire or breakdown miles from the nearest exit.

* Learn how to change a flat tire before you leave! Practice in your driveway a few times before you head out on your trip.

* While on the road, try to take a 15 minute break every 2 hours.

* this is probably the most important tip…Pack plenty of entertainment for children! Travel toys and games can help pass the time.

* Whenever you travel make sure that everyone has proper identification and required documentation.

A road trip can be a fun experience. Follow these tips to make sure it’s a safe and enjoyable journey.